October Art March: Desotorow “Rises” to the occasion

sculpture from Sami Woolhiser’s exhibition at Desotorow Gallery, “Translations”

October’s First Friday Art March was a celebration of transitions in Savannah, featuring the first appearance of Autumn and the announcement of some very major changes to Desotorow.

Come January 2014, Desotorow will have successfully metamorphosed into Art Rise Savannah: an organization which aims to aid Savannah’s creative economy through programs like the Art March, a new exhibitions branch called Fresh Exhibitions and, yours truly, the Savannah Art Informer. It seems that our excitement rubbed off on all you marchers–Friday night was one of the most lively gatherings of passionate art enthusiasts we’ve seen so far!

Tarot reading by Gabrielle Buffong at Sicky Nar Nar’s gypsy trunk show

This month I started my march at Sicky Nar Nar’s gypsy trunk show, where I got an especially illuminating tarot card reading by gypsy extraordinaire/art historian Gabrielle Buffong. Afterward, I got my hands all over some of the chicest vintage Savannah has to offer. I followed that up with a visit to Anahata Healing Arts for some calming tea and a look at Tami Sabo’s “Savannah Tarot Deck”. This set the tone for a quick visit to Anahata’s neighbor: Of Two Minds Studio.

Sketches by Jared Seff

Run by artists Isaac McCaslin and Jared Seff, the open studio offered a glimpse into the creative process of two nationally established artists. Seff’s MMA-inspired paintings stole the spotlight with their rich, Hopper-esque tones. (Be sure to check out the next open studio – exclusively at November’s Art March!) After chatting with the artists for a while and enjoying some free wine and cheese, my photographer and I made our way to the Sentient Bean to see photos from Karen Abato’s Composition series. Originally conceptualized in New Orleans, Abato’s photos focus exclusively on jazz and soul musicians ranging from local Savannah legends to international superstars like Chaka Khan. This was Abato’s first showing of photographs, but she says she will soon have other shows in the works.

Confessional fibers installation by Akiyo Kaneko and Daniela Izaguirre at Non-Fiction Gallery

More highlights from the night included Non-Fiction Gallery’s exceptional multi-media exhibition Kokeshi by fiber artist Akiyo Kaneko and fine artist Daniela Izaguirre. The show’s dark, provocative subject matter (look up Japanese Kokeshi dolls for an explanation) was explored through confrontational, yet sensitive methods: the artists encouraged patrons to wear a heavy, weighted cloak as they entered the gallery to help set the mood, red bleached paintings led the eye toward a fibers sculpture of bloody rags, etc. Composed of an interactive confessional installation, photography, sculpture, paintings, sound and video installations, this show was a delight for all the senses.

Detail of a confession written by an anonymous gallery patron

Desotorow’s exhibit “Translations” by artist fellow Sami Lee Woolhiser played with variety and successfully subverted expectations with its inclusion of large-scale living sculpture (Woolhiser plants moss and other flora inside her rough, industrial sculptures) and a multilayered fibers installation. The artist spoke about her interest in visual contrasts, juxtapositions and the ever-transforming nature of her work. I would seriously encourage anyone interested in conceptual art and sculpture to attend her workshop at Desotorow gallery this Friday at 2PM

Sami Woolhiser’s exhibit “Translations” on Desoto Ave

I ended my evening on Desoto Ave at the Indie Arts Market where bands played on both ends of the street, root beer floats flowed freely and vendors and patrons alike reveled in a good time. As always, I can’t wait for next month!

Kayla Goggin

Author: Kayla Goggin

Kayla Goggin is the editor of the Savannah Art Informer.

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