The American Dream
By Kate Dryden
As the sun glowered over the slow Savannah Friday of July 5, art lovers from uptown, downtown and every borough in between stepped out, still pulsating with American pride (and perhaps a hangover) from the Independence Day festivities the previous night, to bask in the foundation-shaking works splattered throughout the Starland District like a Pollock original. Galleries south of Gaston are buzzing as the temperature rises–not just on the Savannah streets but within the art community of the Starland neighborhoods as well. We saw some of Savannah’s finest mixed media pieces at the Grand Bohemian Gallery at the Mansion on Forsyth Park from lofty world-traveler Brian MacGregor.
Brian is a laid back fellow with fine taste in drinks, art and dreams. His collection featured the transcribed dreams of some of his many viewers sprawled across a canvas and slathered with acrylic in his made-to-order “Iconic Drinks” series. What’s more is his stunning use of light and color in a series executed in a style lovingly dubbed “Romantic Surrealism”. These works featured personable pieces involving the famed Miss Dawn in MacGregor’s “Manet at the Mansion” which is a nod to Manet’s “Bar at the Foiles-Berger” as well as a piece addressing retrospection of one’s former self. His gallery continues at the Grand Bohemian through July 25. You can catch more MacGregor originals in his gallery located at 308 W. St. Julian in City Market.
A hop and a skip over to the Sentient Bean at the crown of Forsyth afforded we humble viewers a flashy dose of pop art in the form of recycled silk screen on wood panels. The comfortable yet somehow minimalistic home of the Psychotronic Film Fest was happy to host the show by artist Raabstract. Likewise, ever-charming coffee haven Foxy Loxy came through for us again with a print show by SCAD alumni Elmer Ramos, Benjamin Carl Stanley and Kay Wolfersperger. Their sweet, concise and masterfully designed prints fit right into the laid back atmosphere of Foxy.
Sicky Nar Nar and its sicky nar new space proved to be an excellent venue for “Just The Tip”, the appropriately titled show by local giant John Zimmerman and accomplice Matt Jackson. Their characteristically playful interpretations of abstract, almost graffiti-like symbolism hung like champions on the fresh walls of the recently established space at the corner of Duffy and Barnard. The radical bros at Sicky Nar Nar have radical plans to open a gourmet coffee bar inside their new digs called Nar Bar, which (thanks to all you good folks of kickstarter) will be opening in September.
Pressing on down to Starland Cafe, one found a shocking painterly vibe from goddess of the aperture Kate Greene. Her digital photographs zeroed in on peeling paint, slouching buildings and loads of other secret weapons in her mysterious textural arsenal to create stunning abstractions that, when viewed from a distance, were easily interpreted as acrylic landscapes on canvas. So if you’re in the mood for some scrumptious food and transport to an alien universe of color-laden landscapes, check out her show at Starland Cafe, which will be up through July.
The Art March’s crowning jewel was hard to miss on Desoto Ave. Desotorow’s team up with the Savannah Area Artisans Guild yielded fantastic results at the Indie Arts Market that was enjoyed by all walks of life. Big ones, little ones, pups and pooches all came out to peruse the crafty works of SAAG members as well as independent artists & crafters of all kinds. Funny little hats, cute leather bags, sultry-smelling soaps and hand crafted jewelry were just some of the products these lovely vendors had to sell.
The sweetheart from the Chocolate Lab regaled our senses with mouth watering treats, then sent us on our way to wash it down with a steaming cup of bliss from the superb dudes at PERC. The tunes of three-piece band Whiskey City Redemption Choir then swept us out to the street with their blues-infused style, followed by the ever-folksy B.B. Wolf.
Finally, at our sweet, sweet home base Desotorow, one could grip up a crazy good cup of homemade lemonade (what better way to celebrate ‘Merica?) and feast their eyes upon works depicting their respective artist’s personal views about America. The show, entitled “Red, White & Blue”, also served an interactive feature in the form of two tall blackboards facing one another on opposite walls: one suggesting “America is…”, the other “The South is…”. Viewers were then encouraged to add their own cheeky answers, creating a unification of sentiment and sarcasm that was a laugh-riot to behold.
Overall, a bitchin’ way to spend a post-Independence Day Friday: with friends, fun and, our love and our meaning of life, ART.
DON’T miss next month’s First Friday Art March (if you know what’s good for you), which will be held on August 2nd and (if possible) will be even better than this month’s.