High Heat, Cold Beat, Fresh Tees: Art March August 2013
by Kate Dryden, Natassia Pearlman
photos by Natassia Pearlman, Cain O’Brien
Sweat drips from the brow. The high heat of early August in our beloved Hostess city envelops us in a tight embrace, but not so powerful as the embrace of community and culture during the monthly celebration of commerce and creativity–the First Friday Art March.
Ever the party, folks of all walks of life meandered through the Starland District (otherwise known as Midtown Savannah) to some of our all-time favorite coffee houses, galleries, yoga studios and tattoo parlors. Here, they bore witness to just a tincture of Savannah’s best creations, meditations and sublimations.
The looming presence of the post-rockabilly tattoo shop, Black Orchid on Victory and Barnard, drew in Art Marchers with the graceful arms of tattoos past. Photos of some of the staff’s favorite pieces burst forth with resonance of permanence and higher meaning, such as one piece which featured an owl in the place of the Virgin Mary, symbolising wisdom and perhaps a customer’s inherent love of nocturnal birds. Observe more of their work at http://www.blackorchidtattoo.com/.
Some marchers then careened down Drayton toward Anahata Healing Arts, local yoga haven for many Savannahians. The gallery turned their enlightened eyes this month to self-taught painter Isak Dove (http://www.isakdove.com/). This crazy talented gypsy mama portrays “the ethereal woman expressed in nightmarish ways”. These depictions invoke a sense of beguilement and exploration; a perfect reflection of Anahata itself. The studio’s warm incandescent lighting ushered one around the space in a whirlwind of meditative bliss, something close to shavasana.
Dove’s work in acrylic and oils boasts heavy color, lively brushstrokes and a vast range of emotion, each with its own story appealing to many a viewer. Be transported by her otherworldly presence and ethereal works through the month of August at 2424 Drayton. And, hey, stretch your body and mind with their uplifting yoga classes while you’re there! http://www.anahatahealingarts.com/
Marchers were delighted to see again the works of Brian MacGregor at the Grand Bohemian Gallery (a man who is always lovely for a good conversation), as well as Raabstract’s show entitled “Two Faced” at Forsyth’s paragon of consciousness and coffee, the Sentient Bean.
Backtracking, we again met up with the folks at The Maker Collective for a reunion over Foxy Loxy’s proudly brewed PERC coffee and a revisit to their continuing show “Burn Bleed Choke Trap”. The name, cleverly opposite their light hearted graphic screen prints, plays off of screen printing terms; Don’t worry, no one is being abused at Foxy. Check out the Maker Collective site at http://themakercollective.com/.
Meanwhile, soulful blues man Basik Lee regaled Foxy patrons with raw guitar and nearly spoken word-style vocals. Burn Bleed Choke Trap will be up through August, so swing by to get your cup of joe and handmade print.
Through the jungle-like streets, marchers move toward the main event: the glory that is Desoto Street. On the cusp, one heard the tantalizing spin of Jose Ray, a regular DJ at the gem of downtown, the Sparetime. Marchers were drawn in toward the glorious street to find a warm welcome from Desotocorps members bearing fresh lemonade and insight to the day’s events.
Vendors from the Savannah Area Artisan’s Guild and beyond peddled their creative wares such as wood burned landscapes, custom-made soaps, ceramics, and jewelry. Among these was up-and-coming costume designer Samantha Salas, whose pieces can be seen around the necks of select Ru Paul’s Drag Race superstars.
As one advanced down the row of the iconic Desoto, vein-vibrating sounds of local band Electric Grandma reverberated, weaving a silk ribbon of sick riffs, lady voice and profound lyrics between each viewer, vendor, business owner, reporter and photographer amassed upon the street. Feel the vibrations on their site at http://www.electricgrandma.com/.
The debut of 13 Bricks’ show, “The Capstone” at Desotorow Gallery allowed viewers a peek into the ever-advancing clothing company’s newest line of custom-illustrated tees and tanks. Incredible drawings and paintings by some of its artists including Emily Quintero, Kimberly Van Dam, Alfredo Martinez, Miggs, and Lauren Schwind forged together in a masterfully designed space by production designer Zlatko, collectively formulated a smorgasbord for eyes and imagination. These talented young artists are challenging ideas of graphic and/or screen printed shirts, spearheading the campaign of a higher standard of art in everyday wear. Their show won’t be up much longer, so take the plunge into artistic ambrosia before they scurry back to their online home at http://13bricksclothing.com/.
The infallible First Friday Art March delivered to us again a joyous reunion of friends, old and new alike, and a reason to celebrate the forthcoming artistic renaissance here in Savannah, Georgia. Join us again September 6th for a new adventure in art and the friendships art reinforces between us.