Friday night was Gallery Le Snoot’s first foray into performance art with their Hypoetical: Poetry, Spoken Word & Jazz night. The gallery/print shop is largely known for its illustration/print shows, having gained a reputation for creative exhibition themes and lively receptions. Hypoetical was unique for both the gallery and the greater Savannah art scene, (anyone interested in slam poetry knows it’s slim pickings if you’re looking for a receptive open mic event around here) and even though it was the very first event of its kind held by Le Snoot, it seemed to be a wild success.
The show started off with spoken word, poetry, and freestyle performances chosen by a jury, and a performance by jazz musician Alec Kalthoff. After that, the energy was still flowing so Le Snoot organizers opened up the floor for an open mic. Performances ranged from a deeply personal poem about an artist’s strained relationship with her mother, to an introspective examination of technology’s effect on our daily lives (read off of an iPhone, no less) and freestyle raps about weed, immortality and sex. Le Snoot offered an intimate setting that placed the audience only a few feet away from the artists, allowing for some great banter back and forth all night between the crowd and the performers. Everybody was respectful, enthusiastic and in a great mood, plus there was cake and alcohol – seriously, it was the open mic of your liberal art student dreams.
Le Snoot’s Art Director, Emily Quintero, admitted that Hypoetical was a learning experience for the gallery, but that the positive response cemented her decision to push for a repeat event in the future. Her favorite performances? Poetry from Melanie Goldey and Violet Butler, and a performance by a friend of hers (new to the poetry scene) who played the ukulele and sang a song about coming out.
Savannah rap artist Miggs (you might know him from Word of Mouth) was also there, gracing the stage with a five-minute freestyle ode to everything the audience could shout out at him. His effort earned him a poster of Le Snoot’s token pig. Not everyone walked away with a prize, but Hypoetical was definitely a refreshing way to spend an evening either as a participant or an audience member. After receiving ideas in the form of visual art so often and for so long, it was a welcome change to enjoy the energy that can come from live art performances. I’m looking forward to seeing what Le Snoot has to offer up next.