BEYOND THE walls of SCAD and Savannah’s other esteemed collegiate institutions there is a bourgeoning world of local art and cultural offerings.
From Art Marches and Art Walks, to museums and galleries—Savannah has a magical blend of happenings not to be missed. This is a go-to-guide for all this art in Savannah.
The South’s oldest public art museum, Telfair encompasses three sites in Savannah: the Jepson Center—a soaring contemporary museum; Telfair Academy—home to 19th and 20th century works; and the Owens-Thomas House—a gorgeous historic home. Check it out during monthly Free Family Days and don’t miss the annual PULSE Art + Technology festival.
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD’s new art museum awes audience in more way than one. The tremendous and innovative restoration of the building is masterpiece enough, then once inside the galleries, the boundary pushing contemporary works inspire and entice.
Art Rise Savannah
Producer of the First Friday Art March and owner of Non Fiction Gallery, this non-profit broke onto the scene in 2013. Promoting art accessibility and economic growth, Art Rise is active in the local community and a great in to local arts.
First Friday Art March
Connect Savannah readers’ “Best Art Show,” Art Rise coordinates this gallery-hop every first Friday, 6-9pm, showcasing the Starland District—Savannah’s funky creative heart. The Art March serves the freshest in local arts by joining galleries, creative retail spaces, food, music, and art activities into one wondrous evening of discovery.
Non Fiction Gallery
Non Fiction mounts conceptually challenging and aesthetically alluring exhibitions from emerging artists. Available for rent, Non Fiction also dreams up intriguing call for entry themes, attracting national and international attention. Now under Art Rise’s umbrella, anticipate community centered programming in the space.
Savannah Art Walk
Artist and gallery owner Tiffani Taylor hosts the Savannah Art Walk every second Saturday, September to June, 4-9pm. The tour through historic district galleries has touches of Taylor’s sparkling elegance from beginning to end. She even bookends the affair with gratis wine receptions at Savannah’s swankiest hotels.
The Butcher Art Gallery
2015 Connect Savannah “Best Art Gallery,” the Butcher Art Gallery occupies the lobby of a tattoo studio. While seemingly an unconventional location, the accolade is due. The Butcher hosts shows with edge—street art, creepy mermaids, and haunting paintings. The phenomenal work here always gets under your skin.
This local artist co-op located off Ellis Square features some of Savannah’s best contemporary artists working in a variety of media. Best part? One of the featured artists is always on duty, so stop in for some life-affirming art chat.
Roots Up Gallery
Want to soak up true Southern culture? Roots Up showcases an unparalleled collection of Southern folk artists. The outsider artists on display create with raw passion, using available materials resulting in stunning visual stories.
This downtown rental gallery on the quiet end of Oglethorpe Avenue is the perfect blank slate for any artist’s vision. Ready to unveil a creative visual manifesto, or to glean into the mind of a young artist? Keep Oglethorpe Gallery in mind.
Sulfur has delivered a much-needed commodity for Savannah artists—affordable studio space. In addition to 14 studios, the venture offers gallery space, hosts calls for entries, produces workshop series, plus presents movies, music and other community events. One of Savannah’s most active art spaces, Sulfur supplies offerings for every creative type.
The City of Savannah’s Cultural Arts Gallery
The City’s spacious Henry Street gallery exhibits a diverse mix of works; one month student art, quilts the next, followed by large-scale paintings, then documentary photographs. One thing that’s consistent is the shows impress. Insider tip: each year the city accepts proposals and awards the gallery space for free to the selected artists.
An African American cultural center, the Beach Institute presents works by regional artists delving into rich, culturally significant themes. The building is drenched in history and its collections reveal the vibrant black culture of Savannah’s past. While the space may fly under the radar, it is a true gem enriching Savannah’s art scene.
Hospice Savannah Art Gallery
The Hospice Gallery is one of Savannah’s best-kept secrets. With exhibitions only every several months, make sure to attend since you’re sure to bump into staples of the local art community both at the event and on the walls in this unusual venue.
The Coffee Shops
Coffee + art! What’s not to love? Luckily, most Savannah coffeehouses take art seriously and run monthly exhibitions in addition to offering daily perk ups.
Rotating printmaking and photographic exhibitions spice up Foxy Loxy Café’s rustic walls. A permanent collection of quirky prints and whimsical collage-covered bathrooms, plus weekly Acoustic Tuesday sets make art a central tenant of the establishment.
Overlooking Forsyth Park, the Sentient Bean has long hosted monthly exhibitions by a variety of local artists and community-focused organizations. With weekly movie screenings and music shows, The Bean offers a taste of the local creative community.
On the brick walls of Gallery Espresso, monthly installations of established and up-and-coming local artists compliment the mismatched furniture of this downtown java house. Expect to see any number of mediums on display, but always masterfully executed.