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Greening the gallery space
Dimensions Gallery and Structured Green join forces for Earth Day
Cryselle Stewart with Mike and Raquel Ayres at Dimensions Gallery - photo by Linda Sickler

Today, green is more than just a color on a palette. It’s a philosophy and a practice that just might save the world.

Dimensions Gallery, a downtown art gallery, and Structured Green, a retail company that carries high quality, eco-friendly furniture and accessories, are preparing to celebrate Earth Day on April 19 at Forsyth Park. Together, they’ll host activities for the whole family.

They’ll help participants make earrings and build sailboats out of cork. Dimensions will exhibit a selection of work from artists who use eco-friendly materials.

But the venture won’t stop there. Structured Green will show and sell some of those works in its new store.

Structured Green was created by Mike and Raquel Ayres, both designers, who were looking for a better way to furnish their home. “I came over to the gallery and met with them to try to come up with something for Earth Day,” Mike Ayres says.

“We started talking and one thing led to another and here we are,” he says. “We think it’s a good fit.”

“We have 5,200 square feet of space to fill up,” Raquel Ayres says. “We were stressed about not wanting the building to look so empty.”

The new store will open to the public on April 21 at 620 E. 35th St., next to RK Construction. The owner of RK Construction contacted the Ayres after reading about them in Connect Savannah.

“We met with him and walked through the space,” Mike Ayres says. “We just started talking. He said, ‘It would be great if you guys could be here.’”

“Our company and their company go hand in hand,” Raquel Ayres said. “They’re focused on the environment, too, so it’s a good fit for the two of us.”

The Ayres think they’ll probably bring business to RK Construction, and RK Construction will probably bring business to them. Their only concern is that the shop is a little off the beaten path, and they hope the Earth Day event will help people get acquainted with them.

Structured Green is also a good fit with Dimensions Art Gallery. “I’ve been wanting to work with other Savannah businesses,” owner and curator Cryselle Stewart says. “One of my employees decided we were going to do something for Earth Day and told me about Structured Green. She called Mike, and here we are.”

Many artists create green art, Stewart says. “I know a lot of artists who reuse materials,” she says.

“One man makes plastic bags into purses that are beautiful. One woman builds frames from reused wood, wood that has been chopped down. Instead of it being burned, she takes it and uses it.”

A lot of artists are dumpster divers, including one firm that makes furniture sold by Structured Green. “It ends up with a nice design, but you can see all the different colors of wood in a piece,” Mike Ayres says.

The art featured at Structured Green is that of emerging artists. It will be displayed until it sells.

“Some artists have to be pulled up,” Stewart explains. “Whenever you’re up, you need to pull someone else up.”

Structured Green is now a member of the Sustainable Furniture Council. “It gives us more credibility,” Mike Ayres says. “It’s kind of like LEED certification.”

About 40 pieces will be shown at Structured Green, including work by Savannah artist Bobi Perry.

“She’s a very, very lovely woman,” Stewart says. “She comes to every show we have to support the other artists. She’s also a patron of the gallery.

“She’s a self-taught painter and sculptor. She reuses a lot of material in her work, which is very environmentally friendly.”

Earth Day

When: April 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Forsyth ParkDimensions Art Gallery Where: 412 MLK Jr. Blvd. Info: www.dimensionsartgallery.comStructured Green Where: 620 E. 35th St.Info: