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'Oh Say Can You Sea Savannah': Children's ocean art on Tybee
Creativity and learning for the Savannah Ocean Exchange
"Oh Say Can You Sea" was created through the Loop It Up Savannah program at the West Broad Street YMCA.

As part of the ongoing Savannah Ocean Exchange, the Tybee Post Theater will be transformed into a giant aquarium this weekend.

"Oh Say Can You Sea Savannah," an exhibition of art by local children, opens at 5 p.m. Friday and runs through Sunday evening, where the Savannah Children's Choir will perform during the closing reception.

The artwork was created by children in grades K-5, and includes paintings, drawings, 3-D sculpture and more.

"It's about the fish, but even moreso it's about the kids that made the fish," says coordinator Molly Green Lieberman, who runs the Loop It Up Savannah program at the West Broad Street YMCA.

"And they're so, so brilliant. I'm really excited to showcase something so awesome that kids have made. We really need that, to focus on that good stuff sometimes."

Lieberman's artistic pupils are from the Y, from Bartow Elementary and Kayton Homes Boys and Girls Club.

Preschoolers created and painted stuffed paper fish, while the older kids got creative - there's a giant squid made of red pleather, and a 3-D see-through shark (you can see the contents of its stomach!)

There will also be pieces from a Lieberman-supervised family art workshop held last week at the Tybee YMCA

"Oh Say Can You Sea Savannah" includes nearly 200 creations. Kids were charged with looking up information about their chosen saltwater subject - be it shrimp, whale or sea turtle - before taking up the brush.

"They were immediately engaged," Lierberman says, "because it was a research project veiled as an art project. It was like, you really have to know about this stuff so you can do a good art project.

"That was really our goal. Because a lot of times kids are not really as engaged as we would hope in school, so it was an experiment: Can we create something that's really cool, and engaging, but also taps into all this stuff that they need to be learning?"

This, of course, parallels quite nicely the overall mission of the Savannah Ocean Exchange.

"The reason to learn something is so you can apply it to something that matters," adds Lieberman. "The facts might be really fascinating, but if you have nothing to plug them into, that doesn't really help."

Oh Say Can You Sea Savannah

What: Children's art exhibit and art stations

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horn St., Tybee Island

When: 5-8 p.m. Sept. 23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 24, 1-6 p.m. Sept. 25

Closing reception: 5-6 p.m. Sept. 25, with a performance by the Savannah Children's Choir

Admission: Free


Gray's Reef Ocean Film Festival: Children's Films

Where: Tybee Marine Science Center, 1510 Strand St., Tybee Island

Screenings: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24

Admission: Free