Monday, January 31, 2011

Savannah Museums to Atlanta


Telfair Musuem entrance

This morning, A. Paul & I visited two museums in Savannah, GA- the Jepson Center and the Telfair Museum of Art, both are operated under the umbrella of the Telfair Museums.  

We began at the  Jepson Center, a 64,000 square foot modern art museum and educational facility, the first expansion for the Telfair Museum in 125 years.  The modern architectural space stands in contrast to the stately, historic buildings surrounding Oglethorpe square.  Hanging from the interior ceiling is a suspended installation "Birds in Flight" by local artist Matt Hebermehl, adding a surreal illusion within the enormous volume of light of the entry corridor.  Upstairs is a state of the art interactive children's museum.  In an adjacent room, we caught up with two recent SCAD graduates, Marie Le Pichon, an interactive game designer, and Lynne Lincoln, a theater and mechanics designer.  The two were repairing an other worldly interactive mechanical game which uses a video screen, projector and three mechanical elements encased in acrylic to propel a video graphic ship into space.  Marie & Lynne gave us a hands on demonstration of the game designed by a SCAD professor and built by Lynn Lincoln.  With Kerry at the helm guiding the ship into outerspace, Lynne and Marie provided the gas and forward propulsion. Cautiously and with quite a few laughs, we successfully guided our ship into space,. Thanks Lynne & Marie, we had a blast with the game. It was a wonderful example of  interactive technological designwork.

Lynne Lincoln (L) & Marie La Pichon (R)
In the next salon was a traveling exhibit, "Modern Masters",  from the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  The exhibition highlights and features works of  action painters or abstract expressionists of the 20th century in three thematic venues- "Grand Gestures" which highlights works of artists such as Franz Kline, Hans Hofmann, and Sam Francis, "Optics & Orders" featuring works based on Josef Albers proportion and balance of color theories, and "New Images of Man" works that explore the spatial relationship of man and the universe. Very evident to us is the strong commitment to education at the Jepson, as there were no fewer than 3 groups of children being educated about the arts and the workrooms were in use during our visit. You can visit the Jepson Center via its website

"Fermented Soil" Hans Hofman, 1965
Grand Gestures exhibit
Across the square, the Telfair Museum houses a permanent collection of works from America, Europe and Asia spanning the 18th to 20th centuries.  The collection includes works by Robert Henri, Childe Hassam, Charles Hawthorne, and William Merritt Chase and is housed in a neoclassical Regency styled mansion of the former Telfair family.  Inside, two period rooms have been kept intact and are viewable.  Marble stairs guide you to two levels of art and sculpture. You can access the information on the Telfair Museum at the same website as above.  Follow the links at the top right of the website to take you to the appropriate museum.  The third link for the Owens-Thomas House, located a short distance from the Jepson and Telfair, is also associated with the Telfair Museums.  It is an exceptional tour of English Regency architecture that requires a mandatory 40 minute tour to view.  Casual walk throughs are not allowed so you should keep this in mind if you are planning a trip to this location. You can purchase single entries into each museum or one admission ticket for all three venues at a discounted rate. We know as we leave this area,  that we are missing a great deal of the historic museums that capture the revolutionary history of the South but will have to reserve these to a future tour in order to keep within our current art tour timetable.
We said good bye to Savannah and headed to her sister city, Atlanta.  Our arrival into the city was a stark contrast to the oak lined squares we left behind.  A must stop for A. Paul upon our late arrival into Atlanta was to the Huff Harrington Gallery  where co-owner Ann Huff and Linda Mohan stayed late to give us an introduction to their artists and gallery. The gallery offers a diverse collection of 20 American & European artists' works housed in an inviting home- like setting.  You can visit the Huff Harrington Gallery artists' works  at  Thank you Ann and Linda for your enthusiastic welcome and information.  We hope you will come visit us in Provincetown when you are in our area.
L to R: Ann Huff, Kerry Filiberto, &
Linda Mohan at Huff Harrington Gallery
Our stop in Atlanta is a short one and we know that we will be missing some substantial venues of art here.  However, we will squeeze a few more galleries into the early day then we are off to Nashville, Memphis, and onto New Orleans by the weekend.

We hope that you will stay with us as we continue our art tour across America.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day in Savannah


steamboat along the riverfront

Hi y'all. It was an absolutely beautiful spring-like day in Savannah,  With good weather came people. The historic district of Savannah was buzzing with bicycles, casual strollers, and park sunbathers.
A. Paul & I headed out early to take advantage of the day.  Our first stop was to stroll the riverfront street of America's first planned city to take in the art of architects past.

Here the cobblestone roads, aged shutters, and brick structures tell stories of Savannah's past life as a hustling trade port.  Shops lining the road that once plied their wares to seafaring ships today cater their goods to tourists who flock here to seek out the beauty of this "Belle of the South."  Even so, the contemporary varnish could do little to camouflage the centuries old foundations. The river, today, still gives passage to steamboats and barges and is a main venue of activities for the locals.

A. Paul walking towards E. Bay Street
Once back up on the main thoroughfare, we strolled to the Art Center at City Market, a two city-block open air market  laced with galleries, artist studios, and cafes.  Along both sides of the market were second level mazes of working studios of mostly emerging artists. Many of these studios were closed, but the few we were able to venture into provided shows of colorful, sometimes whimsical, works ranging from textile art to construction pieces and fine art paintings. The City Market is considered Savannah's "Art & Soul" of the city.

Addikspace Studios

A short walk through the planned grid squares of moss draped oaks and bench parks,  the brainchild of General James Oglethorpe and planner William Bull whose names grace two main roads, A. Paul and I arrived at two of the three major museums in Savannah.  The Jepson Center, the epicenter of the contemporary arts in Savannah.and Telfair Academy, the oldest art museum in the South, housing a permanent collection of American Impressionist works, as well as the largest visual collection of works by poet Kahlill Gibran.  Unfortunately, both venues were closed to host a bridal specific event.
As disappointed as we were that the museums were closed to us, we found it a reason to stake out on a bench in the square's park and extract our art-fix from the canopied trees above us and stately homes along the square.
After a leisurely stay in the park, we headed to ShopSCAD, a local shop for the student and alumni works of SCAD.  Savannah College of Art & Design was founded in 1978 as a specialized professional art college emphasizing visual, graphic, film and  performing arts,  It was with SCAD's purchase of  the armory in historic downtown that began a revitalization of Savannah's downtown area that continues today.  You cannot walk a square block without seeing signage connecting SCAD to the locale.
SCAD Museum of Art , dedicated in 2002, exhibits a wide selection of mixed media work , paintings, and photography, showcasing nearly 40,000 objects.
We hope that the museums will be opened for visiting tomorrow before we head off to Atlanta then on to Nashville.  If not we will simply have to come back to visit this invitingly beautiful city. 

We ended our day around the corner at the Six Pence where we met up with Ellen Lachewitz, who offered us a seat at her outside table.  Thank you for the hospitality and interest in our story, not to mention the infusion of laughter.

Kerry (L) & Ellen Lachewitz (R)
Until tomorrow, we hope y'all have a good evening.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gibbes Museum, Charleston & Beaufort, SC


"Still Life with Fish" Wm. Merritt Chase 1903

 Before A. Paul & I headed out of Charleston for Savannah, we squeezed in a visit to Charleston's Gibbes Museum of Art established in 1903 by bequest of James Gibbes, Sr. and opened to the public in 1905. The entire first floor of this Beaux Art structure houses a collection that weaves the story of Charleston's history through the arts.  Within this collection, one can find a few select gems by William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri and Elliott Daingerfield.  The second level of the gallery houses two special exhibits. The contemporary exhibit, Art of Our Time,  includes works by Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, & Alexander Calder.  In the rotunda salon, J. Henry Fair's aerial photographic series, Industrial Scars, documents the impact of industrialization and are hauntingly beautiful as well as mind numbing.  In this same salon, a monumental Tiffany Skylight
J. Henry Fair
 graces the ceiling.  Overall, the Gibbes is a small museum but their collections demonstrate that Charleston is a town which loves its arts from the days of its foundation to the present.  Charleston is a definite must-visit for anyone who has an appreciation for the arts.

An hour drive south of Charleston, we entered the picturesque lowcountry of Beaufort, S.C.  A changing blue-violet sky hung serenely over wide open stretches of lowland marshes. 

lowland outside of Beaufort

One stretch of land to the next was simply stunning. It is easy to see why so many artists are lured to capture the beauty of the lowcountry in their artwork.

Beaufort, one of the largest natural harbors on the Atlantic, has been called home by the Cherokees, Catawbas, Spanish, French, and British.  Founded in 1711, it is the second oldest town in South Carolina.As one gallery representative, Al Hefner, told us, "In Beaufort, you will find  a British soldier buried next to a Native Indian in our cemetery." 
"Bedhead" M. Dunn Ramsey
Deanna Bowdish with
her works
 As in Charleston, A. Paul & I were met with southern hospitality and warmth.   After a cup of coffee overlooking a harbor suffused with silver light, we wandered down quaint Bay Street to take in the art in several galleries.   At Hefner's Bay Gallery, Marcy Dunn Ramsey's contemporary portrayals of the lowcountry caught our eye. 

Deanna Bowdish, artist and director of The Gallery, another gallery venue in town, offers a diverse group of artists' work. Deanna's own lively contemporary work match her great sense of humor and whimsy. 

It was one artist at Deanna's gallery that captured my attention and pulled at my heartstrings.  Karen Keene Day's wild horse series are inspirational in subject as they are in purpose.  Day, though painting horses from a young age, began exclusively painting wild horses upon learning that America's last wild horses were being rounded up and slaughtered even though protected under a congressional act. Pamphlets on herd & land managment of wild roaming horses accompany her paintings to remind viewers of the fragility of losing the free spirit wielded by these wild-roaming horses, which she seeks to capture in her work  As much as we enjoyed lingering in Beaufort, A. Paul & I still had a visit to Hilton Head and drive to Savannah ahead of us.  Beaufort, though small in size, is rich in history, art, and hospitality. We know we will be back one day.

A. Paul & I made a short excursion to Hilton Head but the development layout of the island made it difficult to discover the art venues that it may have to offer.  I do know that the Council for the Arts for the State of SC is located at Hilton Head but beyond this our stop there was not an inspirational one.  

The sun was setting as A. Paul and I drove from Hilton Head, SC to Savannah, GA .  Tomorrow, we explore  Telfair Museum of the Arts,  Jepson Center for the Arts and Scad Museum of Art in Savannah.

Dusk Color


Friday, January 28, 2011

A Day in Charleston

East Bay Homes
walkway along E. Bay Street
It was a gorgeous day in Charleston. 
A. Paul & I started our day with a walk along E. Bay Street that skirts around the historic downtown peninsula and Battery Park, where Civil War cannons are frozen in time.  The southern mansions with their covered porticos were washed with sunlight.  The residents here were awakening from the winter season, painting, planting, and cleaning this pristine corner of the world.

After stopping in for a morning meal at East Bay Meeting House, where local resident Brit Washburn gave us an inside rundown on the art scene, we ventured along Broad Street to the section aptly named "Gallery Row." There, we were met with warm hospitality in the many galleries we visited.  What we were surprised to see was the diversity of the gallery collections.  Given the historic nature of the area, we expected to see much more emphasis on native "low country" scenes and though there was a strong showing of these works, there was also a substantial collection of regional and international artists' works of urban scenes, figurative works, and abstract art.  When we inquired about this at the Wells Gallery,  Director Keli Tolley stated that her gallery used to show mainly local artists' works  but the trend has shifted to meet the needs of the changing collector base.  There was evidence of this in most of the galleries we visited. To see the works at Wells Gallery you can visit

Margie Veitel (L) & Kerry
at Edward Dare Gallery

"Matilda" by Roberta Remy
The Edward Dare Gallery does feature some gems of "low country" artwork by Roberta Remy.  Remy visits the area and is enraptured by the long standing history of sweetgrass weavers who, for decades, have graced the corners of Charleston. Having spoken to one of the street weavers, Jennifer, the spaces in which they sit are handed down through the family.  The corner where Jennifer has woven her baskets for the past 27 years was occupied by her mother for over 50 years.      

Scott Amrhein Glass at
Martin Gallery
 At the Martin Gallery, A. Paul & I were surrounded by monumental sculpture, paintings, and glass.  One artist's work that did capture our attention was the metallic glazed and etched art glass by Scott Amrhein.  The simplistic, fluid lines and crackled metallic glazed glass on ironwork stands were striking with the light filtering through the window.

Kerry (L) with Maggie Kruger (R) at M Gallery
Our most informative encounter was with Maggie Kruger of the M Gallery.  For many years, Maggie operated a successful art business and artist in residence program in Florida. When the overall economy declined, her business did as well.  Though she continues her artist in residence workshops in Florida, she relocated her entire gallery business to Charleston after driving across the country scouting out the best art community in which to move.  Though she is a recent addition to the gallery scene here, she is already benefitting from Charleston's strong art collector base. Maggie is a savvy business woman with an innovative approach to developing the relationship between her artists' works and collectors. We had a wonderful visit with her and hope that she will take us up on our offer for her to visit us someday.  Thanks, Maggie, for given us your time. We wish you well.

Mr & Mrs. Hereford with Kerry,
A. Paul & Mickey

Mickey Williams in his studio-gallery

At day's end, we met up with Mickey Williams at his studio gallery on East Bay Street.  It happened that A. Paul and Mickey had mutual artist acquaintances from the Provincetown area.  (Guess we just missed you Jerome by a week or so.)  As the two of them engaged in the artist world of Provincetown and Charleston, studio visitors, Mr. & Mrs. Hereford, joined in the interaction.   We lingered with Mickey learning more about him, his life, and work.  According to Mickey, the arts here have been in survival mode and only recently have been showing signs of growth.                      

A. Paul (L) with Mickey Williams

Reflecting on this day, A. Paul & I were both struck by just how connected the community is to the arts. No matter where we went, the individuals who work and or live here, both young & old, were knowledgable about the artists, galleries, events, history, and not simply on a superficial basis.  There is a lot to savor here in Charleston and it will take a few more days for us to really digest all that we have learned and have seen.  Tomorrow, we will explore Charleston's Gibbes Museum of Art then off to Beaufort, SC and landing in Savannah, GA by nightfall.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wilmington, NC to Charleston SC

The day was blessed with abundant sunshine to start off our day in Wilmington, NC.  Wilmington is a lovely, picturesque town located along the Cape Fear River. Our introduction to its downtown was meeting up with a horse drawn carriage making its way down the moss drenched tree main street. We followed along, eventually parking along the riverfront. We were immediately taken with the view of the river with its full view of the Battleship North Carolina imposingly stationed near Eagles Island across the water.  A short distance down the river sat the paddleboat Henrietta III.  One could easily be lured away by the sights but our focus was to find out if the arts were alive and well in Wilmington, NC. 

Kerry with Pat Holleman (R)
at Port City Pottery

Cotton Exchange
Our first stop was in an historic Cotton Exchange building dating back to the late 19th & 20th centuries, which now houses several artist co-ops and shops in its 8 historical buildings.  There, I met up with Pat Holleman, a local potter, and Dick Heiser, a ceramic artist; both show their works at the Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts co-op. The co-op
Kerry with Dick Heiser (R)
at Port City Pottery
 began about 4 years ago to meet
 a need  for ceramists to show their wares. It currently consists of a core group of 18 artists, all who live within 30 minutes of the co-op. Pat's work, as shown in the image, has a minimal line with a Japanese stylistic influence. Dick's art is fired ceramic using a wood kiln process.  Dick explained that using a wood kiln leaves a less carbon footprint in producing his artwork, an important fact in the world we live in today. Dick is preparing a firing session this weekend and offered us an invitation  which unfortunately we will miss as we move on to Georgia tomorrow.  You can check out Pat and Dick's works as well as the other 16 artists at their website

Connor's mom, Caryn (L)
at the Golden Gallery
Across the hall, A. Paul was visiting with Caryn Croom at the Golden Gallery.  He was taken by the story surrounding a group of paintings being displayed in Mary Ellen Golden's watercolor gallery.  The paintings were created by Caryn's son Connor, who, at the age of 7, was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a form of autism.  It was through Connor's sister Chelsea, who was preparing for her Senior Project on the use of art as early intervention in autistic therapy, that the Croom family was introduced to art as possible therapy for Connor.  The results were positive, offering  a means for helping Connor to be more calm and focused.  Today Connor and Caryn paint everyday, forging a bond through art. 

Merrion Kennedy (R) at New Elements discussing
Ann Parks McCray's
"Red Boats, New Day" o/c
On the recommendation of Pat at Port City, we visited New Elements, one of the oldest galleries in Wilmington as well as Justin  Ferreri's  sculpture studio. Merrimon Kennedy, gallery owner & director of New Elements Gallery, represents a diverse group of regional artists, including ceramics, jewelry, and paintings. New Elements has been an icon in the arts in Wilmington for over 25 years, representing all original works.  When we arrived, Merrimon was preparing for the Fourth Friday Gallery Walk, which is held throughout the entire year.  As with the other artists we met, Merrimon was informative about the overall art scene in Wilmington.   You can visit her artists' works at

L to R:  Justine, Denise, A. Paul, & Linda
Justine Ferreri's Sculpture studio was next on our list.  Justine's studio is located  at the Chandler Wharf, a renovatd 19thc wharf warehouse on a cobblestone street along the waterfront.  Inside the studio, A. Paul & I had the great pleasure of meeting not only Justine but two other artists, potter Denise Bramley and Linda Anne Hartman, all working out of the "clay goddess studio".  Their whimsical works matched their witty senses of humor and dynamic personalities.  We could have spent hours discussing everything under the sun with these three artists.  A. Paul felt right at home in their studio. You can see these artists' works at their websites: and  Denise we did not have a website for you but would be happy to pass it on if you contact us.

entrance into
Cameron Art Museum
Armed with insider information on the current major changes taking place at the Cameron Art Museum, we decided to visit the museum and see for ourselves what is going on at this newly built 40,000 square foot facility.  The museum was once located in the downtown section of Wilmington but moved to the suburbs with the donation of land and support.  The museum has recently suffered the loss of directorship which seems to be a controversial subject amongst the townsfolks.  Upon approach to the facility, it was clear that the museum was well designed, aesthetically. The empty parking lot spoke volumes and, once inside, it was clear that the museum was in trouble.  We were met by two very friendly staff who made it a strong point that cameras were not permitted. We were told that there were only two exhibits available to be viewed and after paying $8 a piece we were shocked and disappointed that the two exhibits were  the Richard McMahan mini paintings along the wall near the main desk and the several salons of sparsely hung African American Heart to Hand quilts created in Alabama between 1945- 2001.  As beautifully rendered as these quilts were, the entire space was less than ideally curated, with no permanent exhibits available for viewing in any part of the museum.  We left the museum shaking our heads with a greater understanding of the sentiments expressed by the townspeople.  We can only hope that the museum will find its direction in the future and that the community pulls together to represent the great works that are within its grasp. The museum's website in case you would like to follow its changes .

Crossing Bridge into Historic
Downtown Charleston
The remainder of our day was spent driving through Myrtle Beach for a quick stop for a bite amongst the giant towers of cement and viewing yet another beautiful skyshow as we arrived into Charleston, SC.

Tomorrow, we begin our exploration of over 40 galleries in Charleston's historic downtown and photographing its southern architecture.

A few direct comments for our followers:
Clint from Principle Gallery in VA, thanks,  I think 3 times a charm?   Catherine, picked up your email about skipping Myrtle Beach and stopping further down in Huntington while we were sitting at a grill on Myrtle Beach. By the way,there is a small 10 room museum in Myrtle Beach but we were still shaking our heads over the last one.  It is worth checking out the website  We will keep it in mind for another trip.  Thanks, Brian, for always taking the time to send us emails and comments, we appreciate them all.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chrysler Museum, Norfolk Virginia


Tiffany Glass Lamp

If you have any reason to travel to the Norfolk, Virginia area, if you do nothing else, take the time to visit the Chrylser Museum.  Hands down it is by far one of the best collections of art we have had the pleasure of viewing thus far on our trip.  If you are a glass aficionado then it is a must, as the museum has an extant collection of Tiffany, Stueben, Mt. Washington, 19th century, and contemporary glass, be it blown, pressed, decorative or functional.  The entire lower level contained no fewer than 12 salons of beautifully displayed glass. An entire room was devoted to Tiffany glass objects and windows.

The other 210,000 square feet of the museum contain collections of Ancient & Non Europeans works from Greco-Roman to Indian Islamic.  Two rooms were devoted to American  & Art Nouveau furniture. Two levels of very well curated rooms contained 13th to 20th century paintings & objects, five rooms of contemporary art, two with kinetic interactive modern art, salons of photographic work, American Sculpture, African-American art, the list goes on. 

Visitor Service Desk

kerry with interactive

kerry with
interactive artwork

"Into Outer Space"
Hans Hofmann
Beyond the collections contained in the Renaissance inspired structure, part of the Chrylser Museum's strength is in its foundations in the community, starting with how the collection ended up in Norfolk.  Jeff Tefft, at visitors service, was cordial and informative relating the story around the original Chrylser collection and its connection to the town.  Walter Chrylser, Jr., an idustrialist & art collector, originally housed his selection of art in Provincetown, Massachusetts.  It quickly outgrew his space in an abandoned church in Provincetown.  Not being able to reach an agreement with the town for a more permanent and larger space, his wife, Jean, a native of Norfolk, suggested bringing the collection to Norfolk, which the town readily embraced.  Thus, in 1971,  began the start of the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, which continues to grow and reach out to the community through educational programs, a reference library, sketching in the galleries, auctions, memberships, gallery talks, and  family days .  The facility offers audio guides, is wheelchair accessbile, has a cafe and museum shop.  The price of entry is free but donations are accepted.  

View outside the Chrysler

According to Jeff, the Chrysler will expand  its facilities by Dec 2011, creating a full glass blowing center in an adjacent purchased building .  It will be worth returning to see the new glass center. If you would like to learn more about the Chrysler Museum you can visit their website at

After the museum visit, we dropped by the D'Art Center in Norfolk to see the working artists' studios.  D'art is a regional, not for profit center for the visual arts.  According to the Executive Director, Susan Bernard, the center opened in1986 and relocated to its present location in June 2005.  There are 50 resident artists on site, whose works range from sculpting to paintings to glass art. The center offers workshops and has five changing art galleries.  You can visit the center's site ate

D'Art Director Susan Bernard (L)
with Kerry Filiberto (R)

Given our extended visit to the Chrysler Museum, A. Paul and I had to keep our stops in Beaufort and Morehead short in order to make it to Wilmington, 7 hours away.  Though we did not encounter any additional arts to blog about, we do have some wonderful images of the weather we encountered and the interplay between the sun and clouds, which constantly entertained us throughout our drive.  Tomorrow we scout out Wilmington and then on to Myrtle Beach.