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.  

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