Art fair takes over downtown Savannah


Megan McGinnis, Staff Writer

Last weekend at the 21st annual Telfair Art Fair, hundreds of people had a chance to explore 85 artist booths, taste food from local vendors, take children to a painting lesson, or simply relax at any of the six concerts performed.

Artists from across the continent participated in the event, some traveling from as far as Ontario, Canada. 24 of the participants were from Georgia and seven were from Savannah. Painters, sculptors, and even graphic designers were present among the booths.

The art fair allows artists to introduce themselves to the community and to people who otherwise would not attend an art gallery or show.  

“I’m in a lot of galleries, but this allows more control over the sales and more one-on-one with my clients,” said Victoria Jackson, a painter from Woodstock, GA. “It also gets my name out there. I do a lot of commission work, so it’s important for my customers to know these things.”

It also gives budding and experimental artists a chance to display their work. For example, Joy Davis and Polly Cooper are two ceramists working out of Isle of Hope, and while neither are exactly new to the game (Polly has been doing ceramics for over 50 years), their innovative art style is. The duo specializes in a type of ceramic tile mural with 3-D elements and even have an 8×4 mural going into a new Isle of Hope school.

“I’m really curious to see what others think because what we’re doing is really unique. The feedback is the best part about these festivals because you have all these people coming through and everyone always has something to say,” said Davis. “People are really curious about it.”

The festival doesn’t only act as a means for artists to get their names and works out there. It’s also a competition between the booths, the grand prize being the $5,000 Carolyn Luck McElveen Best of Show Award. The winner on Saturday was David Russell, a glassworker from Camden, SC.

Other prizes included the Low Country award, given to an artist from the area; the Bronze award, essentially third place and winner of $1000; and the Silver award, which grants second place and $2000. The winners were Carol Joy Shannon, Leif Johansen, and Hongsock Lee, respectively.

As the Telfair Museum is a nonprofit organization, all proceeds from the event are considered donations and used to fund educational opportunities to children and adults alike.

“One of the Telfair’s main missions is to bring art to everyone, to people of all walks of life,” said April Mundy, the event’s coordinator. “This event in particular really helps with that, what with being an open market, open to the public, and encouraging young families to come.”

Mundy added “It’s very important to the museum to continue to promote artwork through children, and the main benefit from this project is for this [the money] to go back into the funding for educational programs.”

Anyone interested in what the Telfair Museum has to offer is encouraged to attend the next Moveable Feast lecture, which will take place in the Telfair Academy rotunda beneath Julian Story’s famous painting The Black Prince at Crecy on Nov. 19 at 6:30.


*featured image via