On April 24th, the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) kicks off their 30th Sidewalk Arts Festival in Savannah’s historic Forsyth Park, adding an entire new palette of colors to the springtime botanical bliss of azaleas and lilies.
If sidewalk chalk viewing doesn’t sound like the highbrow art experience you have in mind, let me convince you otherwise. Imagine 1,000 students, prospective students, and alumni of a top-rated art school turn 850 of the park’s sidewalk squares into 850 canvases for an outdoor exhibit. Majors of photography, animation, jewelry design, and film all see a blank canvas in these “blocks.” Each SCAD competitor, individual or team, has the opportunity to express their creative diversity during this annual competition.
This is a perfect opportunity to witness local Savannah: A city animated by an eclectic population of city natives and hipster “Scaddies.” To add to this year’s package, the Forsyth Park Visitors Center opened its doors to the public this past February, after nearly 30 years of planning and renovations. (Long gone are the days of walking miles in search of a bottle of water and a public restroom.) The center also boasts the newly renovated outdoor performance stage, and a café managed by its famous neighbor across the street, the Mansion on Forsyth Park.
The “chalk-off” commences at 11:00 a.m. this Saturday. Contestants are given three hours to design, and the results of the competition are announced by 5:00 p.m. But even if you don’t witness the exhibit in the making, it remains until the rain clears the canvas for next year. — J.T. Blatty
Photo: J.T. Blatty