While in my local Barnes & Noble Booksellers today, I ran into an old gallery partner of mine. Grace is a print-maker, and does wonderful work in her medium. We were partner-owners, with a handful of other artists in The Gallery, which is now closed. Grace promptly offered me a slot in a co-op gallery she’s involved with, also in Savannah, a generous and flattering offer which I politely refused. I’m ‘over’ the brick and mortar gallery pace and struggle, and of creating work solely to sold. Grace, true to her name, understood and with a warm hug, we parted ways.
However, seeing Grace did bring back fond memories from my years in The Gallery. From time to time, The Gallery artists would collaborate on a themed project, usually based on some local event or happening in the Savannah area. One such event was the city-wide celebration of singer/songwriter Johnny Mercer’s 100th birthday. Johnny Mercer was a Savannah native, and a key event in the festivities was the unveiling of a statue in honor of Mercer in the newly refurbished Ellis Square, which sits adjacent to the City Market Shops where The Gallery was located. The square had been razed and converted to a parking lot in the 1960’s, and as a part of Mercer’s birthday event, The Gallery artists decided to create works based on selected song titles written by Mercer.
Browsing through Mercer’s song catalog, a staggering collection of over 1,500 titles, (among Mercer’s hits were ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’, ‘Moon River’, ‘Hooray for Hollywood’, and ‘Fools Rush In.’ He also penned the lesser known ‘Hooray for Spinach’ and ‘I can Spell Banana’), I chose the enticing song title, ‘Weekend of a Private Secretary.’ I knew Michelle would be a perfect model for the project, and I spent a warm fall afternoon shooting with her in her little Savannah apartment. The works you see here were my selections for the show. I’m proud to say that both prints sold to a well known Savannah painter and to have some of my work in his private collection is a tremendous compliment.
More work is to follow, including some new and some old, which I’ve not shown before. Of course, your input and comments are always welcomed. Thank you.