Telfair Museums – Part 3
From the Greek sculptures of the Academy to the real life historical monuments of slavery around the Civil War, the Telfair museums chart a great deal of history within their exhibition spaces. The anomaly here is the drastically more modern building and exhibition space at the Jepson Center. Causing a two year controversy preceding its inception due to the Historic board combating such a contemporary space in a clearly historied area, the passionate people behind this place made it happen. Here the Telfair suite brings guests into the heart of the 20th century and extends its hands way into the beyond. Unlike the morose nature of the slave quarters and the tired classical sophistication of the academy, this third part of the collective is unquestionably the brightest, most fun and profoundly child friendly.
What you can expect here is art in all forms, primarily mediums that push the boundaries of convention and those that use technological innovations to create new artworks. Unlike the static canvases on gallery walls that you may be more akin to, here the space invites you often to engage with the art in new ways. Supporting works in photography, video, games and more the new ideas presented here bring an excitement that ‘standard’ galleries simply cant muster.
A great place for younger visitors is the Artzeum. This open and fully interactive space is designed with children in mind and helps both kids and adults open their minds to the possibilities of what art can be. With a mix of tactile and digital pieces here you can put yourself in a painting or create 3D shapes like magic. With a glass wall designed for constructive criticism where you can tell the gallery your opinion or just let loose a little bit of your own creativity, this area seamlessly relieves some of he boredom the energetic young ones may feel in galleries.
On display now is Derek G. Larson’s full length animation Très Mall, a colourful depiction of artists and writers from Savannah told through the story of Jon who inherits a strip mall. Also, Erin Johnson displays her latest exhibition Heavy Water which looks at the controversial South Carolina Savannah River Site, where a nuclear facility threatens to harm the nature of a national park. Savannah based artist Bertha Husband also has some work here titled walking the horizon. Here she uses bold images and text to highlight political and social issues though strings of imagery.
Embracing new ideas, the Jepson Center also opens its arms out to artists local to the region. With its program #art912, an initiative which seeks to bring focus and opportunity to Savannah artists, the museum is doing fantastic things for the community right now. Despite the horrific errors of the close-minded people of the past, just like the slave owners who lived in savannah, today technology has helped us communicate our ideas further than ever before. By engaging young people with the idea of equality, and by enlightening their minds with the ways art can be made, here you can see a progressive view of art and civilisation. This part of the three museum pieces shows that everyone can come together to work towards a brighter and better and more colourful future.