In addition to its several art museums, Savannah has a surprising number of commercial and community galleries for a city of its size. Due in part to the influence of the Savannah College of Art and Design, the city is an important regional locus for new and established artists.
The greatest concentration of places to see art in Savannah is around City Market, a pedestrianized area of small shops, boutiques and restaurants between Franklin and Ellis Squares, where many local artists have their studios and galleries.
A few more art galleries can be found on and around tourist-oriented River Street, but most of the other galleries within the Historic District are within an area running southward through the city within a few blocks either side of Bull Street, continuing past Forsyth Park through Savannah’s less well-known Victorian neighborhood to the Starland District, currently emerging as the city’s newest arts quarter.
The easiest way to enjoy Savannah’s galleries is to browse them by yourself, but organised art walks are another way to experience Savannah’s art scene.
Two walks currently run: the four-times-yearly Art March Parade & Festival which is oriented more toward the Starland District and Victorian District galleries and cafés; and the Second Saturday Art Walk, which tours Savannah’s downtown galleries once per month. Registration is required for the Saturday event; both are free to attend.
An additional art- and community-focused event in the Starland District is held on the first Friday of every month. More details
City Market & Vicinity
City Market: West St Julian Street
Most of City Market’s artists are located on the 300 block of West St Julian Street, in the north and south Franklin Ward Buildings to either side of the pedestrianized road. Inside the Art Center on the second floor of the south building are more studios and galleries displaying art by local Savannah artists (you can sometimes see them at work).
Galleries in the City Market’s south building include The Savannah Gallery, which shows glass and ceramic arts; Luba Lowry’s portraits and Savannah scenes; the studio of local sculptor Susie Chisholm (sculptor of the Johnny Mercer statue in adjacent Ellis Square); Ukrainian artist Oksana Gruszka’s architectural Savannah scenes and nature-themed paintings at Oksana Fine Art Gallery & Studio; plus the galleries and studios of numerous other artists working in glass, photography, jewelry and paint.
Gullah-Geechee and African-inspired art can be found at Sabree’s Gallery, at Samantha Claar’s Gullah Living and William Kwamena-Poh’s Osibisa Fine Art galleries. Haitian-born artist Alix Baptiste displays Caribbean-inspired works at his gallery at 307 West St Julian Street.
Also at City Market is the Brian MacGregor Gallery, displaying contemporary art on a variety of themes; the Signature Gallery of Savannah (303 West St Julian Street) displays the work of several artists working in a variety of media, with opportunities to see the artists at work and discuss their processes.
Stephen Kasun Studio (305 West St Julian Street) shows the artist’s impressionist works, including many Savannah streetscapes and lowcountry landscapes. Next door is AT Hun, (302 West St Julian Street) a gallery which features contemporary art by local and international artists.
Vicinity Of City Market
On the Bryan Street side of City Market (305 West Bryan Street) are the galleries of Jonathan Gregory Keller, specializing in abstract and surrealist art, and Gary W Rife II. The Wayne Chambers Gallery displays Savannah and lowcountry watercolors.
South of Ellis Square, west of Barnard Street, is another cluster of galleries. The Ray Ellis Gallery (205 West Congress Street) displays and sells originals and prints by the late landscape painter Ray Ellis. Many of his works are of southern and Savannah scenes. Kobo Gallery (33 Barnard Street) shows work by a variety of artists.
River Street & Vicinity
Amidst River Street’s many shops and restaurants are a handful of art galleries and places to buy local craft items.
Immediately east of the Drayton Street Ramp is Gallery 209 (209 East River Street, Mon-Sun), which displays a range of paintings, sculptures and other art and craft works by local Savannah artists. Nearby, the Arts & Crafts Emporium of Savannah (40 East Factors Walk) also sells craft objects and art.
Westwards, past the Hyatt, is another arts-and-crafts establishment, Village Craftsmen (223 West River Street, Mon-Sun), a co-operative of artists from Savannah and the lowcountry, displaying art alongside a range of local craft items such as sweetgrass baskets and quilts. The adjacent Goldon House Gallery (220 West Bay Street) sells a mix of art and Asian antiques.
At the far west of River Street, in the shadow of the Talmadge Memorial Bridge, is the Alexander Hall Gallery (at Alexander Hall, 668 Indian Street), a SCAD-operated gallery which displays rotating exhibitions of students’ work.
Bull Street & Vicinity
Bay Street To Forsyth Park
Half a block from the northernmost point of Bull Street is The Butcher Art Gallery (19 East Bay Street, Wed-Mon), a combined tattoo art studio and gallery that shows rotating exhibitions in its display space. A block west of Bull is the Tiffani Taylor Gallery (11 Whitaker Street, Tue-Sun), a single-artist gallery displaying paintings and pottery drawing upon French and Italian themes, with a few local scenes.
Two blocks west of Johnson Square, on the south of Reynolds Square, is the Reynolds Square Fine Art Gallery (31 Abercorn Street, Mon-Sat), which displays the work of several artists working in paint, sculpture and photography, including southern and lowcountry landscapes and themes.
Two blocks south is Broughton Street, where the SCAD-owned Gutstein Gallery (201 East Broughton Street) shows the work of nationally-recognized artists and college alumni. A block west, heading back towards Bull Street, is the Off the Wall Gallery (inside the 45 Bistro at Marshall House, 123 East Broughton Street, Mon-Sat), with several rooms of paintings and photography by Georgia and South Carolina artists.
On the south side of Wright Square is the Liquid Sands Glass Gallery (5 West York Street, Tue-Sun), which displays glass art from dozens of studios across the United States.
After continuing two blocks southwards, a detour 5 blocks east along Oglethorpe Avenue takes you to the Oglethorpe Gallery (406 East Oglethorpe Avenue, open during exhibitions and by appointment), specialising in contemporary art.
Back along Bull Street, south of Chippewa Square is Gallery Espresso, (234 Bull Street, Mon-Sun) a café which also shows rotating exhibitions in its attached gallery space.
Two blocks south of Chippewa Square is the Roots Up Gallery (6 East Liberty Street, Wed-Sat or by appointment), specializing in southern folk art and local artists, with works in a variety of media including paintings, sculpture and pottery. At the same address is Meryl Truett Studio and Gallery (Tue-Sat), which shows photography and works in other media.
Two blocks east of Bull Street along Liberty Street is the Daedalus Gallery (129 East Liberty Street, Mon-Sat), which displays the work of two artists, their subjects including European and lowcountry landscapes. Two blocks further is the SCAD-owned Pinnacle Gallery (320 East Liberty Street).
Back on Bull Street is another SCAD space, ShopSCAD (340 Bull Street, Mon-Sun), displaying works by current staff, students and alumni of the college.
Two blocks east of Monterey Square, on the north side of Calhoun Square, is Galerie 124 (124 East Taylor Street, open by appointment), which shows rotating exhibitions of works by different artists.
West of Monterey Square, near Chatham Square, is the Julia Christian Gallery (114 West Taylor Street, Mon-Fri). The Location Gallery (at Austin Hill Realty, 417 Whitaker Street, Mon-Fri or by appointment), which shows exhibitions of work by local Savannah artists, is on the same block.
A block south of Monterey Square is The Downstairs Gallery (19 West Gordon Street, Wed-Sat), which sells oil and watercolor paintings, including Savannah and lowcountry scenes.
Forsyth Park To Starland District
Along the eastern side of Forsyth Park, the Grand Bohemian Gallery (at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, 700 Drayton Street, Mon-Sun) is a large commercial gallery displaying several hundred works by regional and international artists, including paintings, sculpture and ceramics. The gallery also hosts special exhibitions.
There are a couple more galleries in Savannah’s Victorian District. On the southern side of Forsyth Park is the Sentient Bean Coffee House (13 East Park Avenue, Mon-Sun), considered one of the best coffee shops in Georgia (it is also a vegetarian café), which shows a rotating exhibit of works by local artists. Four blocks south of the park is the city-owned Cultural Arts Gallery (9 West Henry Street, Mon-Fri), which displays local artists’ work.
Five blocks further is the Non-Fiction Gallery (1522 Bull Street), an exhibition space operated by Art Rise Savannah. Continuing southwards along Bull Street leads to Sulfur Studios (2301 Bull Street), which shows rotating exhibitions in varied media.