This past weekend, Telfair Museums hosted its annual Art Fair. As a part of that celebration, on Saturday the Jepson Center waived attendance fees and the Education Department welcomed all comers with art activities in the atrium and in our two studios. We were thrilled by how many of you brought your families to visit.
Despite the crowds, there was a pervasive mood of harmony; everywhere there were happily engaged children and parents, making the most amazingly creative art. A lot of factors combined to make the day such a triumph. We have a hard-working staff, beautiful facilities, and it was a gorgeous day. But I have to hand over bragging rights for this success to our volunteers and the part-time staff that came in to assist.
Early Saturday morning, on the landing of the Jepson Center’s main staircase, Alice Jepson herself was helping families find their way to the studios. Mrs. Jepson also assisted in the studio together with Education Intern Nikki Gasser. Nikki, together with fellow interns Emily Kearney-Williams and Erica Pierce, recruited and brought along new volunteers. Our newbies are Kara Haywood, Darcy Melton, and Lizzie Jarecki. Nikki, Emily, Erica, Kara, Darcy and Lizzie are all students at Savannah Arts Academy, and each one provided that kind of thoughtful support that makes all the difference. Addison Rankin, our newest SCAD intern, showed her dedication by joining us even though she was about to begin an intimidating finals week. Caryn Turgeon, our Tour and Docent Coordinator, brought in her weekend guest, Allison Furkey, who traveled from New York to spend her birthday with us. Alison folded herself into the Education department as if she had always been with us, and even came back on Monday to lend a hand again before she caught her flight back.
A few of our Education Specialists and a former intern also turned out. Carl Fougrousse and Marisa Lilje set up easels to teach the life drawing skills often featured in their Telfair classes. Eric Clark, Youth Education Specialist extraordinare, greated participants and took on the most difficult aspect of our Bottle Animals project. Camila Donoso, last year’s Tennebaum Intern, part-time professional photographer, and current President of the Museum Teen Council, took “Arty Face” photographs of each kid coming through that day. Also, Tracey Whitbeck, a senior at Armstrong Atlantic University, came in to not only show off her awesomeness, but also showcased her potential as a teacher. Tracey, who has connections, scored a great deal on the pizzas that kept us going strong through the afternoon.
This combined team of interns, volunteers and part-time staff worked steadily for hours. Everyone exemplified that combination of high standards and warm, fun, educational atmosphere we strive to maintain. It was undeniably apparent that they all enjoyed the work, and their lighthearted energy was infectious. They greeted each new set of visitors as if they were the first, and it was their cheerful spirit that characterized the day. Check out these photos and see for yourself.