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Close-up of artist Tricia Cookson's 2016 Boxed In/Break Out installation at Telfair Museums' Jepson Center in Savannah, GA.
Close-up of artist Tricia Cookson's 2016 Boxed In/Break Out installation.

By Erin Dunn, Assistant Curator

I like art when you least expect it. In a phone booth, down a side street, inside an otherwise empty room. That’s why when I was challenged to think about what the east-side windows at the Jepson Center could be used for, I knew I wanted it to be a site-specific art installation. An art intervention. Instead of looking for a particular artist or already-made work that fit haphazardly in the challenging space, I turned to the creative community of Savannah.

The inaugural call to artists in the spring of 2016 generated over 25 submitted proposals by local artists. Each subsequent year, this annual call for entries continues to grow and invite creative ideas for an unusual space. Each time, I am amazed by the sheer variety of proposals that consider the space as an opportunity rather than a challenge. And the windows do indeed offer a unique advantage in comparison to the art within the walls of the Jepson Center. Because the windows are on the façade of the Jepson Center and face a public sidewalk, the works inside the glass are available for public viewership at every hour of the day. They often stop visitors in their tracks or invite a camera snapshot. Visitors have probably walked past these windows many times, but now there is something to hold their attention and delight the eye in the most wonderfully unexpected way.

Importantly, Boxed In/Break Out has also become an integral part of Telfair Museums’ #art912 program, which is an initiative dedicated to raising the visibility and promoting the vitality of artists living and working in Savannah through exhibition opportunities, public programs, and outreach. Each year, we invite artists to submit their proposals for this site-specific, public installation. Don’t miss your chance!

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