From Cathy Solomons

Cathy Solomons “Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your  seat belts, raise your seatbacks and tray tables to their upright and locked positions and prepare for landing.”

I feel as though I have been given the opportunity and rare privilege to pilot a magnificent aircraft on a fascinating journey. At the outset, while reviewing the pre-flight checklist and the magnitude of the responsibilities before me, I must admit there was a certain allure to the “autopilot” option. It was only the superior skills and dedication of the Telfair’s professional staff and the unbelievable talents and support of the Board of Trustees that encouraged me to resist that temptation and to lead with my heart and enthusiasm. Surrounded and supported by a broad array of passionate and devoted volunteers, the speed at which these eight months have flown by is simply breathtaking.

As we prepare to land, there is no need to gather your belongings or to place the “occupied” card in your seat. You may rest assured that your ongoing place with the Telfair is reserved. I am truly looking forward to sitting in the passenger section with you, as Lisa Grove takes all of us to new heights. Below, I have the privilege of sharing with you just a few highlights of the next leg of our upcoming journey together.

Leo Villareal is a pioneer in the use of LEDs and computer-driven imagery, known both for his light sculptures and architectural, site-specific works. This exhibition represents his first major traveling museum survey and, with its catalogue, explores how his work presents a new vision of art, using computer code and new technology as a medium for abstraction. We will also be using the work of this visionary pioneer to present a math and science curriculum to thousands of local area students.

Leo Villareal lends itself beautifully and will indeed become the centerpiece of Telfair Museums’ PULSE Art and Technology Festival, when it returns for its 2012 edition. This high-energy week of exhibitions, performances, lectures, workshops and events draws strongly from a younger audience and is always a time of great activity in and around the Telfair.

Also catapulting from the Villareal exhibition, the 2012 Telfair Ball has chosen Illume for its theme. The ever popular Ball will again include the Thursday night Silent Art Auction that was so well received and supported last year, as well as the return of the Telfair Bash, which was enjoyed by so many of the Telfair’s younger members.

A Native Son: Paintings by West Fraser will offer a soothing and familiar counterpoint to the abovementioned exhibitions and events. Despite coming of age at a time when modernism and abstraction has achieved a firm hold on the prevailing modes of art instruction throughout the country, West Fraser has remained a traditionalist, earning a place among the region’s leading practitioners of traditional realism.

The Artful Table: Celebrations with Inspirations by Barry Dixon will be TAG‘s 2012 edition of this popular spring fundraising event. One of the nation’s most sought after designers, Dixon’s work is featured frequently in Veranda, Southern Accents, and House Beautiful, as well as in his two books. Spring will also see the opening of Juliette Gordon Low and her Contemporaries in Savannah’s Art Scene, where as part of the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Girl Scouts, Telfair Museums will take a look at Low’s significant interest in the arts, including her leading role in the Savannah art scene in the early 20th century as a founding member of the Savannah Art Club. Slavery by Another Name: Paintings and Assemblages by Robert Clairborne Morris will continue the dialogue begun by the Telfair’s ground-breaking symposium on urban slavery this past year. Inspired by author Douglas A. Blackmon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, the exhibition showcases a collection of mixed media works created to “awaken complex emotions and promote reconciliation.”

Awarm and enthusiastic welcome to Lisa Grove. And to all of you, once again my deepest gratitude and appreciation for your tremendous support and the opportunity you have given me. I look forward to continuing our journey together.

– Cathy Solomons

Interim Director