Visit Savannah, support art league

Published 8:44 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On a cool October day in Virginia, it might be difficult to imagine what springtime is like in Savannah, Ga.

However, the Suffolk Art League is holding a trip to Savannah in March 2010 as a fundraiser for the organization. Visitors will stay in the Staybridge Suites in the historic waterfront area, within walking distance of many of the town’s historic attractions.

“Savannah in March will be just wonderful,” Linda Bunch, Suffolk Art League executive director, said. “It’s already springtime down there. After a long, cold winter, it will be a great way to warm your bones and have an early spring in Savannah.”

The trip will depart Suffolk on March 18, with light breakfast and lunch on the way on a motor coach with restroom. Visitors will arrive in Savannah in the evening, where they can see the sights or settle in for the evening.

Friday will be filled with a guided sightseeing tour of Savannah, a docent-led tour of the Telfair Museum and self-guided tours of the Jepson Art Gallery, Owens-Thomas Historic House Museum and Paterre Garden. Visitors also can do sightseeing on their own.

On March 20, the bus will leave for Beaufort, N.C., where visitors can take advantage of a historic tour or shopping opportunities. The bus will stop in Roanoke Rapids for dinner, with light snacks and beverages on the way.

Reservations must be made by Nov. 1, at which time a deposit of $240 is required. The final payment of $235 is due by Jan. 15. From each ticket, $100 is tax deductible and will help fund arts education programs in Suffolk schools and at the Suffolk Museum.

“Now only is it going to be a great trip, you’re helping a wonderful organization,” Bunch said. “Like most nonprofits, we are trying to do some creative fundraising.”

The attractions in Savannah represent some of the state’s most architecturally unique and historical buildings. The Telfair Museum, designed in the neoclassical Regency style, was the 1800s mansion of Alexander Telfair, son of Georgia governor Edward Telfair, according to the museum’s Web site. In 1875, the family’s heir bequeathed the house and its furnishings to the Georgia Historical Society to be opened as a museum. The building was opened to the public in 1886 after extensive renovations, serving as the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences. Numerous paintings and sculptures are displayed in its rooms, with major works in the American Impressionism and Ashcan School Realism styles.

The Owens-Thomas House is considered by architectural historians to be one of the finest examples of English Regency architecture in America, according to its Web site. Also built in the 1800s for a wealthy family, the house has since served as a lodging house and now is a house museum. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

The Jepson Center, opened in 2006, features more than 7,500 square feet of gallery space for traveling exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as installations of works from its permanent collection. It also features educational programming in the auditorium, as well as an interactive gallery.

A limited number of seats are available for the trip. For more information or to make your reservation, call 925-0448.