6 Stylish Artists


Southern style can be hard to define when it comes to art. As we think about what Southern style truly means, some of our favorite Southern artists—who have either worked hard to define their own terms of Southern style or have stumbled upon it gracefully—keep coming to mind.

Whether they are well-known painters like Daniel Smith, who has a permanent gallery in the Telfair Museums, or artist Mollie Youngblood, who just recently opened up her first gallery and shop in downtown Savannah, these six artists are the epitome of artistic Southern style.


1. b. moody

Behind the quirkiness  of his Southern charm, and behind the face of a local Savannah real estate agent, you can find Bradford Moody—better known as b. moody—painting new works of art right here in the Lowcountry. Moody explores social issues such as race, religion, gender, power, and redemption through his artwork, so it’s no coincidence that the Southern culture here has impacted the heart behind his works.

Moody notes that Savannah is a completely different ball game for him. The culture and history in this town has helped to shape his works, fighting against the well-rooted injustices found in Southern culture.

“Lots of that stuff is based on what I observed in Savannah,” Moody says. “It’s like a throwback to the 50s, and lots of that stuff is fascinating to me.”

For Moody, it’s all about expressionism, and that in itself sets him apart from many other artists in Savannah. Taking inspiration from an artist like Basquiat, Moody hones and garners a passion for taking the cultural norms of a place like Savannah and places them in the spotlight with his paintings, essentially making a social commentary with most of his paintings.

Through it all though, his focus is on capturing feelings and emotions, and in exploring the many different experiences he’s taken in living in the South.


2. Robert Morris

Perhaps it was meant to  be that the Georgia Ports’ Senior Director of Corporate Communications Robert Morris would call the Savannah River his office, his home, and his studio. His trade with the ports provides a vital creative concert that fuels his craft and allows his art to remain fresh, vibrant, and as alive as the River itself..

“When I paint or create, one hat comes off and another comes alive,” Morris says, “and it is somewhere in the middle ground—the interaction, even the conflict that informs both parts of the brain—that I find original ideas, motive for metaphor, and sense of place.”

On the note of the past and its force for the future of Savannah and Southern art as a whole, Robert sees Savannah transforming into an international “art capitol.” As he observes and paints that progress, he hopes his work, his art, will make people think and, if they feel the energy of the River he paints, impact their sense of humanity.

“What makes art Southern is our connections to each other, to history, and to the land,” Morris says. “With that depth comes the opportunity to express so many different ideas rooted in passion, hope and spirituality.”


3. Daniel Smith

Some people go on hikes ; some people take walks through the park—but Daniel Smith? He likes to paint the meditative sites many people long to see or walk into. A local Savannah artist from New York, Smith is a landscape and abstract artist that likes to dig deep into the art of painting spaces that people can get a sense of peace from.

“I’ve always expressed myself best through drawing or painting,” says Smith. “Even when I was very, very young, and even though I never showed anyone, I had books on books full of drawings.”

Experimental with elements such as color and form, Smith draws his inspiration from landscapes and the many endangered marshes he sees around him in the Lowcountry. His heart for environmental surroundings has currently lead him to an exploration of endangered landscapes, which he says has increased pace in the last 20 years and is an effect of the mechanical lifestyle of human beings.

At the end of the day, his art goes beyond the touch of a Southern culture, and beyond the influence of having a love for the environment—at the end of the day, it’s all about understanding the importance of your surroundings and digging deep into that meditation.


4. Bin Feng

Artist Bin Feng's Journey from Shanghai to the Southern city of Savannah established a vision within himself to communicate with people beyond his artwork, which consists of photography, video installations, and even sculptural art.

“I would like to visualize everyday life experiences living here in the South,” says Feng. “When I first came here, my language was really bad, so the language barrier became the motivation of making all the artwork. I have the desire to want to communicate with people,   but the language barrier stopped me, so that inspired me to want to emphasize on the visual components rather than the language.”

Feng attributes his desire for wanting to pursue a full time career as an artist to his college experience in Shanghai, working with some of the best artists in the city. In fact, it was the bicultural shock of transitioning to such a different culture in the U.S. that altered his vision as an artist for the better.

Recently, 220 of Feng’s works were showcased at HAZA, a contemporary art gallery owned by artist and currator Christina Zanetti. Out of all these works, ranging from collections such as “Pin Man,” to “The American Dream,” Feng is sure to mirror that of his cultural struggle here in the U.S.


5. Mollie Youngblood

Thankfully for artist Mollie Youngblood, Savannah has always been open-minded when it comes to art, despite its oftentimes conservativeness. Youngblood graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007 with a B.F.A. in Painting, and after a few years of teaching privately, opened her own gallery and shop called Bohemia South.

Layered in hand-painted recycled sheets, armchairs upholstered with patchwork, and a mass of plants in eclectic jars and pots—situated at the south end of Forsyth Park in Savannah—the shop parallel’s Youngblood’s own artistic style: Bohemian, infused with Southern.

Youngblood’s work ranges from carefully crafted jewelry, hand-painted baby and women’s clothes, mixed media paintings, and more. But no matter what ingenious artwork she creates, it will always adhere to her aspirations as an artist: to introduce a little fun to Southern style.

“Savannah is quirky, but I think in every traditional home there are the exact same things I sell here, but in a traditional way,” Youngblood says. “You could have your gorgeous white sofa and put this quirky patchwork upholstered throw pillow on it to spice it up. A lot of things are traditional. I just do it in a funky way.”


6. Shea Slemmer

Years before Shea  Slemmer opened her first artist’s studio in Savannah in 2003, her first canvases were the walls of her childhood home on a five-acre self sustaining organic farm on the edge of the Ocala National Forest in Florida.

“I didn’t make a conscious decision to go on an artistic path. I was already on one,” she explains.

Shea’s path would take her from Ocala to the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, and eventually to Brooklyn and Savannah where she splits her time between the studios she owns and maintains in both cities.

Currently, her Savannah-influenced art comes to life in an old, not-yet-renovated, yet possibility-  packed church near the beginnings of the Starland Village.

“I am a process artist,” she says. “That means it’s not about the end-result of the painting—it’s about the creation of the painting.”

Because part of the artistry in Shea’s work is her process, the work she creates in her Brooklyn studio radiates a contrasting energy to her Savannah art.

“New York is a noisy, safety-yellow swirl of energy, and Savannah is a sticky cicada song after an afternoon thunderstorm,” says Slemmer. “It’s very different and my work reflects that. I see Savannah’s art scene busting through a glass ceiling and it has never been a more exciting time to live here.”

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Events Calendar

  • "Keita Takahashi: Zooming Out" Exhibition at Telfair Musuems

    Jan 24, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Telfair Museums hosts the first museum survey of the work of visionary videogame designer Keita Takahashi (Japanese, b. 1975). Takahashi is noted...

  • "The Prints of Dame Laura Knight" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Jan 19, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Telfair Museums' Jepson Center

    Telfair Museums exhibits nine prints by Dame Laura Knight (British, 1877-1970), together for the first time since they were acquired by the museum...

  • Fashion Show & Luncheon

    Feb 20, 2019
    11:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ The Plantation Club, The Landings

    Vendor Fair Fun Runway Fashion Show with local celebrities including former Mayor Edna Jackson, Tina Tyus-Shaw, Dawn Baker, Cynthia DeLoach,...

  • 2019 American Traditions Vocal Competition

    Feb 18, 2019
    12:00 PM - 12:00 PM @ Skidaway Island UMC & The Trustees Theater

    The 2019 American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) will be held Feb. 18-22, 2019. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit...

  • 2019 Groundhog Day 2.2 Mile Virtual Race

    Feb 20, 2019
    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM @ YOUR CHOICE

    February 20th is Love Your Pet Day! We want to celebrate all of the animals we love so much with a Love Your Pet Day 5K & 10K! We will be...

  • "A Star is Born"

    Feb 20, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    The last feature in our run up to the Academy Awards Feb. 24 is, of course, “A Star is Born!!”In this new take on the tragic love story,...

  • Fundamentals of Salsa On2 (Mambo Style)

    Jan 16, 2019
    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Fit912savannah

    Fundamentals of Salsa On2 (Mambo Style)    Fundamentals of Salsa On2 (Mambo style) is for beginners and advanced beginners  of this type of...

  • The American Traditions Vocal Competition

    Feb 18, 2019
    7:30 PM - 8:00 PM @ Skidaway Island UMC

    The American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) returns for its highly anticipated 26th anniversary season Feb. 18-22, 2019. With an outstanding...

  • Fundamentals of Bachata

    Jan 16, 2019
    8:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ fit912savannah

    Fundamentals of Bachata    Come learn the sensual dance of Bachata with us. We're a small Savannah group and  would love to expand it with dance...

  • Savannah Black Heritage Festival

    Feb 01, 2019
    All Day @ Savannah

    The Savannah Black Heritage Festival (SBHF) is a professionally produced, multi-disciplinary festival, and it is one of the many ethnic cultural...

  • License to Chill Snow Island

    Nov 16, 2018
    All Day @ Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

    Margaritaville at Lanier Islands is preparing for a winter wonderland makeover that will surprise and delight local residents and travelers...

  • Balletomane: Paintings by Spain’s Antonio Torres

    Feb 01, 2019
    All Day @ R. Alexander Fine Art

    The show will be on display at R. Alexander from February 1- March 2, 2019. In conjunction with Atlanta Ballet, a special opening reception will be...

  • 23rd Annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration

    Feb 01, 2019
    All Day @ Hilton Head Island

    The Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration showcases the rich cultural heritage of theGullah people and their history on Hilton Head Island. Hilton...

  • Opioid Alternatives & Resources Seminar

    Feb 21, 2019
    4:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Richmond Hill City Center

    The Bryan County Opioid Prevention Project (BCOPP) is hosting an Opioid Alternatives & Resources Seminar for healthcare professionals Thursday,...

  • Girl Scouts Thin Mint Throwdown

    Feb 21, 2019
    5:30 PM @ Cohen's Retreat

    Join Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia and Buy Local Savannah for the Fourth Annual Thin Mint Throwdown! Enjoy the best networking in town and...

  • Brews for a Cause

    Feb 21, 2019
    5:30 PM - 7:00 PM @ Jazz'd Tapas Bar

    South Magazine and Southern Eagle presents BREWS FOR A CAUSE, Thursday February 21st, 2019.  Once a month, join a collection of like-minded...

  • Piano in the Arts-Music of the Americas

    Feb 21, 2019
    7:30 PM @ Armstrong Fine Arts Auditorium

  • Cinema Circle: The Kid

    Feb 21, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Trustees Theater

    Journey through the era of silent film with "The Kid" (1921), Charlie Chaplin's first full-length feature masterpiece, where he served as director,...

  • World of Illusion at Savannah Theatre

    Feb 21, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah Theatre

    The Savannah Theatre is presenting this incredible blend of comedy, close-up magic, and grand illusion featuring two dynamic, world-class acts for...

  • Chefs & Chocolates

    Feb 22, 2019
    7:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Kehoe Ironworks at Trustees' Garden

    Please join Urban Hope for our 9th Annual Chefs and Chocolates Taste of Hope!

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Scenes of the South

Hearts for Healing Gala

The Faith Equestrian's Annual Hearts for Healing Gala at Tybee Wedding Chapel on Friday evening started out with a bang as the Free Spirit Orchestra' violin twins played their rendition of some of the greatest musical hits. The attendees were reminded what the event was all about as the founder Bonnie Rachael was recognized after story after story was shared to a room of teary eyed party-goers. Congrats to event director Bonnie Karr and her amazing team for a job well done!

The Cure Gala

Sisters on a journey sold out to a crowd of over 600 mainly female partygoers as they celebrated a night dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer.This special dinner featured unique, individually-themed table decorations, a silent auction, live auction, and a room full of big generous hearts. The event was held at the beautiful trustees garden, Charlie Morris's masterpiece of a venue.

Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association's 22nd Annual Southern Heart Ball took place on February 2, 2019 and celebrated all the life-saving advances made so far while raising funds to continue to further AHA's mission. The black-tie gala brought together more than 400 guests to enjoy a night of dining, dancing, live entertainment and both live and silent auctions. Those in attendance got to hear the story of Lily Cochran, who was born with several congenital heart defects. Her father, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, also had a heart disease and was honored at the event.

PUTTING Away Crime

On Saturday, January 12, 2019 Savannah helped McGruff the Crime Dog take a bite out of crime at the Crimestoppers Savannah's 3rd Annual Putt Putt Mini Golf Tournament held at Island Miniature Golf and Game on Wilmington Island. Proceeds went to helping fund rewards for the Crimestopper's anonymous crime tip line.

Dining in the Dark

On Saturday, January 12, 2019, the 3rd Annual Dining in the Dark event presented by The Charles C. Taylor and Samir Nikocevic Charitable Foundation benefitting the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, was held at the Embassy Suites/Downtown Savannah.

Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2018

Savannah's 39 Rue De Jean celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day, the official end of this year’s growing season. Harvest is complete and vintners—especially in France—are ready to celebrate the completion of the harvest. Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine that is annually released on the third Thursday in November. Nouveau wine undergoes a very short fermentation process, and yields an extremely fresh and fruity wine.

A Chefs Collaborative

This five course dinner held at Pacci Italian Kitchen and Bar allowed guests to taste exceptional flavors steeped in tradition. Included were the culinary skills of Chef Adam Barnett of The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, Winston-Salem, NC, Chef Robert Hoffman of Angeline’s Charlotte, NC, Chef Daniel Gorman of The Henley Nashville, TN, Chef Sebastien Rondier of Brabo, Alexandria, VA, and Chef Lauren Teague of PACCI Italian Kitchen + Bar.

East and West BBQ

A whole hog BBQ showcase, from two of the south’s most legendary Pitmasters, Pat Martin and Sam Jones. Hosted by Alida Hotel this event was a fabulous juxtaposition between Eastern North Carolina style BBQ and Western Tennessee style. Made possible by the Savannah Food and Wine Festival.

Savannah Food & Wine Fest

Hundreds came to experience Southern charm and hospitality, Savannah Style. The South's best culinary happenings - one exceptional week in Savannah. Iconic and historic coastal venues provided the perfect backdrop for gourmet and fun. South magazine captured the experience at the VIP tent.

Big Wig Boat Bash

Savannah's Riverboat, The Georgia Queen set sail to host the final fundraiser for the 2018 class of Big Wigs, together raising over $100,000 for the Susan G. Komen Coastal Georgia Foundation. This evening included heavy hors d’oeuvres, beverages, a silent auction, music and dancing and a contest to crown the Biggest BigWig! Contest categories included: The Biggest Wig, The Pink Ribbon Award and Best Pink Personality.