TAMARA GARVEY: Greatest Nearby Visual Artist 2023 | 2023 Best OF SAVANNAH

Best Neighborhood Visible ARTIST


I meet Tamara Garvey in her sunny, whitewashed brick City Sector studio, right earlier mentioned Vinnie Van GoGo’s. 

Just after 3 many years of functioning total-time from house, the upbeat Garvey took a leap of religion in March to lease the mild-loaded, ethereal corner space for a yr. 

“It was a extremely spur of the second choice. I’m very introverted, and it hit me that I really have far too a lot by yourself-time.”

Despite describing herself as an introvert, Garvey has a pleasant, wide smile and a warm and supportive regard for her fellow Savannah creatives Past July she did not be reluctant to take around Rob Hessler’s WRUU 107.5FM radio broadcast “Art on the Air.” 

Garvey has broadened Hessler’s original access to consist of not only artists, but also musicians and authors (for this reason the new title, “Art(s) on the Air”). You can catch her reside broadcasts on the to start with and 3rd Wednesdays of the month or stream all podcasts on Spotify or Apple. 

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&#13 “Wormsloe, Live Oaks Avenue” is made up of the messages “Trunks have been utilised to make ships” and “There are in excess of 400 Reside Oaks, 1.5 miles prolonged.”&#13

“Even if it is a person you presently know a tiny bit, most people states some thing profound or intriguing,” she suggests, “You find out a good deal.”

Garvey was born in Albany, Ga, and grew up the two there and in Maryland, outside of DC. She gained a degree in biology 

“I thought possibly I was heading to be a medical professional…” from the College of Mary Washington in VA.

 “Then I experienced a few of several years of functioning in the post-911 economic climate before deciding to go again to faculty. I was having a weekend Saturday art course in DC and hating my fulltime job, so I put everything on pause and enrolled in SCAD.”

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&#13 Garvey in her studio. A portray from her well-known outdated-time burglar sequence is in excess of her remaining shoulder).&#13

She graduated SCAD in 2008 with a BFA in Illustration, and rapidly started out advertising her “quirky, cheerful, and whimsical” pen and ink artwork and illustrations of men and women, pets, and Savannah scenes. 

“At the time, the Telfair still had their Art Honest on the square in the tumble. I did that for a couple of many years, bought some parts, and received an Honorable Point out award. That seriously gave me the self-confidence to go to New York and try out to make a residing as an artist.” 

She lived in NYC from 2010 to 2017, had a comprehensive-time position for the to start with three many years, but subsequently supported herself by promoting do the job at the quite a few weekend craft fairs through the town, generally on the Lessen East Aspect.

“I did have this awesome experience where one particular day I was promoting on the road in SoHo and Adam Sandler arrived up. He was donning a baseball cap  and likely for espresso and bagels. He stopped at my table, and he bought a bunch of prints. I was so nervous, my palms had been shaking when I ran his credit history card, and then we chatted about Savannah simply because he’d not too long ago been below filming. I did not get a picture with him, so you will just have to consider my word for it!”

Garvey carries on, “I constantly supposed to appear back to Savannah. I liked it in this article, but I just preferred a even bigger metropolis knowledge for a even though. When I moved again I was 37 and just at that issue in which you notice that if you are not super-rich in a big town, it is really tricky. I moved back again in 2017 and purchased a apartment and now I’m real dug-in.”

We chat about her receiving a 2020 COVID-relief grant from Georgia’s prestigious Judith Alexander Foundation, and about the superb publish-pandemic present she arranged at ARTS Southeast’s Sulfur Studios in Oct of 2021, when she  reunited with fellow SCAD graduates Matt Hebermehl, Katherine Agurcia and Lee Ashburn for the initially time due to the fact they ended up all ready tables at Girl & Sons…

“We had a exhibit with each other in 2008 in the area over B. Matthews. Each of us experienced a home, it was boiling very hot, so considerably enjoyable, and the a short while ago deceased Keith Kozel DJ’d.”

The 2021 reunion exhibition, cleverly named “4 Best,” highlighted Garvey’s florals inspired by walks taken all through lockdown. 

Much more substantial in sizing than her preceding will work on paper, she states, “during COVID  we were inspired to be in character, and I began a sequence of distinctive bouquets which all have traces of poetry or factoids buried in them.” Each and every piece is named just after a poet and was influenced by how character resurged through the pandemic when there was so tiny vehicle visitors and air pollution. The specific bouquets are fragile and transitory, but character rejuvenates each 12 months and can’t be smited.”

The floral paintings reference the two the resiliency of our planet and of the artist in the face of COVID and integrate her love of linework combined with summary washes. She makes use of the a few mediums used in her smaller is effective on paper and in her notecards: ink, that she dips into with “an aged-fashioned pen,” acrylic paint, and “gold leaf for enjoyment.”

COVID was not only accountable for Garvey’s new floral paintings, but  also for increased on the net income. 

“I would sell at the very least one first portray a thirty day period by my web-site which Never took place in advance of that.” She adds, with a chuckle, “The only  inquiries prior to COVID had been clearly spam like, ‘Hello variety sir, my wife is on the lookout for an artwork.’”

Along with fellow Savannah artists Jose Ray (see my Sept.,2021 column) and Stacie Jean Albano (see my April, 2022 column), her paintings of daffodils, cherry blossoms, azaleas and other blooms will be featured in a floral display at the Grand Bohemian Gallery in Charleston. Curated by Katie Stanton Melendez, previous assistant to Carmen Aguirre, director of the former Grand Bohemian Gallery at the Mansion on Forsyth, get the job done hangs via the conclude of June with an opening reception on Friday, Could 12.

 “The other point I’ll have this summer months is a solo clearly show at The Gallery Espresso [234 Bull Street] through July and August.”

Two times a month Garvey can be found at Gallery 209 (winner of Most effective Art Gallery!) at 209 East River St., the place she is a husband or wife. And she is a normal vendor at arts and crafts fairs in Savannah (these kinds of as the Isle of Hope Artwork Honest in Oct) and all over the State (I chatted with her at Howard Finster’s Paradise Backyard at previous September’s Finster Fest). 

Of training course, you can obtain her doing the job most times amongst 10 – 3 pm (apart from Tuesdays and Saturdays) at her Metropolis Industry studio, and you can watch her get the job done whenever at TamaraGarvey.com, and on Instagram @tamgarv. 

Her notecards are marketed in various retailers in the course of Savannah, together with E. Shaver Booksellers and at Wormsloe Historic Site.

By Indana