Johnson Square is the first and largest square built of Savannah in Oglethorpe’s grand plan of 24 squares. Placing a government and religious building in proximity of each corner for the squares, the squares create activity and community. My goal for this painting was to play with the grand scale and all the activity and architecture I observed in views from center. Marion, a local flute player, has a routine of entertaining from Johnson to Wright Square.
Orleans Square at the center has an emerald green fountain of frogs cast in design. This fountain dedicated to the German immigrants of Savannah. Orleans is named after the Battle of 1815 that I symbolized in 18 blue American frogs circulating an inner circle of 15 red British frogs. Orleans Square is one of many calm squares sitting in dappled sunlight.
Liberty Square, lost to urban development now stands as a strip of maintained landscaping between a driveway that leads to Chatham County Courthouse entrance. Named after “Sons of Liberty” my goal for Liberty Square in observing the current scene for patterns, I found graceful palm trees and rectangular modern windows reflecting the warmth of sun. Liberty like Elbert Square in being the two developed over squares are the smallest paintings in the Savannah Square series and both have fringed edges.
Telfair Square is the only square named after an entire family. Mary Telfair, outlived her siblings and donated the mansion to Georgia that showcased the collections. The museum opened to the public in 1886, making it the oldest public art museum in the South and the first museum in the United States founded by a woman. My observation goals captured the yellow stucco, mosaic columns, floral architectural motif and took note of Mary being the first founder of the art museum. I was so excited to learn about her love of art through travel and interest in sharing her experiences with Savanna. I chose a repeat pattern from a recent course at SCAD to create the composition.
Elbert Square is situated near City Market in Savannah. Oglethorpe designed Savannah Squares during an Age of Enlightenment where Knowledge, Equality and Human Experience were at the forefront of mindset. My goal for Ellis Square was to capture the shared joy of sun, water and togetherness in our city. The pattern of friends in groups in dappled sunlight and colorful swimwear reflects the equality Oglethorpe sought after for his own friends prior to his Savannah days.
Franklin Square is named for Ben Franklin, as he was an agent for Georgia yet in my observation noticed the floral motif upon the Haitian soldiers hats. The center sculpture of Haitian soldiers memorializes the 545 soldiers who contributed to Savannah during the war. My goal in observing this decorative motif launched an idea to create a linoleum stamp. In printing the overlapping layers of the motif the form took on a transparent and opaque print that spoke to the history of life and footsteps of today that visit the active Franklin Square.
Elbert Square along with Liberty Square has been impacted by urban development. I noticed in the strip of manicured land the thriving hydrangeas. Upon further research of Samual Elbert, commanding victorious American colonial forces in a naval battle during the Revolutionary War near St. Simon’s eader of peace and negotiation, I learned The Samuel Elbert Hotel is the most famous hotel in the 200-year history of Elberton, Georgia.