Savannah has a happening arts scene, which you’ll know if you’ve ever stepped foot into the Downtown Design District. We want to support artists by spotlighting one Savannah, GA, art gallery that celebrates artists as they give shape to their passions: Roots Up Gallery.
They share art from local, regional, and folk artists who possess a “soulful” style. You can find paintings, pottery, and jewelry on display that may inspire the artist in you, too! Read ahead and learn more about this gallery.
WRUU 107.5 Savannah | Art on the Air | Rob Hessler & David Laughlin | Panel: Jerome Meadows, | Leslie Lovell of Roots Up Gallery | Susan Laney | Brian MacGregor
"In the Downtown Design District you’ll find Roots Up Gallery, a stand out in Savannah’s art scene in its focus on Southern folk and outsider art. Owned by Leslie Lovell, Roots Up celebrates its fifth anniversary on May 1 with the exhibition In the Moment, featuring the nationally exhibited, untamed animal portraits of Helen Durant. Lovell’s gallery offers a true, flavorful taste of the South from its most honest artistic voices; its roster includes legacy folk artists of the region plus contemporary artists working in similarly soulful styles. Locals of note include Lisa D. Watson for her industrial reclaimed wall sculptures, and Savannah’s ubiquitous Panhandle Slim for his quotable pop-culture murals."
By Rachael Flora | Art Beat of Savannah | Connect Savannah | April 30, 2019 | Read More
ROOTS Up Gallery is celebrating its fifth anniversary this Wednesday, though you’d be forgiven for thinking it had been around much longer.
To celebrate the anniversary, Lovell brought in painter Helen Durant, whose story struck a chord.
“Her work is very soulful, and that’s in line with the folk art we have,” says Lovell. “Her show fits this [gallery] so perfectly—raw emotion and growth and all that is so wrapped up in everything that’s happening on this anniversary.”
SavArtScene: Roots Up Gallery celebrates five years of southern folk, ‘outsiders,’ self-taught visionaries
By Kristopher | Savannah Art Scene | DoSavannah | April 27 2019 | Read More
The goal with Roots Up has always been to mix regional folk art with other local artists, mostly self-taught, who might not otherwise be categorized as “folk,” but have a similar creative spirit. Their ethos is the idea of “soulful art borne from within.”
“Everybody has to have a soulfulness in their work,” says Lovell. “You don’t need a dictionary to come in and talk about it. And it’s more reasonably priced.”
By Jim Reed | Entertainment & Life | DoSavannah, Savannah Morning News | April 25, 2019 | Read More
Leslie Lovell was born in Sanford, N.C., and relocated to Savannah almost a decade ago with her late husband, the beloved local fixture and community activist Francis Allen. Eventually, she and Francis opened Roots Up Gallery, where she now curates one of the most unique and eclectic showcases for unusual art in the region.
The gallery represents over 75 different artists from throughout the South and beyond and focuses primarily on those who are self-taught and developed their talents and skills without benefit of formal instruction. Some are relative unknowns, while others are quite famous, with work held in esteemed private collections and museums worldwide.
By Kristopher Monroe | Savannah Art Scene | Do Savannah | February 28, 2019 | Read More
Roots Up Gallery is nearing its fifth year anniversary and it’s already grown into something of a cultural institution in Savannah.
Roots Up has become the standard bearer for southern folk art and regional artists who take the road less traveled. The artists featured at Roots Up are driven not by a crass commercial expectation of ivory gallery fame and fortune, but by a deeper drive to satiate their compulsive creative urges.
The gallery’s newest featured artist, German born emigre Herbert Albin, fits the mold of other Roots Up artists in that he doesn’t fit any mold at all.
Born in 1919, Albin’s family fled East Germany when he was young. As an adult, Albin immigrated to the United States with his wife Stella and they lived variously in Florida, Georgia, Texas, and South Carolina. Both Albin and his wife were trained musicians and fine artists. Albin made his living as a concert violinist and was Concertmaster of the Charleston and Augusta Symphony Orchestras before retiring.
By Molly Hayden | Entertainment & Life | Savannah Morning News | December 14, 2018 | Read More
Of all the objects in her grandmother’s farmhouse in rural North Carolina, the wooden cuckoo clock brought back from Germany defined Leslie Lovell’s childhood.
It was by far the most exotic thing on the walls. To this day, she can still hear her granny pulling the pine-cone shaped weights up each night before bed.
There was rarely original art out in the country where she grew up, only reproductions or a few religious relics. But using the aesthetic of the farm as a mental canvas, she recalls, gave her a deeper appreciation for the things around her. That clock served as a subtle introduction into the form and function of utilitarian design that would later morph into an advocacy for traditional art forms.
Lovell has always been a staunch supporter of the arts, but it wasn’t until years later, after an impromptu move to Savannah, that she began her journey as an artist.
Roots Up Gallery announces move to Design District
As the local arts community mourns the recent passing of her husband, Francis Allen, Roots Up Gallery owner Leslie Lovell announces the gallery will move to the Design District later this month.
Lovell says, “Not to fear, this move will honor and ensure that Francis’ legacy in the Savannah arts community will be felt for years to come.”
Roots Up Gallery will be moving from its current location at 6 E Liberty Street across from The DeSoto to the Design District on Whitaker Street. The new location will be directly behind James Hogan and across Jones Lane from the Circa Lighting Annex.
Discovering Savannah’s Art Galleries
Feeling a little folksy? Roots Up Gallery is locally owned and operated in the Downtown Design District on Whitaker Street in the heart of historic Savannah. “My late husband, Francis Allen, and I opened Roots Up Gallery five years ago,” said owner Leslie Lovell. “[Our] intention was to give a voice to artists who fall outside the traditional galleries of trained artists. We have always believed art should be available and approachable to all.”
The works of more than 30 local and regional artists and more than 50 Southern folk artists can be explored at Roots Up Gallery, all of whom are predominately self-taught with, as Leslie describes it, “innate talents borne from within.” The gallery has been named “Best of the South” by Garden & Gun Magazine and was also a Fodor’s Choice gold award recipient. From paintings to pottery to jewelry and more, the bright expanse of Roots Up is as fun as it is inspiring to explore.