SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah is known for its art and its artists. And it is, in part, because of an organization celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020.
The organization that has kept the focus on art here is also part of Savannah, and has been for 100 years since the first Savannah Art Association meeting in February of 1920 at the home of Mrs. Mills Lane with Juliette Gordon Lowe in attendance.
"The entire focus of the Savannah Art Association is to promote art and promote the artist. Our job is to help them build community within and among themselves and to work out in the community so we can promote art in the area,” Savannah Art Association Secretary Sarah Bernzott said.
The Savannah Art Association will celebrate its centennial all year long, starting with a workshop series this week when renowned watercolorist Lian Quan Zhen worked with local artists.
"An organization like this can share the idea, peaceful and beautiful expression with other people. I admire that,” Zhen said.
Iris Dayoub started painting four years ago. She started progressing more quickly after joining the SAA.
"When I retired, I took a couple of classes at Armstrong and I was hooked, and I met a couple of people who are in the Savannah Art Association and it just opened up a whole new world for me. For me personally, it gives me access to people like this and then just the camaraderie with other artists,” Dayoub said.
Dayoub received more motivation from the WTOC Community Champions at the Savannah Art Association - and their special guest - when the expert critiqued her work.
“I brought my art up and he said, ‘this is good.' And I thought, 'oh, wow. This was worth it,’” Dayoub said.