A conversation with Francis Allen about Country / No Country Exhibit, Roots Up Gallery and outsider art.
If you’re in Savannah and want a mix of both “non-traditional” local works and authentic folk pieces, try Roots Up Gallery, owned by Leslie Lovell and Francis Allen. They have a great eye for artists who express fanciful imagery and unconventional perspectives. You’ll also find some of the classics like Clementine Hunter, Jimmy Lee Sudduth and my old buddy R. A. Miller. You may even run into some of the local artists during the Second Saturday Art Walk.
“Our goal is to share a different style of art that is both approachable and affordable. It is also wonderful to share the many stories behind the creation of each piece,” says Leslie Lovell.
By T. Wayne Waters
Roots Up Gallery in Savannah is housed in a stately mid-19th century townhouse in the heart of historic downtown Savannah and specializes in southern folk art by both contemporary and legacy artists. Owners Leslie Lovell and Francis Allen, both artists, describe Roots Up as a gallery for self-taught, visionary, folk and outsider art from the South. It features an eclectic mix of artistic media but mostly paintings, pottery, sculpture and jewelry. Roots Up has occasional folk artist meet-and-greets, book signings by authors devoted to folk art and other special events.
By Jessica Leigh Lebos, Connect Savannah
Allen and his wife, Leslie Lovell, have been collecting all manner of fascinating pieces for the past year, traversing the Southeast and filling their SUV for their new Roots Up Gallery. Featuring mainly self-taught painters and sculptors, Roots Up is a place that seeks to introduce people to the colorful and meaningful expressions borne in the rural backwoods and under the tin roofs of the South.
It’s also the only gallery in Savannah dedicated to the genre of folk art.
“We wanted to showcase a part of culture that many people never see,” explains Allen, adding that while folk art is created by those without a formal technical education, it’s also art for regular folks.
By Amy Brock, Visit Savannahhttp://blog.visitsavannah.com/arts-culture/art-folk-yall/
Walking into the Roots Up Gallery, I immediately felt a sense of home. Roots Up is full of carefully curated original pieces from local Savannahians as well as select Georgia artists!