Before we moved to Savannah, we knew pitiably little about the city. I don’t think we expected the romantically Southern vision of genteel ladies and well-heeled gentlemen, drawling their speech and speaking wistfully of the Confederacy. But streets dominated by pink-haired girls and hipsters with ironic mustaches? We weren’t expecting that at all! In other words: we had no idea about the existence of SCAD.
We were shocked during our first week here. Art students are everywhere, almost eclipsing the number of tourists. And definitely eclipsing the “Southern Belle” contingent. The hipster ratio has got to be as high in Savannah as in Williamsburg, NY. Yesterday I saw five kids with green hair, I swear to God.
SCAD was only established in 1978, so is a relatively new entity in Savannah. But, man, has it made its presence felt. The college has been instrumental in the purchase and restoration of innumerable buildings, doing more than its share to help re-beautify the city. With a sky-high tuition, and strong student population of over 10,000, SCAD is using its deep pockets for good, rather than evil.
The college turns out some great talent, too, as a peek in at the SCAD Shop on Bull Street will confirm. We went recently, and found so much innovative artwork… it could have been a museum, and honestly put the Jepson Center to shame.
SCAD boasts a strong foreign population; its student body represents over 100 countries, and there are branches in France and Hong Kong. All in all, we came to appreciate the influence that this influx of artistic (and mostly rich) youth has had on the city. Cool eateries, a hopping nightlife and a hip, urban vibe in a historic, conservative region. None of that would be possible without it.
January 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm Comments (3)