Kudos to our buddy from College, Kiril Jeliazkov who has brought his amazing outdoor contemporary art exhibition entitled The Orange Step , to Savannah. This unique art project that consists of 128 canvases each 20ft tall and 10ft wide, is designed to be displayed in natural settings, creating a juxtaposition between the art and nature. It was designed as a complete set, but each piece is a stand alone work of art, that holds up on its own.
Kiril is a dedicated painter, who for as long as we’ve known him has always been a big thinker…you know, one of those people who is convinced that he can pull off anything, no matter how intimidating. If you’ve ever met him, you’d know that unlike most fine artists, he’s charming and charismatic, able to make friends easily, and more importantly, able to enthrall you with tales of his latest endeavor in a most entertaining way.
For two years Kiril labored on this massive art installation in his home country of Bulgaria, signing each piece with an orange footprint. He describes the collection as the depiction of a journey, his own personal quest to find himself…hence the metaphor of the steps. Viewers of the exhibition must also make a journey (quite literally) in order to see it all…it weaves its way down the main axis of Forsyth Park, and then creates beautiful vignettes along the garden areas and paths off to the sides of the fountain which is a focal point of the park.
Aside from the immense pride in seeing a friend’s vision come to fruition, I have to say the overall affect of The Orange Step is quite breath-taking, and seems so fitting in Savannah, where art and our natural environment manage to co-exist so well. The comments we heard when we visited him as he installed the last 20 panels were entirely positive. You cannot ignore the work due to it size and use of bold color. People walking through the park were taking the long route, trying to see as many of the pieces as they could…one woman came over and asked if she could shake the hand of the painter…as a fine artist herself, she was blown away by the work.
We’ll post an interview with Kiril later on, where he’ll give more details on his background and this project. The Orange Step will be completed today October 18th and is scheduled be remain up until October 23rd. For those of you who live in Savannah, this is well worth a trip over to Forsyth!
A final note here: The Savannah Film Festival begins on October 27th, just after the exhibition comes down. This is of course an extremely expensive undertaking and more patronage will be needed for it to remain up any longer. Please pass the word along to art lovers in the community…we ought to find a way to keep this up until the film fest is done. Don’t take my word for it…go check it out for yourself.
Here are a few other write-ups about the exhibition:
The Creative Coast Initiative blog
The Savannah Morning News