Professional Savannah artist and muralist, Francesco Montefiore, in cooperation with the Savannah Sunrise Rotary Club,isdonatingan8x5ft. mural to the West Broad Street YMCA. Montefiore has named the creation “FROM SAVANNAH TO SAVANNA.” The Y is one of several local charities which the club supports.
Montefiore, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina from Italian family, recently moved to Savannah from South Florida where his work is displayed at a number of venues including the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Key Biscayne, Trump Towers in Sunny Isles, and on cruise ships of Holland America and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The idea for the donation to the West Broad Street Y came from a member of the Savannah Sunrise Rotary Club as a suggestion to help Montefiore showcase his talents in Savannah.
When YMCA Executive Director Peter Doliber, also a member of the club, was approached, his reaction was, “Absolutely! We’d be delighted to find the right spot for a Mural.” According to Montefiore, “A wonderful inspiration came to me when I began thinking about the mural. I wanted to include both children and adults in this project, and do an art piece that was original and different, a concept with a twist and a sense of humor . . . a reflection of innocence and curiosity while creating a sense of interaction and communication.” The trompe l’oeil 3D mural will consist of two different scenes depicted in a double archway with a column in the middle. The scene for the children will be composed of cartoon animals, in the African savanna and the scene for the adults will be a landscape of the marshlands in Savannah, Georgia. To connect the two scenes, Montefiore will paint a baby giraffe peeking from the children’s side into the marshlands. And to connect the marshlands to the viewer, a raccoon will be looking out at the person observing the painting. This composition inspired the name of the hand painted mural, “From Savannah to Savanna.” Work on the project is set to be completed by October 12, 2011. An unveiling and dedication of the mural is planned.
The West Broad Street YMCA houses an early learning program for children 6 weeks to 4 years, a before and after school program, an alternative school for expelled middle school age children, afternoon tutorials, a public library, a strong summer program, as well as a variety of enrichment and recreation programs.