MEET THE 2017 SAVANNAH JAZZ FEST POSTER ARTIST: ROSE LANE WHITE LEAVELL
By Paula Fogarty
This Twiggs County, Georgia plantation-bred and raised fine artist is a recognized tree conservationist and married to Rolling Stone piano layer and musical director, Chuck Leavell, who is also a former member of the iconic Georgia band, The Allman Brothers. When Rose Lane tours with the Stones as a Wardrobe Manager for the band, she studies and creates art wherever she goes. She has studied at La Chaumiere, in London with Nick Malone and in Tokyo she trains with calligraphy masters.
When she is not painting on the road she is in her studio on her family’s 18th Century plantation, Charlane, she shares with Chuck outside of Macon. Her images are fantastic dream-like renderings of landscapes, women and otherworldly figures rendered in oil and glitter. Her incorporation of letters and Sanskrit words provoke the viewer to consider the marriage of language and image.
For this year’s Savannah Jazz Festival poster art, Rose Lane combined her best imaginings of the past with her knowledge of Savannah and its jazz scene in the present; she and Chuck have had a home in Savannah for several years, and are supporters of our jazz community. The painting, entitled Down By the Riverside depicts a jazz quartet playing at sunset on Moon River. “I really love the sunsets on our rivers and marshes in Savannah, and Moon River has some of the best. And, of course, it channels Johnny Mercer!” said Leavell. She also honors Savannah Jazz legends Ben Tucker, the young Eddie Pazant, Howard Paul, who are visited by a guest appearance from Lena Horne. “The colors of jazz music and culture are vibrant, hot, and often defiant, so I wanted an image that really focuses on the fiery life of jazz,” she explained.
Rose Lane White Leavell. Down By The Riverside. 2017. Acrylic on Canvas. Savannah, GA.
Her uncanny uses of color combinations in painting translate to her skills as a fashion stylist. When she is not creating art and fashion, she and Chuck are some of the most acclaimed and active environmentalists. She is on the board of the Ossabaw Foundation, and works running Charlane plantation, growing numerous varieties of Georgia pines and reviving the American Hickory species. She most recently has been assisting with the production of Chuck’s series for PBS, America’s Forests With Chuck Leavell. When asked how she ties all of her creative and activist energies together, she said, “I try to make my life a work of art.”
Rose Lane sends regrets that she cannot be with us in person for the Savannah Jazz Festival this year, but the Rolling Stones called, and they are on tour in Europe this fall. The posters of her original art for the festival are available for purchase through the Coastal Jazz Association for $20.00. Rose Lane and Chuck host regular hunting events and artist retreats on Charlane Plantation.
For more information, visit charlaneplantation.com.
Rose Lane White Leavell. Push. Oil on Canvas. 24 x 30