SCAD’s Virtual Open Studio Event Directly Helps Students Complete Degrees

07/17/2020 By Adrian Thompson

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) recently hosted its 15th annual Open Studio event, a fine art showcase that features access to work by the university’s community of artists.

The three-day show, which took place virtually June 26-28, showcased more than 500 jury-selected works and, for the first time in history, donated a portion of the event’s proceeds directly to the SCAD Student Relief Fund, a program that helps students with financial hardships complete their degrees.

Rachel Evans-Grant, director of SCAD Art Sales, says that the purchase price of Open Studio artwork directly supports the artist. 


However, this year SCAD wanted to also assist students who are nearing graduation, especially in the wake of COVID-19.

“Though this is our first event designed to directly benefit the student relief fund, donations to the fund are an annual focus during our faculty/staff giving campaign, annual fund appeal, and Giving Tuesday initiatives,” Evans-Grant says.

The Open Studio event has a robust history of being an in-person event at both the SCAD Atlanta and Savannah locations but was forced to go virtual this year as a result of the pandemic.

(Photo: Open Studio features mostly current student work, with the addition of alumni, faculty, and staff from across all degree programs. This mixed media titled Spare Change, done on canvas by SCAD artist Carla Contreras, along with this acrylic on canvas, Distort XV by SCAD artist Ashna Malik, were two of hundreds of pieces of art up for sale at SCAD’s Open Studio; Credit: SCAD)

“The jury process was very similar to past annual events, allowing submissions from current students, alumni, and faculty,” explains Evans-Grant.

“Offering the event virtually allowed us to reach a broader audience outside of our local communities, and we were able to support our artists at the same rate that we have in the past for the in-person events.” 

In the future, Evans-Grant says the university hopes to offer a hybrid version of Open Studio in-person and online, so that SCAD may reach clients in any location and support its global network of artists.


Each year, the event features mostly current student work, with the addition of alumni, faculty, and staff from across all degree programs, including illustration, painting, photography, and printmaking.

“SCAD's mission is to prepare talented students for creative professions through engaged teaching and learning in a positively oriented university environment,” says Evans-Grant.

“This event often provides an opportunity for current students to display artwork in their first professional exhibition. The desired outcome is exposure for our emerging and established SCAD artists.”

Want to see more work from current SCAD students?

Check out Inspire, interiors+sources’ new virtual showroom experience that features hand-sketched spaces digitized with detailed product information.

Read next: Inspire by Interiors & Sources