Savannah artist creates thousands of face masks, partners with Telfair Museums

Savannah fabric artist Jessica Pope started making facial masks for the Savannah community during the COVID-19 pandemic because she had to do something to help and keep herself calm.

With her partner Trae Gurley, Pope currently runs Savannah-based company Buck and Doe, which specializes in unique personal and home accessories. Their most popular products are handcrafted, brightly patterned bowties featuring quirky scenes. So when coronavirus began, shifting her focus to sewing whimsical fabric face masks was a natural transition. Pope started making the masks for the Savannah community, but it quickly became a national effort.

“We have made a little over 1,000 masks and have requests for 1,000 more and growing every day,” Pope said in a Telfair Museums media release.

Pope has had a lot of help meeting that demand her 86-year-old grandmother, Mariella of Eagle Idaho, who has now cut over 2,000 masks.

In 2019, Pope’s work was featured as part of Telfair Museums’ Boxed In/Break Out project showcasing local artists. Her installation Folklore, consisting of six large-scale paper quilts centered around repurposed Kodachrome slides, was shown in the Jepson Center’s exterior windows. Now the artist and the museum are partnering again.

In addition to commissioning 30 of Pope’s masks to protect frontline employees when Telfair reopens, the museum will sell Pope’s wares in the Jepson Center gift shop. In its support of local initiatives during the pandemic, the museum also has ordered hand sanitizer locally from Ghost Coast Distillery on Indian Street and is exploring more ways to collaborate with other businesses and artists.

Learn more about Buck and Doe masks here.

Learn more about Telfair Museums and its virtual offerings during the pandemic closure here.

Telfair Museums is a advertiser 

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