Meet Our Speakers & Appraisers.
Lark Mason is a renowned expert in Asian/Chinese art and antiquities. He is also an author, appraiser, independent curator, educator, and art consultant. He has regularly appeared since 1996 on the PBS series, Antiques Roadshow, where he specializes in Asian works of art. He worked with Sotheby’s, New York, from 1979-2003, where he was an appraiser, Senior Vice President in the Chinese Works of Art Department, and Director of Online Auctions. In 2003, he started iGavelauctions.com, an international art auction company. He is an Adjunct Professor at New York University and is regularly involved with the valuation and identification of Asian and other works of art.
Friday Kickoff Luncheon at The Chatham Club
Sonny Seals is the founder and managing director of Eton Partners LLC, a retained executive search firm. Prior to founding Eton Partners, Mr. Seals was a senior executive with A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm , and Russell Corporation, a textile and athletic apparel company. Mr. Seals is an active member of the Atlanta Arts Community and has served on the executive committee of the Alliance Theater Company board of directors and the Alliance Theater advisory board for several years. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech and has served on several boards there including the Alumni Association Board of Trustees and the Ferst Center for the Performing Arts. He presently chairs the external Arts Advisory Board at Georgia Tech.
Saturday Morning 10:00
Brandon Branch, NY Times Bestselling Author & Designer
Brandon Branch is a New York Times bestselling author, designer, and expert in Southern style. His design influence spans a number of platforms – interior decorating, event planning and style consulting. Brandon’s talents were showcased on HGTV’s “Celebrity Holiday Homes” as he gave Trisha Yearwood a Southern Style Christmas that she will never forget. Brandon has appeared on Extra, Good Day LA, The Today Show, and the Rachel Ray Show.
Brandon’s many design projects include interiors for celebrity clients, collaboration on a furniture line and celebrity weddings. He has also designed the sets and table settings for many television shows and specials.
Born on a Mississippi dairy farm, Brandon attended Mississippi State University where he received a degree in horticulture. He calls Savannah, GA, home. Savannah’s historic style—with its stately, romantic Southern homes, magnolia-drenched gardens and languid pace—provide a jumping-off point for his design sensibility. In designing his own home, Brandon gave a nod to the city’s history by using lavish, dramatic fabrics, but in new, fun ways. He likes to think that if Scarlett or Rhett came to dinner, they would approve!
Saturday Lunch and Learn, Noon
Then & Now: Savannah’s Armstrong House
Chuck Chewning and Christian Sottile
Chuck Chewning has over thirty years’ experience in the luxury interior design, decorative arts and architectural preservation industries. Today he runs his own design business, Charles H. Chewning Interiors based in Savannah, Georgia and Studio Rubelli, the interior design division of The Rubelli Group in Milan, Italy.
Chuck received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in both Historic Preservation of Architecture and in Interior Design from SCAD, The Savannah College of Art and Design.
Christian Sottile, AIA, is principal of Sottile & Sottile, a Savannah-based design firm working extensively in Nationally Registered Historic Districts. His work includes civic design, architecture and master planning, emphasizing historic research, urban analysis and community-wide engagement. Concurrently with his professional practice, Sottile is a professor of architecture and urban design at the Savannah College of Art and Design and is the former dean of the SCAD School of Building Arts. In this role, Sottile led the graduate and undergraduate programs in Architecture, Architectural History, Preservation Design, Interior Design, Furniture Design and Urban Design.
Sottile’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Preservation Magazine, Architect magazine, and Architectural Digest. He has received over thirty awards, including three international Charter Awards from the Congress for the New Urbanism, awards from the American Planning Association, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and three National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects.
Decorative Arts Speaker Courtland Stevens
Courtland Smith-Stevens is an owner of Number Four Eleven, a monogram, linens and interior design shop in the Downtown Design District of Savannah. Their signature monograms and crests can be found on everything from invitations to suites of bed linens. Known for her simple and clean style, Courtland’s talent and creativity can be found in several homes throughout Savannah and the Carolinas. She attended Ohio Wesleyan.