Fridam Ali is creating pottery and helping to take BIPOC artists 'back to their roots'

·3 min read

If you’re still wondering what to do this weekend, your search ends here.

UnderGo Fest, packed with engaging activities and entertainment, will take place on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 PM each evening.

Hosted by Rachael Shaner with members of her local band, Lulu the Giant, and held at Re:Purpose Savannah’s women owned-and-operated lumber yard, located at 2302 E Gwinnett Street, the biannual UnderGo Festival will engage local crowds with a variety of live music and visual and performing arts. This weekend, the festival has returned for the first time since national COVID shutdowns began limiting large public activities.

The UnderGo Fest returns after a two-year hiatus with an all-local line-up. Learn more at undergofest.com.
The UnderGo Fest returns after a two-year hiatus with an all-local line-up. Learn more at undergofest.com.

“It’s a festival created by artists for artists,” said Rachael Shaner, owner of Lulu the Giant and founder of the UnderGo Festival. “It is free in order to make sure the local community has access to arts and is focused on highlighting local BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) and women in Savannah.”

Since its inception in 2017, Shaner said that her band has remained true to hosting the UnderGo Fest in Savannah communities that deserve to see the talented selection of local artists without breaking the bank. Shaner said that each year they invite a wide range of music genres, artist styles, and representation to participate in the festival.

A few activities and entertainment to be expected at the family-friendly event include onsite food trucks, beer by Moon River Brewing Company, live band music, Slip ‘N Slides, ‘do-it-yourself’ arts and crafts, aerial and fire dancing art by The Stardust Pixxies, and spoken word poetry by Spitfire Poetry group.

There will also be live art installations –– one being prepared by local potter Fridam Ali.

Fridam Ali
Fridam Ali

Ali shares that she has always been an artist of various mediums. When she was very young, she drew sketches, and when she became older and attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia, she became a painter.

In 2009, Ali said that she had artwork on display in a museum in Delaware where she began taking pottery classes. She became friends with the master potter there and became consistent with making pottery herself. Ali says that, for the most part, she has been making pottery daily since then.

Ali naturally connected with the art form since her mother is from Mexico where creating pottery is a common and traditional practice. The artist shares that she intends to bring awareness to the tradition of pottery so that other BIPOC people –– those whose relatives and ancestors were also potters –– gain an interest and “go back to their roots” as it relates to the cultural art form. With its interest in serving BIPOC communities, UnderGo Fest serves as an aligned medium for Ali and other artists to display such crafts.

Now, Ali prepares to market and display some of recent favorite pieces at the UnderGo Festival, including her sage holders and other functional ware.

Fridam Ali
Fridam Ali

“I needed a sage holder, so I started making little bowls and a lot of people became interested,” Ali said. “I have sage burners and incense burners, but also plate sets, bowl sets, mugs and spoons.”

Ali is just one of many talented and passionate artists that will be highlighted during the weekend’s festivities.

“There's a stage and community support, and that’s what the UnderGo is,” Shaner said. “By artists for artists –– all local, all love, inclusive and accessible.”

Visit undergofest.com for the UnderGo Fesitival’s full schedule.

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Savannah GA things to do events: Fridam Ali on pottery, Undergo Fest