George & Joan Savo
In the late 1940's George and Joan Savo moved from North Beach in San Francisco to the Monterey Peninsula. Their first residence was not a house but a campsite in a campground next to the Garrapatta bridge on highway 1 south of Carmel Highlands. There they met and made life long friends with artists Jay and Nikki Chaffin who had just moved from the southern United States. The Savo's and the Chaffin's lived in the campground for about a year and then bought individual lots next to each other in Del Monte Park for 175.00 each.
The Savo's designed and built their home in a modernist style using redwood from local mills. At that time clear heart redwood was ten cents a board foot enabling the Savo's to build a creative residence using their own labor. Joan and George had opened a shop on Ocean Avenue in Carmel called "the Garret" where Joan sold her hand painted items such as painted boxes as well as other handmade gift items.
Joan Savo-Garrapatta campground-1949
The Savo's, George, Joan , daughter "Buff", and son Marco lived in their first Del Monte Park residence for a few years but then sold it and moved back to North Beach so Joan could develop as a painter while George earned his teaching credential. After completing his degree, George moved the family back to Del Monte Park where they built a new mid-century designed house and settled there permanently.The house was influenced in design by modernist architects of the era such as Richard Neutra and Joseph Eichler. George began teaching at Pacific Grove High School as a history and civics teacher and is held in high regard by his students at that time to this day. He encouraged students to think in critical terms about events both current and past which inspired communication and debate in the classroom. The Savo's having a consistent income to rely on enabled Joan to concentrate on painting. She eventually exhibited in Museums and select galleries throughout the San Francisco Bay area primarily and was an associate of the Bay Area Figurative movement led by David Park , Elmore Bischoff and other's with whom she was acquainted from her time living in North Beach. Her figurative period paintings reflected an interest in Nathan Olivera's paintings which added an almost mystical aesthetic to her work. Joan's paintings became very collectable with their value today exceeding $20,000.00 in private and public collections both locally and internationally. George and Joan Savo enriched the local art and educational community with their aesthetic sensibilities for the many friends who would visit the family at their home . They enjoyed visiting with a group of friends weekly at FiFi's French Cafe in Pacific Grove where their friends and associates continue to gather to discuss art and ideas to this day.