GREENVILLE, SC: The citizens of Greenville, S.C. recognize an opportunity for a celebration when they see one. For three days each May, the city blossoms with its annual tribute to spring known as “Artisphere.” Artisphere is an event that allows art patrons an opportunity to meet exhibiting artists up-close-and-personal and to purchase original works of art in a lively festive atmosphere that celebrates the hibernation of Old Man Winter.
Volunteers make it a “state-of-the-art” event
More than 600 volunteers turn the city of Greenville into a “state-of-the-art” happening featuring over 250 artists from around the world who represent 17 different mediums.
Now in its 14th year, Greenville’s Artisphere features 135 national artists who exhibit along the pop up “Artist’s Row” on Main Street as well as live music and art performances throughout the weekend. Rounding out the festivities are hands-on educational events and artistic demonstrations.
Culinary Street Art
Not to be overlooked are the culinary delights, which are an art form all their own. This is no food-truck frenzy but rather a chance to sample a taste of the New South with offerings from some of Greenville’s most popular dining emporiums; Bacon Brother’s Public House, Larkin’s on the River, Barley’s, The Trappe Door, Cantina 76 and more.
Among the delectable favorites that can be consumed in the “Culinary Arts Cafe” are Sriracha Mac & Cheese, Pimento Cheese short rib sliders, Mussels Mariniere, Ceviche, Pulled Pork, craft pizza and tacos to mention a few.
Just to ensure that festival patrons get the absolute best food possible, there’s a “Best in Show” competition among the restaurants that guarantee a year’s worth of bragging rights to the winner.
Add the wine and craft beer tasting tent to compliment the culinary treats and it’s hardly “a tough act to swallow.”
The Greenville streets are alive with the sound of music
From May 11-13 visitors enjoy no less than 20 musical acts, theatrical and dance performances, chalk artists and even glass blowing demonstrations.
In addition, there is a special area just for children known as “Kidsphere” with a Draw It Yourself art lab, a local “Artists of the Upstate” exhibition and, of course, Artist’s Row.
The Charleston’s Spoleto Festival
Greenville’s Artisphere typically precedes Charleston’s Spoleto Festival, (May 25 – June 10, 2018) the largest and oldest performing arts jubilee in South Carolina. Envisioned by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who wanted to establish an American sister to his successful music festival in Milan, Italy, Spoleto began in 1977 amid financial and political turmoil.
Unlike Spoleto, Artisphere encompasses many more varied artistic disciplines in a shorter period time, giving it greater accessibility than her artistic counterpart.
Better yet, and best of all, Artisphere is FREE!
About Greenville, SC
Greenville, the sixth largest city in South Carolina, is situated on land that was once a Cherokee hunting ground that was closed to colonists for most of the 1700’s.
Around 1770, Richard Pearis, an Indian trader from Virginia who was living with a Cherokee chief’s daughter, received a gift of roughly 100,000 acres of hunting lands from the tribe.
Within six years, the American Revolution erupted with fierce fighting between the Tories and Patriots in the back country of which Greenville is a part. Pearis fought valiantly with the Tories and their Cherokee allies. Notwithstanding their valor, his plantation was burned to the ground while he was briefly in prison in Charleston.
By 1786, the state legislature formed Greenville County. The city original name was, “Greeneville” after Gen. Nathanael Greene, a hero of the American southern campaign. The new state of South Carolina claimed the Cherokee territory and began to distribute it to the Patriots who had fought during the war.
In recent years, Greenville has undergone a renaissance, morphing from an oversized southern town to a vibrant, enthusiastic, youthful mid-sized city. As home to Furman University and a Class A Boston Red Sox minor league franchise complete with its own version of Fenway Park, the face of Greenville, SC has changed dramatically during the past half-century.
Centrally located within easy access to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Atlanta, Charlotte and Asheville, NC, Greenville is a perfect spot to discover a captivating contemporary city. With an eye toward the future, a place to enjoy the art, music, crafts, food, and fun of Artisphere and a great base for day trips to surrounding areas.
By the way, if you happen to miss Artisphere, or don’t get enough fun in the spring, Fall for Greenville celebrates the color season as well with similar enthusiasm.
Thanks to the enthusiasm of its people and the delightful atmosphere of Artisphere, Greenville’s arts street festival is a glorious way to experience the balmy breezes amid sun-drenched rites of spring.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is the founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime
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