During the hot, scorching days of the typical Carolina summer, there are few things I enjoy more than escaping to the air-conditioned comforts of an art museum. Our very own Greenville County Museum of Art offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to view world class art, right here in the heart of our own Downtown. This summer’s exhibits are no exception.

Perhaps one of my favorite collections currently on exhibit at GCMA is “Dark Corners / Appalachian Ballad” by Asheville artist, Julyan Davis.  Although English by birth, Davis has developed an intense bond to the Appalachians and its ties to Celtic origins. This bond is revealed in his collections, which he calls ballads in honor of the folksongs that resonate throughout the mountain regions. Reflecting the dilapidated beauty and simple dignity amidst the poverty of the rural areas, Davis’s collection touches the part of one’s soul that makes us who we are.  If you only do one thing Downtown this week, let it be visiting the Art Museum to view this thought-provoking collection – it will be leaving Greenville July 1st.

The collection that helped put our humble little art museum on the map has found a permanent home here in Greenville and continues to increase in size. The Andrew Wyeth Greenville Collection is now the largest and most complete collection of Wyeth’s works owned by any public museum in the world. A realist painter in what is known as the regionalist style of painting, this son of artists best known works reflect the people and places he met throughout his life. His grand-daughter, Victoria Wyeth, is a frequent visitor to our city to lead tours and discussions of her grandfather’s legacy.  On July 8th, docent Mike Murphy will host a tour of Wyeth’s work in celebration of the late artist’s birthday.

The newest exhibit to grace the Greenville County Museum of Art is Winfred Rembert: “Amazing Grace”, which just opened last week. Rembert’s colorful and evocative folk art, worked in beautifully carved and painted leather pieces, tell the African-American tales he grew up with in Georgia. The artist himself will be at the museum on July 15th to discuss his art and its inspiration.

Those who love the art, history and architecture of Charleston will be pleased by The Art of Alfred Hutty: Woodstock to Charleston”.  One of the primary artists of the Charleston Renaissance, this collection features over 60 works that reveal the charming landscapes and ordinary people of Hutty’s life in Woodstock, NY and Charleston, SC. This exhibit will be on display until July 15th.

Other collections currently on display at GCMA include both travelling and permanent collections. Among these are the Southern Collection – an assortment of American art from colonial times to the present, with an emphasis on examples with relationships to the southern United States, Portrait of Greenville – which has returned with paintings by national and regional artists who were invited to share their inspiring depictions of our beautiful city, and the works of Spartanburg native, Helen Dupre Mosely –a  fantastical crew of characters plucked from the artist’s imagination, but that some believe are a satirical view of local society.  No matter what your artistic tastes are, a stroll through the Greenville County Museum of Art is just the thing to feed your heart, soul and creative inspiration!

More Information:

The Greenville County Museum of Art is located on College Street at Heritage Green – sharing space with The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Greenville Little Theatre and the Hughes Main Library. The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11AM until 5PM and on Sunday from 1PM until 5PM. Admission is FREE (although donations are appreciated). On Sundays, join them for Sundays at 2, special events and programs designed with art lovers and the “art-curious” in mind. Many of the events are created to appeal to families and children. For more information, visit:


To art lovers, Spring in Downtown Greenville means one thing…ARTISPHERE! Each May, our lovely city plays host to one of the South’s premier art festivals. But  art lovers shouldn’t limit themselves to this one event only, DTGVL has plenty of opportunities for novices and connoisseurs alike to experience Greenville’s rich art culture.

We should begin our artistic journey with some insider info on one of DTGVL’s favorite events, Artisphere.  Held in the heart of our fair city, this outdoor festival showcases some of the best artists this region has to offer. Beginning with a fancy Opening Gala at Courtyard by Marriott and Nantucket Grill on Thursday, Artisphere launches into full swing on Friday, May 11th. Featuring not only exhibits from local and regional artisans, this arts extravaganza also spotlights performances from local musicians, theatre groups, dance troupes and other performing artists.  Saturday and Sunday’s festivities  also include Wine Tasting, Artists’ Demonstrations and Classes, as well as fun events for the kids at Kidsphere. And, as always, restaurant vendors will be on hand to offer a variety of choices in food, beverage, beer and wine. Hours for this festival are 4 -8PM on Friday, 10AM – 8PM on Saturday, and 11AM – 6PM on Sunday. There is no admission to this event held on Main Street and Broad near Falls Park. For more information, visit

Local visual artists will showcase their talents at  the “Artists of the Upstate” exhibit. Work from more than 40 artists who hail from the Upstate will be featured at Centre Stage, located on River Street. The exhibit is open to the public from 2PM to 6PM on Tuesdays through Fridays, and all during Artisphere. The works, including “Best in Show” winner, “My Friend Vanetta” by artist Judy Verhoeven, will be on display until June 19th. Call 864-233-6733 for more information.

The Greenville County Museum of Art has proudly been the home of the Andrew Wyeth: Greenville Collection for some time. Recently expanded to thirty-five paintings with the gift of the 1946 watercolor “Four Poster”, it now includes an example from every major period of Wyeth’s career. Victoria Wyeth, grand-daughter of the celebrated painter, will be on hand May 8th through 10th to lead guided tours and discussions of her grandfather’s legacy. These free tours will take place at 11:30AM and 1:30PM each day, but space is limited and reservations are required.  For more information, visit or call 864–271-7570, ext. 44.

While you are strolling down Main Street, take time to notice the many sculptures that are part of the city’s “Art in Public Places”. From the cute little Mice on Main that peek out from underneath shrubbery and depictions of famous Greenville citizens to sculptures that embrace the artists’ imagination and flights of fancy, these works range from the profound to the whimsical. For more information on this project and maps to the various works, visit (www.greenvillesc,gov/Culture/ArtinPublicPlaces.

Downtown Greenville is also home to a diversity of art galleries and studios. From the showcasing of local talent at the Artists Guild Gallery of Greenville (on Main Street)  and the Matthew Campbell Gallery (on E. North), to little unexpected galleries like the ones located at Coffee Underground (on Coffee Street)and Art Bar on Main (also on Main Street), DTGVL’s art community offers a little something for all tastes. To see the artists’ creativity in action, visit the galleries and studios located at Art Crossing at RiverPlace.  Occupied by artists selected by the Metropolitan Arts Council, these creative souls often engage onlookers in their creative process.

If your idea of art is little more “BoHo”, then venture down to Pendleton Street and the Far West End (formerly known as the Pendleton Arts District). This funky little neighborhood, in the heart of the historic Village of West Greenville, is home to an eclectic assortment of more than 30 artists’ studios and galleries. Plan to visit the first Friday of each month to take part in the aptly named “First Fridays” art event and gallery crawl. For more information, visit

Well, there you have it – from Artisphere to art galleries and more, Downtown offers several opportunities to view some amazing artwork that will hopefully leave you feeling a little more inspired and creative yourself! You might even feel the urge to grab a sketchbook or canvas and paints to capture the beauty of Greenville in your own work of art. Whatever you decide, you are encouraged to put your heart in the arts this weekend and beyond!

et cetera