Artisphere Attracts Local and National Artists

Rated as one of the top ten fine arts shows in the country, Artisphere comes to downtown Greenville for its ninth year on May 10th-May 12th.  This family-friendly festival showcases Greenville's thriving arts and cultural community and attracts tens of thousands to the area each spring.

Artisphere invites both local and national artists and announced a record 13 local artists will exhibit at this year's annual event.  The festival received applications from 854 artists in 41 different states competing for one of the 120 spots on Artist Row.  The artists selected to participate represent 24 different states and one international artist; 56 of the artists (47 percent) are new to the festival this year.

Local artists will make a strong showing at the three-day, visual, performing and culinary arts festival including Kent Ambler (printmaking/graphics), Beth Andrews (emerging artist, fiber), Joseph Bradley (2D mixed media), Chris Bruner (photography), Tami Cardenella (painting: oil & acrylic), Janina Ellis (painting: oil & acrylic), Lynn Greer (painting: watercolor), Marie Gruber (photography), Signe and Genna Grushovenko (painting: oil & acrylic), Danielle Miller-Gilliam (jewelry: precious), Llyn Strong (jewelry: precious), Diana Farfan (emerging artist, sculpture), and Judy Verhoeven (2D mixed media).

In addition to returning favorites such as Brian Olsen's Art in Action, the Kidsphere craft making area, and the Culinary Arts Cafe, Artisphere features three stages for dance, theatre and music and a NEW Demo/DIY (Do It Yourself) Stage so you can engage in the creative process yourself.  "Artisphere is never the same festival twice," commented Artisphere Board of Directors President, Judith Aughtry.  "But it consistently provides the rare opportunity to meet top notch visual and performing artists in a unique atmosphere and it always promises to be a special experience."

This year patrons can enjoy the festival even sooner with new hours on Friday starting at NOON. "We made a trip to a highly regarded art show in Louisville, Kentucky and were amazed at the throngs of people on the street at 10:00 AM on a Friday," commented Artisphere's Board of Directors Vice President, Rick Erwin.  "There were business people in suits, women with strollers, school aged children...it was incredible.  We feel that, by expanding our festival hours, we are potentially expanding our patron base to a whole new crowd that has never been to Artisphere."

Festival organizers are encouraging people to experience the new festival hours on Friday by offering a Grand Opening promotion that offers a chance to win a "Night on the Town" if you purchase lunch in the Culinary Arts Cafe (located on E. Broad Street) between NOON and 4PM or if you purchase a Wine Tasting (located on the Peace Center Plaza at the corner of Broad and Main Streets) between 1PM and 4PM. 

Other festival attractions opening at NOON include: Artists Row, Artists Demonstration Row, Artists of the Upstate Juried Exhibition, Greenville County High School Juried Exhibit, the Silent Auction, the Culinary Arts Cafe & Stage and the Art in Action and Demo/DIY stages.  The Wine Tasting opens at 1:00 PM, Kidsphere opens at 3:00 PM and the Main Stage opens at 4:30 PM with a performance by Greenville's own, Noah Guthrie whose cover of a chart-topping pop song went viral on YouTube earning him more than 8 million views in less than a week.

Artist's Demonstration Row is probably the most popular attraction of the festival.  Located at the heart of the festival on the Main Street Bridge, this area features new live printmaking and woodworking in addition to the ever-popular glassblowing and metalworking demos. 

"Locals and visitors will really enjoy this year's Artist Row," stated Artisphere Board President, Judith Aughtry.  "They are amazingly talented and diverse; there is something for everyone."

As always, there will be plenty of festive activity on the street including aerial artists, street muralists, roving musicians, live statues and more. 

For a complete list of festival attractions, including participating artists and stage schedules, visit the Artisphere website.

Photo Credits: David Poleski and Brian Erkens

 Sherry Jackson is a freelance writer, editor and entrepreneur. Her articles have been featured in InfoWorld Magazine,Entrepreneur.com, USA Today, Blue Ridge Country, Jetsetter, Bootsnall, Gadling, Yahoo, See the South, Beckett Media, The Simpsonville Sentinel and many other print and online publications. For clips and examples of her work, please visit her website at www.dragonflyventures.com.