Arts and Culture 2011

Amy Holtcamp

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Greenville has fabulous, free public art

Posted 7/30/2010 2:36:00 PM

If you are looking for a great arts experience without spending a lot of money, head to downtown Greenville.

A walk down Greenville’s Main Street is like strolling an open-air museum. With its high concentration of public artwork, you can barely go a block without encountering one of the provocative pieces of modern art or one of the many sculptural portraits that line the sidewalks.

At the southern end of Main Street, head down the steps that lead to the Reedy River. There you will find River Place, a complex of apartment buildings, shops, restaurants; and Arts Crossing, an arts colony hosting more than a dozen studios. You can follow the yellow “Art Crossing” signs to the artists’ studios, where you might see them at work. The artists welcome visitors in their studios from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

Back outside on the walk alongside the Reedy River, you can grab a treat at The Lazy Goat Gelato or join the kids cooling off in the fountain. If you look past the frolicking ducks to the far bank of the river you will see the Peace Center Amphitheater. Through Aug. 25 you can enjoy free weekly concerts at the amphitheater every Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Walking beneath the Main Street overpass will bring you further into Falls Park. There you will find more public artwork, beautiful gardens, and until August 8, the set for the Upstate Shakespeare Festival’s  production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. In its 16th season, the Upstate Shakespeare Festival offers free performances in this wonderful setting. If you decide to go, you are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs, pack a picnic and to get there early; space is limited and the company has been known to pack in audiences of more than 300 people. Click here for performance dates and more information.

Greenville is proud of its collection of public art and provides a great resource on the city website. Art in Public Places provides downloadable walking tours and maps to seven Greenville neighborhoods (including Main Street and Falls Park). Photographs of the works of art, video tours, background information on the artists and their subjects and convenient parking locations are also included. Download your guide here.