Artisphere presented by TD Bank Returns to Greenville

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Artisphere presented by TD Bank is primed and ready to rebound from what was a down year for just about everyone and strengthen its lofty status as the South Carolina Upstate’s signature event. From May 6 through May 8, between 70,000 and 90,000 people are expected to fill the streets of downtown Greenville for three days of celebrating and venerating art, music and culture and, of course, food and drink.

Last year’s Artisphere, somewhat subdued by the COVID-19 pandemic, was a gated event and tickets were required. That will not be the case in 2022; all attendees need to do is show up, enjoy the festivities and contribute to the expected $9.1 million boon for the local economy.

“Artisphere showcases all the wonderful things Greenville has to offer – the community, our great downtown, green spaces, restaurants and art,” says Communications Strategist Kelley Barnhardt. “And we keep it manageable and walkable.”

The annual event, now in its 18th year, offers more than just a juried art show with 135 booths representing 17 mediums, from ceramics to drawing, fiber, painting photography and woodwork and just about everything in between. New to Artisphere is Arts and Drafts, where attendees can “grab a tasty craft beer on one side of Broad and watch as muralists enliven the other side with live, large-scale painting.”

There will be interesting and educational activities for members of the much younger generation as well. They’ll be able to pay a visit to Kidsphere, where they can work on arts and crafts projects, and they’ll get an interactive taste of musical instruments and theater costumes, courtesy of the DRUM Percussion Studio.

Over on Demo Row, attendees will be treated to demonstrations presented by glass blowers, metal workers and, for the first time, fiber artists, through the efforts of the Warped Fiber Artists of the Foothills. In addition, a visit to the Art Lab will give attendees young and older an inside look at a variety of hands-on, artist-led demonstrations, among them wheel throwing, watercolor, making hammered copper earrings, needle felting, macrame, quilling and creating a brass pendant.

Another learning opportunity is to be offered by faculty, students and staff from Clemson University, who will use interactive displays, demonstrations and other activities in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) exhibit.

The musical menu includes Ali McGuirk, Aztec Suns and the High Divers.

While she is optimistic about returning to a “normal” Artisphere after a virtual event in 2020 and last year’s toned-down version, Barnhardt points out that participating artists reported their best sales ever last year.

“We caught lightning in a jar. We had perfect weather, and people had been inside for two years. Getting out and seeing their friends was pretty special,” she says.

She’s expecting this year to be even better, both for artists and attendees – and for the people who donate their time and talent to make Artisphere a great event.

“Every year, we have around 600 volunteers. They contribute to part of the magic of the festival. It runs so incredibly smoothly because of their dedication,” she points out. “They also contribute to the sense of community. People are just happy to be downtown with their friends. Everybody is happy to be there.”

To learn more about the Upstate’s premier event, visit https://artisphere.org.