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Upstate Weekend, May 12-14

Hospitality and Tourism
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Artisphere gets underway Friday

The 13th annual Artisphere will take place this weekend, May 12-14 in Greenville. Organizers have announced some of the highlights of this year’s programs for Greenville’s cultural celebration.


According to a news release, Artisphere will open Friday with festival supporters and civic leaders christening the roof of the new Embassy Suites River Place Downtown with the first strokes of a brush across what is to become a grand scale mural. The mural, designed and painted by artist, August Vernon, will take several months to complete, will feature Upstate landmarks and civic leaders and will be visible to guests from their hotel rooms and patrons of the rooftop venue.

This year’s Artisphere features a variety of things to do. According to the release, some of the highlights include:

New artists

GE Artist Row will feature 135 artists selected by a panel of five jurors from a record high applicant pool of 1,136 (1 in 8 chance of acceptance.) Forty-one of the 135 are first time exhibitors at Artisphere and 17 are local artists. Two Emerging Festival Artists received scholarships to participate in this year’s show: Kiah Bellows (painting) and Daniel Bare (ceramics) will receive free booth space, mentoring and a professional photograph of their booth display.

New music

New to Artisphere this year are Smooth Hound Smith, The Ballroom Thieves and The Suffers, who will perform at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport After Hours Concert Series on the WYFF-4 Main Stage. Other new bands include Soul Service (Greenville), Swim in the Wild (Charlotte), Grace Joyner (Charleston), and The Sofia Goodman Group (Nashville).


Art making opportunities

Festival-goers will get the chance to make their own art this year. The Furman Art Lab will feature 13 art making experiences. The interactive demonstrations allow patrons to roll up their sleeves and flex their creative muscles with instruction by local artists including Izzy Mitchell and Heather Brame (collaging), Carol Funke (handmade paper), Joann Benzinger (photo image transfer) even a brand new plating demo with Chef Courtney McKnight of Plate 108. Participants will learn to prep garnishes and turn prepared food into a work of art using simple design techniques.

 Interactive exhibit

The Art of Healthy Living Exhibit is an interactive experience where children and families can learn about the health sciences and the importance of physical activity and good nutrition. Sponsored by the University of South Carolina.

Street art

Illustrator and street artist David Zinn (Ann Arbor, Mich.) will bring the streets to life with his whimsical characters and drawings. Zinn creates temporary street art composed entirely of chalk, charcoal and surrounding landscape features and is always improvised on location. Most of his drawings have appeared on sidewalks in Ann Arbor and elsewhere in Michigan, but some have surfaced as far away as subway platforms in Manhattan and construction debris in the Sonoran Desert.

Upstate chefs

The Greenville County School District Career Centers’ Culinary Program will make its Culinary Arts Café debut. The school district’s four career centers allow students to prepare themselves for a career in the hospitality industry. Students learn everything from basic food prep techniques and food safety to nutritional menu planning and workplace management skills. The Donaldson Career Center and Golden Strip Career Center are teaming up to serve festive treats like street corn and bacon caramel popcorn.

A schedule and more information can be found on the Artisphere website.

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