It’s hard to have a conversation about what’s new in Greenville without someone mentioning art! Pretty much every day is the perfect day to enjoy art in Greenville! You can pick one of three main areas to walk around: The Village, Main Street Downtown (north and south) or north of the city about 30 minutes to Taylors Mill. if you want a more comprehensive experience you can hop around the relatively short distances in between in a car. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Greenville during a First Fridays gallery crawl, Open Studios or Artisphere your course will be neatly laid out for you! To skip straight to gallery and artist lists check the above links for all you’ll need to make your own gallery crawl.
First let’s cover morning fuel. We use “morning” here loosely, because if you really want to be in the creative frame of mind you would be on the night owl schedule and wake up raring to go at the crack of Noon! Starting as we usually do with that jolt of joe or other caffeinated beverage – there’s a lot of art to discover and you’ll need your energy – we head to the Village of West Greenville anchored by Pendleton St. where a budding arts district is all a buzz.
The Village Grind is the hot coffee spot for the hip and arty, right on the main drag. Pop in at 1263 Pendleton St. Open: Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sat 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Golden Brown and Delicious GB&D Just across the street, the very newest kid on a block of new kids has tongues wagging for everything coming out of their kitchen. Grab one of their donuts at Village Grind, or circle back at lunchtime for something much heartier involving pork belly and biscuits! Stroll on over to 1269 Pendleton St. Open: Tues – Sat 11:30 – 2 p.m.
Methodical If you want to start your art crawl in the heart of downtown, the art of the perfect coffee is being practiced at Methodical. They have pastries aplenty to accompany your brew. Go upscale boho at 101 N. Main St Suite D. Open: Mon-Fri 7-6 / Sat 8-6 / Sun 8-5
Aloft WXYZ Bar or Caviar and Bananas. While we’re in the 101 N Main zone we should cover our arty lunch options. Both of these are next door to Methodical and will continue that cosmopolitan feeling. WXYZ’s walls are adorned with local art. The Charcuterie and Cheese Plate or Truffle Fries can be consumed on Aloft’s balcony overlooking downtown, or, enjoy the gourmet bistro fare in the quintessential black and white bistro setting of C&B. Check their links for hours.
Rosa Luna because their gelato is, simply, art. Their paninis are yummy too! Drool at the glass case at 9 W Washington. Open: Mon – Thurs 11 a.m. – 9 pm., Fri 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sat Noon – 10 p.m., Sun Noon – 8 p.m.
Rainer’s In the West End we must give a nod to Rainer’s. It’s a bistro. It’s a bar! They have great food and you get to enjoy it surrounded by great, funky, surreal, art and gifts. Enter at 610 S. Main Thurs – Sat 11 a.m. – 2 a.m., Mon – Weds 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Mary’s Restaurant at Falls Cottage A nicer setting cannot be had. This place is legendary for weddings in the Upstate. Watch the world go by on Falls Park at 615 S Main Sat – Sun 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tues – Fri 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
So we have the food options covered… until dinner at least. On to viewing some art! Really it’s everywhere you turn in downtown Greenville. The Liberty Bridge over the falls is an elegant introduction. All around the park you will find sculptures such as the latest installment by Dale Chihuly – “Rose Crystal Tower”.
On nearby Falls Street you will find the mural “City of Altruism” by GAIA.
For more formal arts appreciation you can check out the many performing arts options at The Peace Center but the angel sculpture in the lobby glitters for all to see night and day. At the corner of W Broad and S Main.
A little ways north on Main Street check in with Il Porcellino. (photo: gastrolust) Art lovers the world over will recognize this ambassador. Give him a kiss on the nose for luck.
Turning Toward Mecca
Now that you’ve stretched your legs a bit, time to get serious, get some brochures and map out a plan.
Metropolitan Arts Council – MAC A few blocks from the park at 16 Augusta St. Always has a show in its gallery, for starters. It is THE HUB of all you will need to know regarding Greenville’s art scene in one place. Find out about events, galleries, and artists resources. Take a moment to click the link and peruse the website to get an overview of all that’s going on. If you donate $50 you get that pretty art card for all kinds of art related discounts around town. Open: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Greenville Center for the Creative Arts GCCA is in The Village at 25 Draper St. and is housed in the former enormous complex of historic Brandon Mills. They usually have a current show in the gallery. They are open for First Fridays. They have studio spaces for artists, classes, and even summer camp! Click the link for an overview of their current events and opportunities. Open: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mon – Fri, Sat 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Greenville County Museum of Art GCMA is where you go for the big shows, the formal museum experience. Don’t forget the kiddos in your group and take a side trip to the Children’s Museum of the Upstate for lots of fun stuff to see and do. They are on the same block between College Street and N Academy. Open: Weds – Sat 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sun 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
The Big Events
First Fridays happens from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. every month and is just like it says, on the first Friday and it includes venues all over the area. Click the link to find galleries to cruise through in the area your interested in investigating whether on the first friday or any other day.
Open Studios is held during the 1st week in November and 2017 will be its 16th year. The 2016 edition of the self-guided tour featured 131 artists in 90 studio locations spread across a 15-mile radius including downtown Greenville with Easley, Greer, Travelers Rest and Dacusville.
Artisphere a signature annual event that is simply enormous in scope and takes over Greenville for a swirl of nonstop activity. Hundreds of artists and performers of every kind fill the street and venues for an arts overload! Next year’s dates are: May 12 – 14 2017. Book your plans well in advance!
Notable Art Outposts
The Governor’s School is a state sponsored residential arts academy for high school students with exceptional ability in visual arts, creative writing, dance, music, and theater. They have a beautiful facility right near Falls Park in Greenville and a calendar of performances for the public to attend. The campus is at 15 University Street.
Poe Mill Murals lead by artist Adam Schrimmer, (see also the banner photo at the top of the post), are created in an effort to revitalize the historic Poe Mill Village district which is in need of some serious cleanup since the mill burned down in 2003 and the surrounding area became a bit blighted. Applaud their efforts at the corner of Buncombe Road and Shaw Street for a visual treat of urban mural making with a message.
The Runner is a sculpture that can only be accessed from the Swamp Rabbit Trail and can be found by walking, cycling, running, skateboarding… down the trail between W Bramlett Rd and W Washington St. about half a mile south of the Swamp Rabbit Cafe.
Stone Mural Project completed the 3rd of ten proposed murals this year. You could say this sets the tone for arting up the community of N Main that is defined by Stone Avenue, but Stone Avenue has had a funky twist and vibe to it for some time now. That twist and vibe is being expanded with new restaurants, bars, and shops every year making it another boho destination in the new Greenville. Public art is keeping the mood bright!
You knew that wine and cheese buffet at the gallery opening wasn’t going to cut it! Time to sit down, have a serious cocktail and eat something that is as well composed on the plate as it is delicious. One is uptown and one is on Falls Park.
The Bohemian speaking of Stone Ave and Main St… the Arty Bistro Bar with a capital A and B! Great food, beer and wine list. It’s next to a vintage record shop. Yes! Records (Dude, vinyl)! Very cool. Go. Try the Salmon Salad at 2 W Stone Ave. Open: Tues – Thurs 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., Fri – Sat 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Passerelle Bistro is a french bistro the way they are supposed to be! If you’ve ever experienced Paris with an artist you will feel right at home here just above the bridge and Falls. Save room for dessert at 601 S. Main in Falls Park. Open: Tues – Fri 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sat 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sun 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
I bet you are filled with inspiration! You may be up all night! If you feel so moved, the chalkboard walls at the Inn and Lodge are there for you to cut loose upon and we encourage you to do so! The palette of Greenville is constantly changing so we hope you will check in with our arts developments in seasons to come as all your creativity is welcome.
Check out more of our “Perfect Day in Greenville, SC” posts!