Take a class, get creative, enjoy exhibits
Have you been to the Spartanburg Art Museum? The FREE Local Museum has an incredible variety of things to do and art to see, some of which you’ll even find on display throughout downtown Spartanburg! They offer courses for children, adults, tours and much more!
One of my fondest childhood memories from summer was attending an art workshop at a museum. It was a paper marbling workshop and we made a big mess. I remember being mesmerized by the way the oil paint floated on water and how we manipulated it into abstract shapes. We were able to transfer our work to paper and bring our final piece home.
This first encounter with artistic creation in a museum environment definitely marked my spirit. Creating while surrounded by amazing artwork has allowed me to find joy in the process of creating art. Several years later, I found myself working in the curatorial department of the same museum, organizing art exhibitions and related workshops for children, wanting to share that same sense of inspiration. These days, museums are more than just galleries with paintings to look at. It’s a place where families can discover their love for art and make art, clean up the mess (that mom doesn’t have to clean up), and get inspired.
Things to do at Spartanburg Art Museum
Where can this be done? Did you know that Spartanburg has its own art museum located in the heart of the Chapman Cultural Center? The Spartanburg Art Museum or SAM, housed in a 3,000 square foot space, offers a vibrant arts program that is plugged into the local community’s art scene with a global flair. Aiming to emphasize the contemporary, SAM brings in artists from the neighborhood and from abroad, from all disciplines to create a dialogue between artists and art lovers. For this reason, SAM has become a premier contemporary art institution in the upstate despite its modest size.
SAM is full of activities to keep families busy. It offers an active arts program designed for all ages, from curator-led tours of current exhibitions and its permanent collection, Third Thursday art walks and unique low-cost events to art workshops by teaching artists .
In the fall and spring, SAM offers art school classes for children and adults. In the summer you will find week-long summer camps and sessions for children. If a class doesn’t fit your schedule, you can attend Family Fundays or grab a take-home art kit, free art films, or book a tour that costs between $4 and $7 $. Plan your group visit or you can organize your own DIY visit by viewing their exhibit podcasts online.
Spartanburg downtown lightbulb sculptures
Have you bumped into a giant light bulb on the streets of Spartanburg and wondered why it was there? Again, SAM is responsible for these 28 fiberglass art bulbs made by commissioned local artists. Fun, colorful and whimsical, they “illuminate” the corners of the Hub. Take the kids on a bulb tour and download a free worksheet before you go!
Finally, don’t forget that admission to the museum is free! Sign up to receive updates on museum events and never run out of ideas again.
Spartanburg Art Museum
200 St. John Street East, Spartanburg SC, 29306
Opening hours: Closed on Sunday and Monday.
Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.