Art Appreciation: Downtown’s Galleries & Museums

A Downtown Spartanburg Staycation
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Art Appreciation: Downtown’s Galleries & Museums

It’s no secret by now that Downtown Spartanburg is the state’s second Cultural District, and is home to a wide array of public art created by talented local artists.

But you can also find acclaimed galleries and museums showcasing Spartanburg’s history and the creativity of its residents downtown. This guide to downtown’s galleries and museums is great for anyone looking to add an activity to date night or just looking to simply appreciate fine art.

Like a lot of Spartanburg’s art scene, we’ve got to start at the Chapman Cultural Center, home to the Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg Science Center, Regional History Museum and more.

The Spartanburg Art Museum showcases rotating exhibitions and a permanent collection year-round.

Note: the exhibition hosted at the Spartanburg Art Museum from July-November, 2021 is Formation, featuring the work of five artists exploring crucial elements of art and design; pattern, arrangement, structure and formation.

A “small museum with big art,” the Spartanburg Art Museum offers up-close looks at diverse, contemporary pieces with an impressive level of local and regional art.

The Spartanburg Art Museum is open Tues.-Fri: 11 AM-4 PM and Sat.: 11 AM-3 PM.

The Spartanburg Regional Museum of History captures life in Spartanburg County from the time of European explorers through textile mill living all the way until present day.

The museum gives you the chance to literally walk through history in Spartanburg, with significant stops in the Revolutionary War, the early-20th century and more. The museum is modern and neat, with an emphasis on aesthetics along with historical significance.

The Regional History Museum is open Tues.-Fri: 11 AM-4 PM and Sat.: 11 AM-3 PM.

At the western edge of downtown, The Artists Collective Spartanburg is home to dozens of working artists from Spartanburg and the surrounding area, all creating in a 20,000-square-foot former Baptist Church building. Thirty-two studios showcase the work of more than 50 artists in sculpture, painting and more.

There’s a gallery, shop and artists’ work can be purchased online, and there are monthly workshops available for anyone looking to embrace their artistic side.

The Artists Collective is open from Tues.-Sat.: 10 AM-4 PM.

In the heart of downtown, The Johnson Collection showcases the cultural evolution of the South, and features important works of female and African-American artists in its rotating exhibit.

TJC Gallery is the Johnson Collection’s downtown exhibition space, and it showcases rotating exhibitions featuring works drawn exclusively from the Johnson Collection.

In addition, the gallery houses art at the AC Hotel downtown. The hotel showcases modern pieces created by internationally-renowned artists associated with Black Mountain College. A total of 40 works, curated by The Johnson Collection, is on display at the AC Hotel’s first floor and mezzanine.

The Johnson Collection is open Wed.-Fri.: 12 – 4 PM, and for occasional events.

Lastly, a trip to The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – Spartanburg is perfect for families with children looking for some fun adventure.

Note: To ensure a safe environment, you’ll need to book an entry-time ticket to access the museum. Get yours here.

The museum offers exhibits developed on a smaller scale to meet the needs of early-learners, children age 5 and under. Included in the areas specifically for toddlers are a market designed to teach healthy lifestyle choices, a Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System area with child-size hospital and equipment and a Duke Energy Treehouse featuring the state’s native species.

Because the Children’s Museum of the Upstate’s Spartanburg location is geared toward younger children, traffic is easier to manage, making each visit more fun and education for you and the developing learner in your life.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – Spartanburg is open Tues.-Sat.: 9 AM – 5 PM with timed entry options of 9 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM.

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