Have you been to the Spartanburg Art Museum? The FREE local museum has an amazing variety of things to do and art to see, some of which you’ll even find on display throughout downtown Spartanburg! They offer classes for children, adults, tours, and more!
One of my fondest childhood memories of summer was attending an art workshop in a museum. It was a paper marbling workshop and we made a big beautiful mess. I remember being mesmerized by how the oil paint floated on the water and how we manipulated it into abstract forms. We were able to transfer our work onto paper and bring our final piece home.
That first encounter with making art in a museum environment definitely made its mark. Creating while surrounded by amazing artworks allowed me to find joy in the process of making art. Many years later I found myself working in the curatorial department of the same museum, organizing art exhibits and related workshops for kids, wanting to share that same sense of inspiration. Nowadays, museums are more than just galleries with paintings to look at. It’s a place where families can discover their love for art and making art, make a mess (one that mom doesn’t have to clean up), and get inspired.
Things to Do at the Spartanburg Art Museum
Where can one do this? Did you know that Spartanburg has its very own art museum located in the heart of Chapman Cultural Center? The Spartanburg Art Museum or SAM housed in a 3000 sq ft space has a dynamic art program that is plugged in with the art scene of the local community with a global feel. Aiming to focus on the contemporary, SAM brings in artists from the neighborhood and abroad, from all disciplines to create a dialogue among artists and art lovers. Because of this, SAM has become a leading contemporary art institution in the Upstate despite its unassuming size.
SAM is bursting with an array of activities to keep families busy. It has an active art program designed for every age, from curator-guided tours of current shows 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 kids and adults. In the summer you’ll find week-long summer camps and sessions for the kids. If a class doesn’t fit with your schedule, you can attend the Family Fundays or grab a to-go art kit to do at home, free art movies, or book a tour that costs between $4 to $7. Schedule your group tour or you can have your own DIY tour by viewing their exhibition podcasts online.
Downtown Spartanburg’s Light Bulb Sculptures
Have you bumped into a giant light bulb in the streets of Spartanburg and wondered why it was there? Once again, SAM is the one responsible for these 28 fiberglass art bulbs made by commissioned local artists. Fun, colorful and whimsical, they sure “light” up the Hub’s corners. Take the kiddies 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 for updates on museum events and never run out of ideas again.
Spartanburg Art Museum
200 East Saint John Street, Spartanburg SC, 29306
Hours: Closed on Sunday & Monday.
Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm;
Open Saturday 11 am to 4 pm