This past weekend the Greenville Metropolitan Arts Council sponsored the Artists Open Studios. This is the ninth year for the event, and it’s always a welcome event, and unofficial herald of the upcoming holiday season.
This year 142 artists opened their studios for visitors on Saturday and Sunday. In many cases, these were the artists’ actual home studios, but there were also many commercial art galleries participating.
We started by visiting our good friend Duffy Brown, who lives on our street. Duffy makes some fantastic jewelry, and we always enjoy seeing her new creations.
This time she was also using some vibrant blue and turquoise stones to add color to her creations.
From there things got confusing. There were almost too many artists to visit, and the brochure was a bit confusing. We first headed toward Jack Schmidt’s studio and the Upstate Photography School. From there we visited another photographer in the North Main area who does some stunning nature photography and abstract work, then dropped by Lynn Greer’s studio. We already own several paintings by Lynn, and she had some beautiful new work using fall colors.
We decided to drive down Main Street to the Pendleton Arts District. Main Street was an absolute zoo with stop and go traffic, but we made it through. We made a brief stop at Diane Hopkins Hughs studio before continuing on down Pendleton Street.
There were probably a dozen or more studios in this area that were participating in Open Studios. We visited pottery studios, sculpture, painting, mixed media, and photography shops. There was quite a bit of activity, and it was great to see this part of the city being revitalized as an arts venue. However, I think this district needs a couple of nice restaurants or cafes to draw more people to the area and cement it as a destination for arts and entertaining. I’m sure that will eventually happen.
We knew we couldn’t get to all of the artists, and would only be able to visit a fraction of the ones we had on our list. Even so, we found the brochure and maps provided by the MAC to be a bit confusing, and not terribly helpful for planning a route. I told Laura that what they needed was a GPX file that could be downloaded and put on a GPS to make navigation easier. She said that I should volunteer to do that for next year’s show.
I figured that it might also be good to have apps for iPhone and Android that could be used for navigation. It turns out, they’ve already done this. From the MAC website there is a site specially formatted for smart phones that includes Google maps and locations. Guess I don’t have to create that application after all.
All in all, though, it was a beautiful afternoon to be out enjoying beautiful artwork. I’m glad MAC continues to offer the Open Studios, and I appreciate all the hard work of the artists involved.