Arts and Culture 2011

Amy Holtcamp



Greenville’s Artisphere Named Top Ten Festival

Posted 4/22/2010 3:42:00 PM

Artisphere, Greenville’s weekend celebration of visual and performing arts, ranked 6th out of 600 festivals nationwide in Greg Lawler’s Art Fair Sourcebook.

It’s not surprising. Nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville’s natural beauty is complimented by a rich artistic community, and the city is home to professional theater and dance companies, a thriving opera and symphony, and world-class museums.

This year’s festival will feature a performance by Brian Olsen called Art in Action. Olsen takes the usually slow, solitary work of the painter and turns it into a high-octane, live performance event. Using both hands, several paint brushes and buckets of paint, he creates large-scale portraits of celebrity icons in front of a live audience and in under ten minutes. Set to a pulsing musical score, Art in Action is part painting, part dance, part theater and part rock concert.

After taking a look at some of his work online at, I’m certainly intrigued, and I’m sure kids will enjoy seeing a grown up fingerpaint, color outside of the lines and make a big mess in the name of art. They also can try their tiny hands at their own “art in action” at the Kidsphere, which will be offering splatter art in honor of Olsen’s show, as well as mosaics, collage and jewelry making.

There also is a full lineup of dance and music events, ranging from local groups like the Greenville Symphony and the Carolina Ballet to jazz, folk, blues and rock musicians from around the south. Artists’ Row will feature more than 100 artists working in all sorts of different mediums, from photography to woodwork, sculpture and jewelry.

Artisphere will take place May 7-9 in downtown Greenville. Outdoor activities and performances are free; everything else at the festival is paid for with tickets that can be purchased in sheets of 8 at $5/sheet. Visit for a full lineup of performing arts events and festival information.