You don’t need to be in Aiken for long to discover the large equestrian influences found throughout beautiful downtown. A destination famous for breeding thoroughbred horses and hosting annual flat races, steeplechase races and polo matches, Aiken has long been an inspiration for artists and horse lovers to capture the beauty of these rich equine traditions on camera and canvas. Oh, and those colorful horse statues found throughout the streets of downtown.
Throughout Aiken, you can find local shops and galleries carrying everything from beautiful live photography taken during races to oil pastels and painting interpretations of local thoroughbreds. Southside Gallery of Aiken, for example, has a wide selection of equine art from gorgeous paintings to professional photography from local Southside photographers. This is a great place to stop in and enjoy spectacular works of art showcasing Aiken’s equestrian culture and landscapes.
Equine Divine can be found right in the heart of downtown Aiken. This one-of-a-kind shop specializes in equestrian-themed merchandise, selling everything from horse-themed jewelry and clothing to a breathtaking art collection. Many of the paintings found at Equine Divine give a unique and whimsical look into the equine culture of Aiken, showcasing some of Aiken’s beautiful thoroughbreds painted in more abstract and colorful settings.
The equine art scene in Aiken grows larger every year, and a large part of that is due to the Aiken Center for the Arts. Home to five exhibition galleries and year-round exhibits featuring artists from around the globe, the Aiken Center for the Arts also holds art classes and workshops for all ages to educate and inspire creativity throughout the town. Within the Center you can stop at The Gallery Store, which is constantly filled with new artwork for sale from local and aspiring artists. This is the perfect place to gain a better perspective into the heart of Aiken’s equestrian culture and influence.
Aiken is already famous for being a town of equestrian excellence, and the artists portraying these horses and traditions are putting another area of excellence on display for the town nicknamed “The Thoroughbred.”