The Gettys Art Center is not exactly a museum. But it's more than a gallery. The Arts Council of York County calls it an "arts destination." Whatever it is, it's the kind of place that will make you truly excited about the flurry of creativity that's going on there.
Named after a U.S. Representative whose office was on the third floor, the building that today houses the Gettys Art Center was once the Rock Hill Post Office and Courthouse. Today the building's beautiful architecture has not been put to waste; it serves as a home for a plethora of arts organizations and businesses, artists' studios, a gallery space and even a yoga studio.
Upstairs in the appropriately named Gallery Up, is an artist-run gallery that presents about six shows per year. One of my favorite things about a visit to Gallery Up is lingering in their gift shop, which offers original art, handmade by artists.
While you are upstairs, peak inside the old courtroom. This lovely, wood-paneled room has been preserved in the building's reuse as an arts center and is rented out for special events. Make sure to look up and take in the stunning ceiling detail and plaster moldings. Even though it was once used for a utilitarian, civic purpose, the room is full of the charm and romance of a bygone era.
Downstairs, there is more art to see at the Rock Hill Pottery Center, which consists of five core potters: Bob Haselle, Christine White, Hope Fregerio, Susannah Hayes and Katherine Petke. Their shared studio is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Grace with Fire studio also has a space on the first floor. All of the artists display their work and much of it is for sale. And, a real treat is being able to talk directly to the artists about their interests, training, techniques and artwork.
One of the things that is really wonderful about the Gettys Art Center is that the building itself is a wonderful glimpse at a past that hasn't been erased in converting the space. Downstairs, in what used to be a post office, you peer through a little window that reads "Parcel Post" at a potter at work.
The Gettys Art Center is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You'll also often find its doors open during special Rock Hill events like Christmasville or the Come See Me Festival.