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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Artisphere - Art Heaven

Art, music, and literature have developed as men have. These have been greatly influenced by the different events in the evolution of humankind. Music, art and literature embody culture and is an expression of the aesthetic sense of the people that comprise this culture. These forms of expression are unique and live through the years and should therefore be celebrated. This is what Artisphere is all about. It is a celebration of the arts.

Art around town is the concept that is Artisphere. It is located in Downtown Greenville's Historic West End and to say that the location itself is already “art” in its totality is definitely a right description. It is the best venue for this showcase of different works by various artists lining Main Street. The scenic view of the falls by the Reedy river, the addition of the Liberty Bridge, landscape areas and the various picnic sites add to the more inviting aura of the arts showcase. With the accessibility of other Art Venues that are located near downtown Greenville one could say that Artisphere was strategically set in a venue that provides an overall artistic haven for artists and art lovers. With the great amenities for artists and the beautiful downtown location, one cannot ask for more. Music is abound and the various street performers gives the ambiance a very festive mood. It is like being in a wonderland of treats for the senses and an immersion to different forms of art that range from the usual to the intriguing. As usual it was another spectacular year considering the crowds that were present in the festivities. It has gained great popularity because of the good reviews it has garnered since it was first started. It is now even considered number 6 out of 600 Fine Art Shows nationwide in Greg Lawler's Art Fair Sourcebook.

For three solid days the festival proved to be a great crowd pleaser and was a venue for various conteporary and traditional artists from all over. I for one could say that it was a great learning experience for me and Artisphere is definitely something not worth missing. From all the visual arts that lined the streets and those that are exhibited including the different performances by musicians and other performers, the Artisphere is an art universe that should definitely continue through time. Not to forget the food that are abound makes one refer to this experience as both a food for the stomach and a food for thought.

The array of art pieces that were free for general public viewing ranged from the ancient to the contemporary. Great private collections were showcased in the galleries that were available to the public. There were collections of baroque style paintings as well as portraits that immortalized the faces of those who made their mark in history. However, what is best about Artisphere is that it was not only restricted to the work of the professionals but it also featured works by students who had the eye for visual art. What was the most awaited event for visual artists during this 3-day show is the Artist Row which is a challenge for 120 artists who have mastered their art from all over the United States as well as beyond. These artists have specialized in their own visual art froms and have perfected their craft using different mediums. The jurors of the competition are among the best, making the Artisphere Artist Row one of the the most prestigious events in the art community. It is really fascinating how artists could make something incredible and fascinating using outrageous materials to form art. The mediums were photography, ceramics, printmaking, jewelry, glass, mixed media, metalworks, woodwork, fiber, furniture, drawing,pastel, and sculpture. These different mediums were used to produce art that ranged from the old-school to the modern. Personally, I think that art forms such as paintings and drawings are very common and numerous artists are already involved in this undertaking. In photography, those that have an eye for lighting and a knack for capturing moments at the right time have the edge. Digital art requires a deeper and technical knowledge about manipulating modern technology to create art. But what fascinates me the most are the artforms that use glass, sculptures as well as metalworks. These forms of art with their three-dimensional forms are for me most captivating because they are closer to reality than paintings are. These forms are very tangible and would seem like they take greater pains to do. However, Leonardo da Vinci would definitely disagree. His defense on painting would be found in his “treatise of painting” which were from a compilation of his notes that were collected after his death. His contention that painting is the most noble of all arts was based on his belief that the sight is the most superior of all the senses claiming that the “eye was the window to the soul” and that it was the main component that stimulates the brain from appreciating the different works of art. Contrary to what this may imply about the competition among the different mediums, Artisphere is a collaboration rather than a clash. It takes together all the different forms of art in one venue and makes it a feast for all the five senses.

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the ears according to the great Leonardo “recounts the things which the eye have seen”. The different musical presentations that were shown in in the amphiteaters and stages featured musicians and artists that were very entertaining. With the good food, good music and world class presentations, the event became all the more exciting and appealing. From individual singers, to bands, choral groups and ballet dancers, Artisphere offered a culmination of modern, gospel, country, opera and classical that are offered for the varied tastes of the patrons and guests. The highlight for me is Brian Olsen's Art in Action because it is something that is very colorful, energetic and passionate. The use of painting and music is something that taps at the emotional and his energy is very infectious. It is really entertaining how he would transform a canvass into a portrait of people that are familiar to most and the uniqueness of his craft is really enchanting. To witness something so impromptu and spontaneous is inspiring and his contemporary style does not alienate the old but magnets everyone to feel young because of the energy that emanates from the performance. It was a big crowd at the Falls park area who watched Olsen perform and it was definitely enlightening to be part of that crowd.

Another notable thing about artisphere is the children's participation in this event. There was the kidsphere which made the children feel like artists for a day. This event arranged different art activities for kids making them exposed to various art mediums. The kids made, jewelry, paper collages, hats, bowls and even had their own art in action activity which is the splatter paint. This is very helpful in cultivating the inner artist in a kid since art is a tool that can aid kids in their personal development not only by helping them express their thoughts and ideas but can help them gain self confidence and self esteem. The best time to teach art in my opinion is at a young age so that the kid will be aware if he does have a talent. To start young means more time to cultivate the talent and experiment on different art forms therefore discovering the child's forte.

In conclusion, I think that Artipshere encompasses all that an artist could ask for in an Art venue. It has gathered talent from all over regardless of age and created a haven that is purely dedicated to the arts. The murals that decorated the street and walls is a statement that art should not be restricted and free for all. It is an invitation for everyone to express their talent and share it with the world. With a venue like Artipshere, young artists and artists that lack professional experience can have the opportunity to show their craft and be discovered. All mediums of visual art were introduced giving a diversity that is very captivating. The different musical showcases also uplifted the atmosphere and made the town very alive. This is a very good tourism event and economic-wise, is very viable for Greenville. Looking forward to next year's Artisphere, everyone is really psyched and geared up for another arts exhibition that could supass this year's display. Informative and fun ae just two words among the many that could describe an Artisphere experience.

Darr, S. (2002). Why Teach Art. Helium, pp. 1, 2.

Hicks, A. (2010, May 2). Art in Action. Greenville Online, pp.1.

University of the Arts London. (2010). Paragone: Painting or Sculpture.Universal Leonardo, pp. 1, 2.

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