Artisphere Greenville

artisphere greenville scMy tardiness is shameful but here I am posting about Artisphere, a festival that we attended back on May 12. Since Greenville hosts this event annually, I feel the information here is still relevant.

When McB and I went downtown for Artisphere we were looking forward to enjoying a nice walk while taking in some interesting pieces from a variety of vendors. That’s exactly what we got.

There were at least 100 different vendors selling everything from large, vibrant landscape photography to textiles and furniture. As with most art festivals, some items were within our budget and others were not. This time around it seems like the more I loved something, the more 0’s you’d find on the price tag. While we didn’t make any purchases at the festival, there are a couple of artists including Lisa Norris and Kreg Yingst that really made an impression.

The event did feature live music and some activities for kids. The live music, or at least the performances that were occurring while we were there, was found on a side street in a small, congested tent close to the food vendors. This configuration wasn’t ideal because most of the space in the tent was taken up by people eating lunch.

The food vendors did offer a good opportunity to try some small plates from a lot of Greenville restaurants. Mimi’s Steakhouse of Japan offered the best bargain of the day and their food was quite tasty.

It was a nice (free) event with lots to see. I’m sure we’ll be back for next year’s event, May 10-12, 2013.


chalk artist

We also treated ourselves to a stop at Luna Rosa for gelato. The ordering system (pay first, pick your flavors later) was a bit confusing but other than that, the service was good. McB got a vanilla and sweet cream frappe. He enjoyed it but it was definitely much different from the thick milkshakes that he normally prefers.

marsala berry gelatoI got three-berry Marsala gelato. The Marsala brought both a sweetness and an alcohol (winey?) flavor which went well with the sometimes tart berries. The gelato was very fresh and the texture was just right. By the end of the dish, the sweetness of the wine was becoming just a bit overpowering but it was a very inventive flavor and I’m glad I tried it.

Visit to Bob Jones University’s M&G and my rant about Elgin

Last week I popped over to Bob Jones University’s Museum & Gallery (Heritage Green – Buncombe Street in Greenville, SC) to see “Rublev to Faberge’: The Journey of Russian Art and Culture to America.” The exhibition primarily focuses on icons from the Russian Orthodox Church, most of which came to the US and to Bob Jones after the Bolshevik Revolution.

The exhibit itself was amazing. I wish I could share images but photography is not allowed in either of the M&G locations. It’s also a bit disappointing that the M&G website does not show images from the collection.

The works are displayed along a timeline beginning with a piece created by Andrei Rublev in the 1300’s and continuing past the Bolshevik Revolution and murders of the Romanov family. The icons vary greatly. Some of the images are small and unadorned and others feature a painting of Christ (or another religious figure) with clothing made from silver filigree. Some of the icons have been embellished with semi-precious stones in the frame or as part of the piece itself.

The icon stood out most to me was an acheiropoieta or an icon that is said to be an image of Christ that was not produced by a human hand.  The icons of this class are said to be reproductions of a cloth featuring Christ’s image. One of the icons in the M&G collection that fell into this category was truly haunting. The face of Christ seemed to glow and the expression was full of both grace and sorrow.

As I made my way through the museum and came to learn that many of the icons there were purchased from Armand Hammer, who traveled to the then Soviet Union in 1921. There are several accounts of what he planned to do there – provide medical aid or feed the starving peasants – but, what he ended up doing best was collecting Russian icons and other works of art. In truth, the communists had destroyed thousands of the Orthodox icons and pieces belonging to the Romanov’s so his actions did save a fair amount of Russian art that was then brought the the US to be sold. It’s likely that many of the pieces would have been destroyed without his intervention but with so many of its treasures found in galleries and private homes around the world, it’s easy to understand why Russia doesn’t want these icons going home with tourists now.

It got me to thinking about the Pergamon Altar, Elgin Marbles, Caryatid, and countless other pieces that are tucked away in museums far away from their homelands. I could go on and on about the Caryatid in particular and how I think she should be shipped back to Athens immediately but this most is about a day at the M&G and not Elginism. It’s just that even though I enjoyed seeing the icons, I felt a little sad for the Russian people who might never get the chance to see some of these treasures.

I enjoyed my day at M&G and look forward to taking in the many lovely works of art found in the main location on the Bob Jones campus.

Spartanburg Photo Walk

This is the first of two posts from my photo walk in downtown Spartanburg last Friday. It was a very bright day so while that caused some photographic challenges, my body was so glad to feel the sun that I didn’t mind.

Statue on the side of the Extended Stay America’s HQ. He is chiseling himself out of a block of iron/clay/mud.

This tree was full of soft pink buds and busy bees.

I love the sunlight on the water here.

This is for Mr. McB as Denny’s is one of his favorites.

The Palmetto and Magnolia Fountain by Berry Bate with the Daniel Morgan Monument in the background.

First Baptist Church of Spartanburg

A fountain at “The George,” USC Upstate’s business school

Bubbling waters at The George

Blues Blvd

Morgan Square
Finally the SC flag is flapping in the most delightful way.

Another busy bee

Spigot fountain behind Denny’s HQ
A subtle reminder to wash your hands before going back to work?