Wednesday, February 24, 2010

West Main Artists Cooperative awakening creativity in downtown Spartanburg

West Main Artists Cooperative awakening creativity in downtown Spartanburg

The local non-profit art collective known as the West Main Artists Cooperative announces to the community their grand opening. The first day of spring, this years renewing vernal equinox, yields the groups largest show to date. The function takes place on March 20, 5pm to 9pm and will sure to be one of the biggest highlights of the new year in downtown Spartanburg. The co-op is located at 578 West Main Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29301. The affair will definitely add to the revitalization of the local social scene and help pull the community together by working with other art factions for future events. The idea is to make every sector of the community realize the importance of fine art and the educational potential behind it. A new momentum for art is being created in Spartanburg and that environment needs to rival that of Asheville, Greenville, Charlotte, and Columbia. Live music, food, and refreshments will be available.


The co-op has come a long way from its conception. Formally the West Main Baptist Church, renovations and artist sweat equity transformed the empty and nearly forgotten landmark into a showcase of artists for the state to see. Howard Solomon purchased the church last year with the great notion of providing affordable workspaces for local artists; this is not the only attribute found at the WMAC by any means. Many artists are realizing that with such a diverse group around all of the time, the progression of the individual’s work never stops. This is constantly forming a catalyst that drives each person to question his or her art and where it is going. The WMAC is the only art co-op in Spartanburg County and art is everywhere in this 20,000 square foot building. The exhibition, workshops, performance and educational spaces, along with artist’s studios subsist in the creation of something that Spartanburg has never seen, a one of a kind facility that houses like-minded individuals that share a common consciousness.

Future community projects are endless, not just to make the public aware of the co-op, but to strengthen the city by participation. This organization echoes the art endeavors of the Spartanburg Art Museum, the Spartanburg Artists Guild, Hub Bub and all other downtown art galleries. As more people get involved with downtown and the renewing of the surroundings, the sense of pride increases, and that is positive growth. The West Main Artists Cooperative is linked with the University of South Carolina Upstate, Converse, and Wofford. A student from each college occupies a studio and places work in the shows. Each school reserves and funds a spot for one term per scholar who excels in the arts. They create art in a professional atmosphere and experience new techniques, ideas, and vital work ethics to succeed in the world around them. This is part of the co-op’s Education Outreach Program, which is overseen by Teresa Prater and other professors from the universities.

The new season brings fine art on all levels to the West Main Artists Cooperative and the city of Spartanburg. Over thirty artists of all disciplines such as painting, writing, printmaking, ceramics, music, future theatre and performance art, photography, graphic arts and jewelry will be present for the grand opening. The WMAC invites the public to join the celebration of Spartanburg’s largest art show. The studios will be open for a meet and greet so visitors can learn more about the people that produced the art in the four galleries and surrounding areas. Live music will fill the east and west wings, as well as the galleries and printmaking and ceramic departments. Catering will be provided to accompany the classical sounds of spring. Not to be missed is Al Hofmann, a glass artist, as he lights up the night sky on the patio. Be a part of the crowd as he demonstrates this craft and explains his methods of firing glass. This art exhibition has everything for everyone. Mark your calendars now and participate in an event that Spartanburg will be raving over for the rest of the year.

This event is funded in part by The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, its donors, the County and the City of Spartanburg and the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment of the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC.

Monday, February 22, 2010

City Moving Forward With Airport Improvements

City Moving Forward With Airport Improvements

After considering various redevelopment and funding options over the past several years, the City of Spartanburg has entered into a $3.8 million financing agreement with Carolina First Community Development Corporation for improvements at the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport.

Improvements will include renovation and expansion of the terminal building, parking and landscape improvements, and the construction of two T hangars.

The South Carolina Aeronautics Commission is providing $500,000 to complete project funding.

Airport Director Darwin Simpson said groundbreaking should begin in May. “The Airport is a critical part of this community’s economic engine. These improvements will position the Airport for continued future growth and continue to serve the general and corporate aviation needs in Spartanburg".

For additional information please contact Darwin Simpson, Airport Director at 574-8552.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2010 Spartanburg Visitors Guide Available Today!

2010 Spartanburg Visitors Guide Available
Highlights County Accommodations, Attractions and Restaurants

The newest edition of the highly-anticipated Spartanburg Visitors’ Guide is now available to travelers planning to visit the Upcountry region.

The 2010 edition features Spartanburg restaurants, accommodations, shopping, attractions, annual events, cultural venues, and includes a pull-out map with several points of interest in the county and city of Spartanburg. The Visitors’ Guide is the official tourism guide to Spartanburg County. This is now an annual publication with 50,000 copies printed, and is distributed to all nine official South Carolina Welcome Centers, at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, and at AAA offices throughout North and South Carolina, and Georgia.

“The Visitors’ Guide received rave reviews from the traveling public and our industry,” said Chris Jennings, Executive Director of the CVB. “This is a real Spartanburg product,” he said. “It had a local designer; photography was selected through local contest, and it was printed in Spartanburg-- we’re proud of our local partnerships.”

Dan Freeland General Manager of the Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park, and chairman of the CVB Steering Committee also commended CVB staff members Amy Phillips and Lauren Ponder for their extraordinary work in producing the publication.

“On behalf of our Steering Committee,” he said, “I also want to thank the City Council of Spartanburg for helping to produce it with a grant from Accommodations Tax funds—it’s another great example of public-private partnerships.”

The Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is hosting an event for the tourism industry on February 18 at Brasserie Ecosse restaurant on Daniel Morgan Avenue, to showcase the 2010 edition. Bulk quantities will be available to hotels, attractions and other tourism venues in the county.

The guide will also be distributed at trade shows and conferences attended by the CVB, convention and meeting attendees, sporting events in Spartanburg, and all hotels in the region. Additionally, it is sent to all visitor requests received from phone, the tourism website (, and walk-ins to the Visitor Center at the Chamber of Commerce.

Please be sure to pick up your copy at the CVB’s office, located at 105 North Pine Street and “Be A Tourist In Your Own Town” -- support Spartanburg County’s local restaurants, attractions, artists and musicians.


The Spartanburg Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, the region is known for its beauty, quality of life and friendly people. Spartanburg is conveniently located at the junction of Interstates 26 and 85, making it easily accessible from Columbia, SC, Atlanta, GA, Asheville and Charlotte, NC.

For more information, call (800) 374-8326 or bookmark our website:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Applications for Spring Fling 2010


Plans are underway for the annual Spring Fling in downtown Spartanburg, scheduled for April 30 - May 2. This year’s festivities will include live music, an exciting Family Fun Zone with hands-on activities and stage performances, lots of taste-tempting foods, an arts and crafts marketplace, a professional bicycle race, and antique car show, and many other special events.

Organizers are currently accepting applications for arts and crafts exhibitors, community showcase (non-profits) booths, and commercial vendors. Please note that all food and beverage concessionaire spots are already filled. Those interested in participating in the festival can download an application from the Spring Fling website at or by calling the City’s Parks, Recreation and Special Events Office at 864-596-3105. Applications will be accepted through March 12.

Spring Fling is a tremendous undertaking and can only happen by having tons of volunteers willing to help out. Over 300 volunteers are needed for the three-day event. If you are interested in volunteering with the festival, contact Darryl Goodwin at

Monday, February 1, 2010

2nd annual Artcycle event planned for downtown Spartanburg

The City of Spartanburg invites area artists to submit an application for Artcycle, an art project, scheduled for April 2010 in downtown Spartanburg. Regional artists will utilize recycled bicycle parts and the display is planned for April-September in Spartanburg’s downtown area. Artcycle is seeking artists to create outdoor sculptures that are made from a substantial amount of recycled bicycle parts. The sculptures need not be made only of bicycle parts, nor need they be made of a specific percentage of bicycle parts. However, the sculptures must be made of enough bicycle parts that the viewer readily sees that a significant portion of each sculpture contain parts that were formerly from of a bicycle. Artcycle will feature ten artists and is part of the City of Spartanburg’s Creative Energy campaign with the partnership of HUB-BUB, the Spartanburg Art Museum and Partners for Active Living.

Applications can be found on the Spartanburg Creative Energy website at and they are due to the City of Spartanburg by March 1, 2010. The winning artist will be revealed at the Spartanburg Artwalk event on April 15, 2010.
For additional information please contact Amanda Mathis, Economic Development, at 864-596-3068 or