The Johnson Collection Gallery

Every Child Is An Artist

The human instinct to create is innate. We are born into this world with a deep-seated, delicious drive to explore and to make. Armed with imagination, finger paints, crayons, and construction paper, a young child develops an aesthetic vocabulary and voice that is fresh and free, unrestricted by theory or teacher, and wholly unique. To celebrate the opening of the Children’s Museum of the Upstate’s Spartanburg satellite, local budding artists, ages three to seven, were invited to offer their artistic responses to a number of modern canvases held in the Johnson Collection. These images, alive with color, shape, and pattern, served as ignition for the companion masterpieces made by tomorrow’s Pablo Picassos. The Spanish genius acknowledged native creativity when he avowed that, indeed, “every child is an artist.” “The problem,” he continued, “is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”



An informal gallery talk about this collaborative exhibition–featuring works by Anni Albers, George Bireline, Sam Gilliam, William Halsey, Ted Potter, and Alma Thomas–will be  offered at 6:30pm during the June 21st installation of ArtWalk. We invite families and art lovers of all ages to join us that evening and for the TJC + TCMU Family Day gallery hours on Saturday, June 23, from 10am through noon.


Hailed by The Magazine Antiques with staging a “quiet art historical revolution” and expanding “the meaning of regional,” the Johnson Collection offers an extensive survey of artistic activity in the American South from the late eighteenth century to the present day. In May 2016, the collection received the Governor’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for the Arts, South Carolina’s highest honor in the field. Located at 154 West Main Street in the heart of Spartanburg’s downtown, TJC Gallery features rotating selections from the collection’s holdings. These curated exhibitions are open to the public without charge twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm to 5pm. In addition, TJC Gallery is pleased to participate in the city’s ArtWalk series, held on the third Thursday of each month from 5pm to 8pm.