OPEN DOORS 2019
All member exhibition and open studio event!
Spartanburg Art Co-op Reinvents the Traditional ‘Open Studio’ Tours
West Main Artists Co-op will host its annual members art exhibition–Open Doors–Nov. 5-Dec. 28, 2019, showcasing new works by 39 emerging and established Co-op-member artists from Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina. This extensive exhibit of many mediums will be open for general viewing Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at no cost.
A free and public reception for Open Doors will be held during the city’s monthly ArtWalk, Thursday, Nov. 21, 5-9 p.m. and will include “open studios” and live music by the band The Low Stakes. Participating artists will literally “open their studio doors” to the public for the opportunity to see how art is made. The exhibit’s closing reception will be Thursday, Dec. 19, 5-9 p.m., but much of the artwork will still be available for viewing and purchase through Saturday, Dec. 28.
“Open Doors is one of our most popular and important exhibits,” Co-op Chair Beth Regula said. “We’ve taken a common theme of studio tours and tweaked it to suit the unique environment of the Co-op. Instead of having patrons drive all over the county trying to find artists’ homes and studios, we make it convenient for them by having our artists in one building. Also, by having it during the holiday season, we give patrons the opportunity to buy locally made Christmas gifts. We believe this is a good way to see a lot of art, see how it is made, to meet artists, and to get some holiday shopping done. Plus, the event lasts for nearly two months–you don’t have to rush! But do come to these receptions because they are extra special with artists in their studios welcoming visitors!”
The Co-op has more than 50 members and 32 studios at the building. Some of the artists who don’t have Co-op studios will have temporary space to present their work during Open Doors. Visitors will be able to tour the galleries and all three floors of studios to see where and how ideas are conceived and developed. Artists will also discuss their work and demonstrate their creative process throughout the two-month-long exhibit and especially during the receptions. Some of the mediums include printmaking, pottery, jewelry making, glass arts, mixed-media, photography, watercolor, and more.
Unlike most art exhibits where all of the art stays in the exhibit until it ends, when a patron buys a piece of art in the Open Doors exhibit, he or she can take possession of it immediately. “We’ve been planning this exhibit for a long time, and the artists have prepared for sales,” exhibit coordinator Nancy Williamson said. “We have a good deal of work ready for this show, and we want patrons to leave happy with their purchases in-hand.”
The participating artists are Elizabeth Bagwell, Barbie Bray-Workman, Roderice Cardell “THE MADDDARTIST,” Robin Childers, Amanda Dawkins, Richard Debus, Patrick DeCrane, Andy Donnan, Addam Duncan, Susan Eleazer, Marcy Fedalei, Annette Giaco, Ashley Gilreath, Alana Hall “Lady Pluuto,” Peter Harding, Rita Howard, Thomas Koenig, Elliott Leader, John Lever, Alison Levin-Rector, Tom Lowrimore, Judy Martin, Rosemary McLeod, Sydney McMath, Nancy O’Dell-Keim, Chuck Reback, Beth Regula, David Sawyer, Shelley Sperka, Carol Story, Jonathan Swift, Joshua B. Tennant, Brandi Tucker, Wadi, James Weber, Sally Weber, Joan Wheatley, Nancy Williamson, Patty Wright.
The Low Stakes is a family affair hailing from Upstate South Carolina. Featuring the inimitable Kevin Heuer, Carsyn Tennant, Josh Tennant, Wilson Warren, and John Henry Tennant, the genre-bending quintet blends influences from progressive to power pop, Americana to soul, and rhythm and blues, resulting in a blend of hook-laden original music and some surprising cover tunes.
West Main Artists Co-op is a non-profit arts agency located at 578 West Main St. in Spartanburg. It has about 50 members whose work spans the visual arts spectrum. It also has performance artists. Now in its tenth year, the Co-op routinely has three exhibitions each month, often showing the work of non-member guest artists. It is housed in a 20,000-square-foot converted church that includes studio space for the members, four galleries, two stages, and the largest collection of “for sale” art in the county. For more information, visit online: WestMainArtists.org.