The Spartanburg Art Museum is a regional institution focused on inspiring and engaging people of all ages through contemporary art exhibitions, affordable education, and more! From free admission and affordable art classes to professional development programs and public art projects, SAM is committed to making art accessible for every member of our community. SAM is also the only art museum in the Upstate that exclusively shows contemporary art. We change out our exhibits four to five times a year so there will always be something fresh on view when you visit the museum!
Our current exhibit, Tina Freeman: Lamentations (on loan from the New Orleans Museum of Art), contains a powerful series of photographs taken over a period of 7 years. The photographer, Tina Freeman, traveled between the wetlands of Louisiana and the glacial landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctica to capture these breathtaking images. Paired together as diptychs, Freeman’s photographs reveal a haunting connectedness between spaces that are 5,000 miles apart. This exhibit will only be on view until Saturday, February 5, 2022 so be sure to come visit us before then!
Just looking at a work of art has been proven to increase blood flow to the brain by as much as 10% – the equivalent of seeing someone you love. And even if you don’t like or understand the piece you’re looking at, your critical thinking skills are subconsciously at work, searching for a common thread; searching for meaning. In fact, it’s been rumored that looking at works of art can help cure writer’s block. So if you ever find yourself in a creative rut or simply need to boost your mood, swing by SAM and find inspiration in our gallery. We’re open to the public 5 days a week and admission is always free!
Similarly, creative expression also has a positive effect on the mind. Making art has been shown to enhance brain function, raise serotonin levels, and reduce stress. It has also been found to promote self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment in both children and adults. At our museum, we believe all humans need an outlet for their creativity, which is why the Art School at SAM offers a range of classes from ceramics, painting, and drawing to lectures, self-care programs, and more.
Become one with nature this Spring during our Sketching in the Garden class or discover strange new facts when you attend our lecture The Weird History of Soap Carving. You can also mold your sculpting skills with our Ceramics and Wheel Throwing classes or spend Saturday getting creative at SAM during our monthly Family Fundays. If you’d rather make art from the comfort of your own home, our to-go kits have got you covered! The Art School at SAM is proud to provide local learners of all ages and skill levels with a space to express their creativity.
SAM’s recently-announced Professional Development program is just another way our museum enriches the local community. This program helps regional educators stay up-to-date on trends in the ever-evolving world of art education, equipping them with the tools to keep their students creative and engaged. From exploring new technologies and research to discussing recent methodologies and materials, SAM’s Professional Development program instills confidence in its participants, empowering them to educate a generation.
In 2020, we as a culture were radically altered. Our narrative of who we are as a community continues to change, strengthened by our individual and collective experiences. SAM’s latest public art project, Go Figure, is inspired by current events and the desire to connect safely with each other again – without COVID-19, without racial injustices, and without exclusion. Our goal for Go Figure is to create a project that expresses how we want to re-emerge together as a community: united.
The Spartanburg Art Museum’s public art projects foster local pride, boost tourism, and connect members of the local community. In fact, studies have found that the health and well-being of a community is deeply connected to the ability of its individuals to come together to work towards a common goal. Public art projects like Go Figure can act as this common goal, promoting cooperation, collaboration, and communication as well as demonstrating a town’s commitment to growth, development, and unity.
SAM is also excited to be offering memberships that come with some truly incredible perks! Every new member receives a t-shirt designed by local artist and SAM board member Adrian Meadows, exclusive access to four members-only events throughout the year, 10% off our online gift shop, and reciprocal membership access to 150+ museums across the Southeast through SEMC’s Southeastern Reciprocal Membership program.
This means that when you become a member at SAM, you also get free access to amazing institutions such as Cheekwood Estate & Gardens in Nashville, TN, the Columbia Museum of Art, the Miami Institute of Contemporary Art, and more. Plus, a membership to SAM is 100% tax-deductible (as applicable by law)! Want to learn more about the Spartanburg Art Museum? Visit our website at spartanburgartmuseum.org, reach out to us on social media @spartanburgartmuseum, or email firstname.lastname@example.org!