Visitors to the Spartanburg Art Museum can view great works of art and learn how to create their own artwork under the same roof. The museum’s permanent collection includes artwork that spans multiple mediums, including paintings, photography, textiles, and sculpture from noted artists such as August Cook, Francesco Bartolozzi, and other North and South Carolinian artists. Talented artists—many of whom hold degrees in their respective disciplines—lead the museum’s Art School, where they teach both kids and adults how to craft their own masterpieces. The museum also regularly welcomes rotating exhibitions, guest speakers, and special programs.
Hands On! A Child's Gallery is an interactive and educational museum for children age 1–10. Kids can cavort through a variety of exhibits that stimulate imaginations and sensory experiences in a safe environment that encourages learning. In the creative-arts area, little ones become artists, donning smocks or picking up part-time barista jobs, taking to easels, decorating a chalk wall, or embellishing a table with colorful dyed rice.
An 850-square-foot mountain, complete with waterfall, encourages kids to engage with aspects of the natural world including cause and effect. Interactive games impart lessons on dental hygiene at the toothy tango section. A large Lego ramp gives kids a venue for their own kid-built Lego cars. A music room hosts concentration and memory games and encourages kids to learn the sounds of different instruments. A miniature grocery store presents the chance to shop for nutritious meals, learn about budgets, and wander parking lots as they try to remember where they parked.
Showcasing the mysterious inner workings of the human body and the curiosities of science, The Health Adventure invites families to peruse its colorful spaces brimming with interactive exhibits and educational classrooms where children and parents can bolster their knowledge together. The sizeable facility, which was recently relocated to the Biltmore Mall, houses innovative permanent exhibits, such as the dizzy tunnel and the Arrive Alive, which simulates how alcohol effects you while driving. Play areas give kids a chance to read, craft scale models of city hall with PVC pipes, and play in the dress-up closet. The traveling exhibit gallery hosts such kid-friendly themes as The Magic School Bus and Curious George, and elsewhere, participants can test their sportcentric mettle by clocking their pitch speed, calibrating their balance on a pommel horse, or identifying balls from various sports by taste.
The Asheville Art Museum annually presents an exciting, inviting and active schedule of exhibitions and public programs based on its permanent collection of 20th and 21st century American art. The Museum also offers a wide array of innovative, inspiring and entertaining educational programs for people of all ages.
Culture & Heritage Museums safeguard the Carolina Piedmont's historical treasures and educate residents and visitors about the region's unique past. Instituted in the 1950's, York County's group of affiliated museums and attractions forms a multi-campus network encompassing a wealth of educational opportunities across various disciplines.
Each year, museumgoers view antique documents and photographs at the Historical Center located inside the McCelvey Center. They can get to know more than 1,500 natural specimens at the hands-on Naturalist Center inside the Museum of York County, and march through Historic Brattonsville's 775-acre Revolutionary War site. Locals can volunteer at the museums in fascinating roles, such as specimen preparers, who beautify avian exhibits by helping with taxidermy and surgical beak-lifts.
What began as fewer than 30 paintings hanging in two rooms has since grown into the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, a collection of more than 400 baroque paintings displayed in 30 galleries. The paintings—works by Rubens, van Dyck, and Murillo that date from the 14th through 19th centuries—are thoughtfully displayed in context, surrounded by furniture, sculptures, tapestries, and popular emoticons from their respective time periods. Architectural elements also add texture to the various galleries, flooding them in colorful light from stained-glass windows or framing their walls with the carved corners of fireplace mantels.
At Heritage Green, a satellite location boasts special exhibits of works pulled from the main galleries or on loan from private and public collections. Up on the second floor, interactive exhibits educate visitors of all ages on works by the old masters.
Asheville changed drastically in the half-century following 1880. Railroad workers broke through the Appalachian Mountains' natural barrier and connected the city to the world, forever changing its culture and social zeitgeist. Though decades have passed, Brenda Seright Williams still feels the impact of this period, and the tour guide isn't content to let it fade into history. As it says on her website, she believes "the study of those who came before can inspire us to stretch our own limits."
Her Urban Trail walking tours not only explore the 19th century’s Gilded Age but also tiptoe through four other time periods, including the Frontier Period and the Age of String Cheese. Alternatively, Brenda shifts the spotlight to Asheville's pivotal female figures during the aptly named Herstory tours. However, neither of these excursions are cookie-cutter adventures. To weave her stories, Brenda has conducted more than 100 interviews and spent countless hours researching minute details and the correct pronunciation of the word "pioneer."