Whether you find it boldly splashed onto the side of a building, in a professionally-curated exhibit at a museum or as a feature of an annual festival, there’s no denying that Columbia is a community where art thrives. Read on for a little inspiration on how you can add some color to your day this Spring in the real Southern hot spot.
Enjoy SC: An Experience of South Carolina Arts & Culture at the State House
Now through May 19
Enjoy SC consists of a series of free, interactive events taking place throughout April and May to attract visitors and locals alike to meet, linger and socialize on the grounds of the South Carolina State House. With numerous cultural entities leading the charge, you can dabble in music, theatre, art, poetry, dance and more with workshops happening each Wednesday and Saturday. We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to show off our dance skills.
701 CCA Presents: Columbia Open Studios
April 7 and 8
Now in its eighth year, Columbia Open Studios invites you into the homes, studios and workspaces of about 70 different local artists. This behind-the-scenes experience offers you the opportunity to learn more about the process that goes into the artists’ work, glimpse what they’ve been working on lately and gain insider access to purchase some one-of-a-kind pieces yourself. So grab some friends, map out your route and find something special to take home with you.
Indie Grits Festival
April 12 – 15
Indie Grits Festival is a four-day celebration of the unexpectedly gritty and contemporary culture of the South, providing opportunities to experience art on different platforms from short and feature film submissions, live music, local cuisine, video games and even puppetry. Indie Grits truly showcases how progressive and cutting edge the arts scene is in Columbia, continuing to grow with each year. Utilizing various venues around the region such as the Nickelodeon Theatre, Tapp’s Arts Center, Hyatt Park and more, each event is a chance to check out something inventive in a new place. Plus, over 50% of this year’s submissions come from female filmmakers, so we think that’s pretty cool, too.
Soiree on State
Now in its second year, Soiree on State has combined with the Cayce Festival of the Arts to bring one giant artistic experience to State Street in West Columbia. Bring the family and enjoy a full afternoon of live music, delicious food vendors, a play area for the kids and, of course, an expanded lineup of artists. Pro tip – start off with brunch at Café Strudel or 116 and then move right into the festivities at noon! Pro pro tip – Café Strudel will be still be open for a post-festival cocktail, too!
April 19 and 21
The Vista has always been a neighborhood that local artists call home, creating a district buzzing with galleries, studios and shops to meet your every art need. Thus, Artista Vista was born, a two-day gallery crawl featuring new collections, complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment. You won’t want to miss the Light & Lantern Parade through the Lincoln Street Art Tunnel and be sure to check out the brand-new Stormwater Studios!
Transforming humdrum spaces into unexpected places, the public art scene in Columbia is not to be missed. Literally. Like, there’s no way you can go anywhere without spotting a bright mural or interesting sculpture livening up different parts of the region. From the row of steel drums outside Drip on Main and Busted Plug (the tallest fire hydrant in the world) to Five Points’ vibrant Postcard mural and the Rosewood Art Alley that offers up free space to any artists who wish to make their mark, you just never know what you might stumble upon next.
Don’t forget about the beloved venues you can visit to get your art fix year-round! Columbia Museum of Art displays exquisite exhibits from both classic greats and the fresh talent of today, Tapp’s Arts Center gets you up close and personal with interactive opportunities and 701 Center for Contemporary Art isn’t afraid to push the envelope. And for more fun things to do in Columbia SC, check out our website.