Arts and culture have come a long way in Soda City in recent years. Columbia has so much for families to discover when it comes to local art and artists. Here are five ways to explore art in our city:
The Museum of Art has interactive family programs that offer parents and children the opportunity to explore many aspects of arts and culture together. You can listen to storytelling in the galleries, take a family safari or create a piece of original artwork. The museum uses Gladys the grasshopper to guide you through the museum. There are different activities that families can take part in.
- The Interactive Education Gallery is a creative space where children can create their own art based on prompts from their collection and special exhibitions.
- Art Explorer Backpacks are designed to encourage families to enjoy the galleries with interactive activities. Themes can include color, line, shape, movement, and more! These art backpacks have options for younger and older children. To check out a backpack, just ask at the visitor services desk.
- Learn about art with scavenger hunts and other activities that keep children engaged while touring the galleries. With their family-friendly gallery guides, you’ll see the fun side of art.
- There are also free family programs. This year-round Passport to Art program for families features a new hands-on art project each month. After spending time in their open studios, explore the galleries at your own leisure or join the Family Tour at 1 p.m. This is held the second Sunday of the month from noon until 3 p.m.
- Join the museum for Gladys’ Gang! Participants (ages 2-5) and their adult companions explore art through the introduction of elementary art terms such as color, line, shape and texture. This free monthly program is held the first Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m. and includes a gallery visit, story time and a creative studio activity. Registration is required as space is limited.
Murals Around the City
Recently, art murals are popping up everywhere … and we love it! Street art and murals in major cities have been popular and a way to beautify a location with art. From sides of buildings and restaurants in Five Points to the Lincoln Street tunnel in the Vista, enjoy murals painted mostly by local artists. If you do some research, you can usually find a story behind each mural too.
The Chamber of Commerce Leadership Columbia Class of 2017 worked on a project to beautify and commemorate the entrance of the Lincoln Street Tunnel. The revitalization project, titled “Watermarked,” yields a pedestrian-friendly path through the addition of landscape, signage, local artwork, lighting and seating. The project also memorializes Columbians’ spirit of strength, unity and passion evoked after the 2015 flood. To assist with the local artwork component, One Columbia for Arts and History commissioned its database to help the class identify artists that can incorporate the key themes of strength, unity and passion. The class also painted two of the murals. How fun are these to visit and take a picture beside?!
Founded in 1988 by famed puppeteer Allie Scollon and her son John, the Columbia Marionette Theatre (CMT) has established itself as a premiere children’s theatre in South Carolina. The theatre’s mission is to entertain and educate children and adults through the long-standing tradition and artistry of puppetry. CMT is open to the public and hosts daycare and school field trips any day of the week. In addition, they host tours educational and entertaining shows throughout the state. There are also themed areas to host birthday parties and special occasions for children.
Held every Saturday on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Soda City Market is a producer-only market. That means that the vendors must make it or grow it. Everything sold is unique, hand crafted, and produced, right here, in South Carolina. Soda City has an average of 150 vendors per week with local talents and artists showcasing their music or art in the market as well. During some parts of the year, there is additional art on Main Street through street art or through yarnbombing in the downtown area. Yarnbombing is a form of street art where people decorate public spaces with knitting or crochet.
Explore four floors of exhibits at the South Carolina State Museum. Experience history, enjoy interactive science fun and see South Carolina works of art. Experience the past through the museum’s extensive artifact and fossil collections, enjoy hands-on interactive fun in the science gallery and see more than 400 years of South Carolina art on display.
The South Carolina State Museum features permanent exhibits on history, art, natural history and science and technology, as well as a variety of changing exhibits throughout the year.