Wednesday, May 22, 2013


It was a fluke that I should have claimed as careful planning; not only were my parents able to time their visit to coincide with Lauris’s 3rd birthday, but by chance it was also during Artisphere, the Upstate’s art festival.

Birthday boy playing with his new trains
“ARTISPHERE is an annual signature event for Greenville, SC, showcasing the arts, reflecting the area’s international flair, and maximizing existing arts programs by providing a diverse menu of experiences that center around the arts visual and performing and Greenville’s multi-cultural offerings to appeal to visitors from throughout the world, as well as citizens throughout the region.”

Grandmother and grandfather take in the falls
Started in 2005, the festival has grown in size and popularity, this year featuring over 120 artists from across the country (and Canada) and attracting over 10,000 visitors. Booths were set up on Main Street from Broad to River Street with art ranging from sculpture to photography to woodwork, glass and metal. In addition to shopping, guests could chat with the artists and find out more about their purchases. Falls Park featured several live art performances and Broad Street culinary arts, with a silent auction occurring online for those who couldn’t make it downtown. There was truly something for everyone, with “Kidsphere” catering to younger artists and a demo stage to the DIYers.

It's all fun and games with the grandparents
The festival started on Friday, May 10th, but this worked out well for us because although my parents arrived Thursday, the day was a blur between a doctor’s appointment, the trip to the airport, the boys getting reacquainted and the parents getting settled (and of course dinner at Henry’s Smokehouse!). So on Friday we headed downtown, parked behind Falls Park and made it across Liberty Bridge just in time for the kickoff at 10am. The boys were captivated by a trio of aerial artists performing complicated maneuvers near the Main Street entrance to the park, and soon after we watched Brian Olsen and his “Art in Action.”

Revolve Aerial Dance from Mount Pleasant, SC
The big hit was the giant beech tree on Howe Street, whose bare roots are exposed at street level creating its own piece of art. Not part of Artisphere, one photographer has nicknamed the sight “Roots at Liberty”, and this is a must see if you’re ever visiting Falls Park. Just follow the Swamp Rabbit Trail over the little bridge and glance to the right across Howe St.

All that art worked up an appetite, and so we headed to Rick’s Deli & Market, the restaurant I had first visited with my little sister. The sandwiches were just as appetizing, and the place just as packed this time around, but we switched things up a little by ordering some macarons for dessert… YUM! Although I expected a lot due to the price tag, the sweets did not disappoint, even my spoiled palate was impressed. I really have to try my hand at making them at home. A side note: the choice to order the macarons was purely jubilārs vēlās, as the birthday boy specifically chose a lime green one to accompany his lunch.

The birthday kliņģeris that evening
Then back to the art! We watched live demonstrations of woodworking, glass blowing and metal forging and Lauris spent some time creating in the kids area. The day grew quite warm, and after several hours walking Mikus grew a little impatient with it all, signaling it was time to head home. This might have been my first visit to Artisphere but it surely will not be the last, as I was impressed by the quality of work present and happy with our time spent at the festival. We arrived home with just enough time to get everything prepared for a grand birthday dinner for Lauris, and the evening was spent eating, relaxing, opening presents and enjoying the company of family.

1 comment:

  1. Vau, tas nu ir īsti latvisks kliņģeris!!! Super!:)


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