Downtown Art Gallery Opens

"Now We Thrive/Venimos a Triunfar," an exhibit of works by Atlanta-based artist Yehimi Cambron at the USC Upstate Gallery in downtown Spartanburg last fall.

USC Upstate is bringing art to the community through a new gallery space at the Chapman Cultural Center in downtown Spartanburg. The Upstate Art Gallery has not only shared some of the university’s own holdings, but also exhibited the work of diverse artists living in the Upstate region and beyond.Gallery director Lex Lancaster, assistant professor of art history, is committed to showcasing the work of women, immigrant, queer, trans and emerging underrepresented artists in the South. Programming built around the exhibits focuses on the artistic innovations and cultural contributions of each artist and offers learning opportunities for USC Upstate students.

Lancaster says the goal is to foster conversations about how art works to shape culture, promote social justice, and help everyone view the world from a multitude of perspectives.

The gallery opened with a display of celebrity portraits by Andy Warhol from the university’s collection. Subsequent exhibitions featured the works of Yehimi Cambrόn, an Atlanta-based artist and activist whose works depict immigrants and the experiences of undocumented Americans, and art by Mo Kessler, a queer Appalachian artist whose mixed media creations center on the social and environmental landscape of Appalachia.

"Stand Long Enough Among the Flowers," an exhibit by ceramic artist Valerie Zimany, is currently on display through Feb. 24. Admission to the gallery is free, and open to all. Hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday, and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday. Upcoming exhibits can be found on the Chapman Cultural Center website.