Clemson University to feature prominently in Artisphere’s 20th anniversary

May 3, 2024

The 20th anniversary of Artisphere, the Upstate’s premier celebration of art and artists, will once again be tinted orange as artists, professors, staff members, alums and volunteers from Clemson University play a big part in the popular public event Friday-Sunday, May 10-12. The festival, founded in 2003 to “enhance the quality of life and economic vitality in South Carolina,” has become one of the nation’s most sought-out fine arts festivals, attracting more than 70,000 people to downtown Greenville annually.

The overall theme of Clemson’s interactive exhibit this year is “It’s a Clemson World.” It will feature activities like an interactive touch-screen storyboard, podcasting booth and “selfie” station where visitors can snap a photo that makes them look like they’re on the cover of Clemson World magazine.

“Clemson has had a long-running presence at Artisphere, and we see a lot of value in continuing to bring our best and most creative people and programs to Greenville and this world-class festival,” said David Dryden, associate vice president for brand experience. “This year, we are using Clemson’s flagship magazine, Clemson World, as a way to allow Artisphere visitors to engage and interact with a lot of very cool and innovative things happening at the University.”

Clemson executive creative director Jesse Godfrey said anchoring activities to the University’s award-winning alumni magazine will energize the Clemson experience at Artisphere this year.

“There are so many incredible stories of artistry and innovation at Clemson University, and we’re excited to bring a few of them to Main Street Greenville for Artisphere ’24,” said Godfrey. “By incorporating our flagship storytelling platform, Clemson World magazine, we hope to bring some of these stories to life and engage with festivalgoers from Greenville and beyond to give them a glimpse of what makes Clemson such a special place!”

Clemson will be well-represented outside its exhibit as well. David Gerhard, another MFA alumnus and art faculty member, has been selected as the juror for the “Artists of the Upstate Juried Exhibition.” Several artists affiliated with Clemson have been chosen for this showcase, including:

  • MFA student in Ceramics, Ethan McKeller ‘25
  • MFA alumna Jessica Swank ‘21
  • MFA alumna Jo Carol Mitchell Rogers ‘87
  • MFA alumnus and art faculty, Jonathan Bolton ‘23

MFA alumna Glory Day Loflin ’23, whose painting “Grid-Lock: Victory Vase & ‘X’ Marks the Spot” was chosen to be the Artisphere 2022 commemorative poster, has once again been selected from thousands of entries to be a part of Artists Row.

Also on Artists Row, this year’s Artisphere organizers have awarded MFA alumnus David Tillinghast ‘94 the title of Emerging Artist. He is well known at the University as the artist behind the public art piece P211.t45, which is made up of two components, one of which enjoys being one of Clemson students’ top 10 traditions, finding and signing “The Secret Book.”

As always, every festivalgoer will walk through the shadow of the permanent public artwork “Ten Artispheres” created by Clemson’s former Art Department chair, John Acorn, which towers over Main Street at the entrance to Falls Park. Acorn created the huge sculpture of ten thick aluminum intersecting spheres to commemorate Artisphere’s 10th anniversary in 2014.

Festival goers walk past John Acorn’s “Ten Artispheres” permanent installation (left).