17 Top Art Festivals in South Carolina for 2022
17 Top Art Festivals in South Carolina for 2022
Our state is a treasure trove of culture and the arts. From the Gullah on the sea islands to the Appalachian folk art in Upstate South Carolina, our people have fostered strong artistic traditions that enrich our homes and world. Our art festivals and events draw visitors and residents alike to appreciate music performances, craft shows, and creative expression. If you're an art fan, add these South Carolina art festivals to your calendar for 2022.
#1- Gullah Festival
Set aside May 27-29 for the Gullah Festival 2022 at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort. Join over 70,000 visitors to experience the Gullah culture's achievements, language, customs, and history. The Gullah are African Americans descended from enslaved plantation workers whose isolation on the sea islands enabled them to preserve unique traditions and culture. Today Gullah peoples live on the Southeastern Coast of the U.S.
Visitors to this special celebration have a chance to taste Gullah local foods, experience dances, check out arts and crafts, learn about the culture in Gullah presentations, and even explore the Black Inventions Museum.
Admission is free, and all ages are welcome. There is a charge for some of the events. Keep an eye out for more information on the event schedule and ticket prices. The address for the park is 1010 Bay Street, Beaufort, South Carolina.
#2- Charleston Arts Festival
Each fall, Charleston lights up with music, dance, poetry, theater, film, and visual arts at the Charleston Arts Festival. This multi-day event spreads across artistic genres and venues to highlight Lowcountry talent. The festival is committed to accessible and intentional art experiences. The Arts Festival is just one of the summer Charleston events to check out.
#3- Charleston Christmas Made in the South
At the Charleston Exchange Park and Fairground, the Christmas Made in the South festival is going on three decades of presenting hundreds of handmade holiday-themed creations. Featured crafts run from jewelry to fine arts, photography to dichroic glass jewelry. Browse while listening to holiday carols and entertainment. The festival includes a visit from Santa and Santa's elves, art demonstrations, and gourmet food.
The festival generally operates Friday-Sunday.
#4-Beaufort International Film Festival
Break out the popcorn and settle in for some stirring independent films carefully chosen by the Beaufort Film Society for their annual festival. The films include documentaries, short films, student films, animation, and screenplays. BIFF seeks to highlight the "film-friendly" Beaufort and Sea Islands region, which has been the backdrop of major motion pictures like Forrest Gump, The Big Chill, and The Prince of Tides.
The 2022 event runs from February 22-27. Tickets become available in December 2021.
#5- Art in the Park
A premier outdoor art show, the Art in the Park has been going on since the 1970s. Artists work in a range of mediums at Valor Park in Myrtle Beach. For the fine arts competition, the artists submit original works or reproductions of original works. The event is hosted three weekends a year in April, October, and November. The show runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-4 pm. Entering the competition requires an entry fee, but attending and browsing the booths is free. Check the website for annual show dates.
#6- Dickens Christmas Show & Festivals
If you're looking for a unique holiday craft event, visit the Dickens Christmas Show & Festivals at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The focal point of the unique Christmas event is the 100,800 sq ft Victorian Holiday Market! Browse hundreds of vendors with hand-crafted holiday decor and other original items ideal for gifting. Visitors have a chance to purchase the decor pieces by silent auction during the show.
While you're there, experience Victorian-period events, such as The Festival of Trees and The Festival of Wreaths. Children can visit Santa in a Victorian-themed castle. Purchase tickets at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. In 2021, ticket prices started at $11 for adults and $4 for children.
#7- Spoleto Festival USA
One of South Carolina's largest cultural events, the Spoleto Festival takes place across Charleston. It features performances of Mozart to Mahler, chamber music, opera, and all varieties of jazz, country artists, and Gullah-inspired groups. In total, the festival packs in 150 performances across ten venues. The festival runs May-June starting Memorial Day weekend.
The 2022 schedule and acts will be announced in February 2022. Ticket prices range depending on the performance and venue. Check the website in February for a schedule and ticketing information.
#8-Carolina Country Music Fest
Each summer in Myrtle Beach, the sands go country at this three-day outdoor music festival. Expect more than 30 performances by top country music artists. Past performers include Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, the Zac Brown Band, and Toby Keith. The 2022 roster has Jason Aldean and the Marshall Tucker Band. Performances start Thursday and goes through the weekend.
The Carolina Country Music Fest is scheduled for June 9-12 in 2022. Tickets range in price from $189-1499, with varying amenities and locations.
#9-Craftsmen's Classic Arts & Craft Festival
Visit the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia early in March for over 300 exhibitors showing their original designs at these juried art shows. The exhibition opens at 10 am Friday-Sunday. Around 10,000 people are expected to visit the hall and engage one-on-one with the artisans themselves.
Visit downtown Lake City in the spring for an art festival and competition with over 350 artists and 400 pieces. Artfields launched in 2013 to highlight talented creators in the Southeast with nine days of competition and celebratory events. A total of $100,000 cash prizes are up for grabs, and visitors can vote in the Peoples Choice Awards. A panel of art professionals awards a $50,000 Grand Prize. The artworks and events occur in historic and professional venues around Lake City, such as the TRAX Visual Art Center and the local history museum. Entering the competition does have a fee, but viewing the work during the festival is free.
#11- Greer Arts & Eats
Another spring festival and one new on the South Carolina calendar, the Greer Arts & Eats Festival features an Artist Alley along Trade Street with local arts and crafts vendors. The kids can get hands-on and help create a unique craft of their own at the Creation Station. In addition to local vendors, the festival has live music performances, a farmer's market, and food trucks. The two-day event at Greer City Park is free to attend.
#12- Aiken Bluegrass Festival
Thousands descend on the Western Carolina State Fairgrounds in Aiken to hear some of bluegrass music's top artists. The Aiken Bluegrass Festival is renowned for its line-up, collaborations, and a full weekend of family fun. The music performances on stage are complemented by food trucks and vendors, art vendors, on-site camping, and kid's activities. Visit the website for updated information about dates, performers, and ticket pricing.
#13-Carolina Downhome Blues Festival
Carolina Downhome Blues Festival has been a Midlands region draw for over two decades. Legendary blues artists from around the world perform all blues styles, from "roadhouse" blues rock to acoustic. Be ready to visit Camden In October to enjoy this weekend event. Check-in with the Arts Center of Kershaw County for 2022 information.
Art enthusiasts with a passion for creativity will love one of the South's leading art festivals, Artisphere. Founded in 2003 as a fine arts festival, it has evolved into a signature South Carolina event as visitors come from all over the country to Greenville, SC. A key part of the experience is visiting Artists Demonstration Row, where over 100 visual artists display their creativity. You'll be amazed by the stunning pottery, glassblowing, printmaking, and metalworking.
Artisphere also delivers performing artists from all genres, including American folk music, opera, jazz, and ballet. Children can express their creativity at Kidsphere, where they can get hands-on to design a unique craft of their own.
The three-day event takes place May 6-8, 2022, at 101B Augusta Street, Greenville, SC, 29601. Admission is free.
#15-Moonshiner's Reunion and Mountain Music Festival
Brush off your boots and get ready for some high-mountain fun at this authentic folk festival always held the first full weekend in October. Hosted in Plum Hollow near Campobello, the event was inspired by Barney Barnwell, a local with a winding and colorful career as a musician writing about moonshiners in the Prohibition era. The festival keeps those tales and traditions alive with a weekend of mountain music. Gates open at noon on Thursday. Bring a blanket, lawn chair, or tent to sit back and enjoy. Camping is available in the surrounding woods. Some vendors are available; all vetted for being true "Southern Heritage articles" and folk artisans. No alcohol is distributed or sold at the venue.
Moonshiner's Reunion ticket prices are per person and include camping, parking, and all concerts. In 2021, one-day passes cost $65, and the three-day pass cost $100.
Another newer art festival in Greenville, SC, the Artisanville exhibition at the Greenville Convention Center specializes in artisan pieces. The village of artists has 250 exhibitors with original and hand-crafted goods. Expect to see artists at work on pottery, sculpture, stained glass, weaving, wood carving, and much more. The exhibitors are handpicked from local and surrounding states for their craftsmanship, originality, and talent. In the Arts Patron Lounge, visitors can listen to music while grabbing a quick snack.
The 2021 show took place the first weekend in November. Adult admission costs $6, while seniors, first responders, and military pay $5. Children under 12 were free. Note the Convention center charges $5 to park.
#17-South Carolina Jazz Festival
Commemorating the legacy of Cheraw native Dizzy Gillespie, the South Carolina Jazz Festival celebrates the iconic style of music with a week of performances and events spread out Cheraw. Venues range from the intimate jazz cafe experience at local coffee shows to outdoor performances on the Town Green. In addition to jazz performances and the Sunday Jazz Mass, the festival is accompanied by art shows, restaurant crawls, and a Bebop Parade. Some events are free; others have a cover charge or admission. Check the event website for performance and ticketing information.
The Arts in South Carolina
A year in South Carolina is packed with art exhibitions, concerts, and music festivals. Our list is a sampling of the largest shows and doesn't include the many small-town events and performances held throughout the year. Visit any of these art fairs or performances, and you'll be impressed with the creative talent in our home state. For more events in South Carolina, visit the EZHomeSearch blog.