Artist Blessing Hancock doesn’t want accolades. She lets her sculptures do the talking (and take the attention). That is easily done, as her work—which now stands in the plaza of the Village of West Greenville—is an amalgam of words that evoke sense of place. They spill out and over the ground as night falls and the sculpture’s LED lights change color from yellow to neon green to blue to magenta. The metal art is in the tall shape of a spindle, a nod to the neighborhood’s textile history, but also to suggest that we, in our diversity and difference, are still connected like thread.
Blessing’s work commemorates the fifteenth anniversary of the Artisphere festival, our yearly arts extravaganza that draws visitors by the thousands. Its popularity is a testament to the magnetism of visual and performing arts. Rather than relegate it into galleries or museums or performance halls that might intimidate, the festival literally brings art into the street, as if to remind—this is for you, all of you.
We’ve presented our Arts Issue in May since 2012, in conjunction with the festival, to highlight its importance and value to our community. This year, more than 1,500 artists from the United States and internationally will shoot across the sky and descend on Main Street with their best work. Music, food, rides and games, interactive demonstrations, exhibits, and performance art round out the three-day event, May 10–12. (It’s the mother of arts festivals, so it’s fitting that it falls on Mother’s Day weekend.)
Artisphere is a key reminder that art should not alienate; it should integrate. It should connect us, move us, challenge us, and inspire us—all of us. We each shape our lives each day, and we each have the drive to share our story. To be human is to create, and to connect with, our world.
Thank you to the artists, and arts supporters, who illumine the path.
Blair Knobel, Editor-in-Chief, firstname.lastname@example.org