The Mission of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg
Artists Collective History In A Nutshell
Our mission is to create a community of artists wherein members mentor and support one another. In addition, our goal is to provide affordable studio, display, and performance spaces to established and emerging artists living in and around Spartanburg, South Carolina. From our inception we have strived to provide the public with opportunities to view original art and to interact with the artists.
The Artists Collective has come a long way from its conception. Formerly the West Main Baptist Church, renovations and artist sweat equity transformed the empty and nearly forgotten landmark into a showcase of artists for the state to see.
The church was purchased in the fall of 2009 with the great notion of providing affordable work spaces for local artists; this is not the only attribute found at the Artists Collective by any means. Many artists are realizing that with such a diverse group around all of the time, the progression of the individual’s work never stops. This is constantly forming a catalyst that drives each person to question his or her art and where it is going.
The Artists Collective is the only studio art co-op in Spartanburg County and art is everywhere in this 20,000 square foot building. The exhibition, workshops, performance and educational spaces, along with artist’s studios subsist in the creation of something that Spartanburg has never seen, a one of a kind facility that houses like-minded individuals that share a common consciousness.
About the Printery
The Printery at Artists Collective is a unique letterpress operation which has been created to offer educational opportunities for the local community. The equipment and other resources have been gathered to give everyone hands on using lead type, platen presses, and the use of ink and paper to create printing as it was done in the last century.
In addition, historical material has been collected to broaden the knowledge of the materials used, trends in type styles, and how the written word has influenced mankind over the centuries. The Printery also mounts monthly exhibits of different aspects of early printing including; wood type, copper engraving, early mechanized typesetting as well as book production and die cutting.
The Printery continues to add items of historical interest, and is always looking for donations of equipment, and historical material. They also have a series of DVD’s about different aspects of the printing industry.
The Printery was started with the acquisition of a Vandercook proofing press #2, and a complement of type faces and other miscellaneous items which were acquired from the Print Museum outside Boston, MA.. With the addition of a Chandler & Price platen press 8” x 12” which was purchased from a printing company in Gaffney, South Carolina, we expanded our capabilities to produce printed material, and also teach others about letterpress printing techniques.
We are currently working to restore a Chandler & Price 12” x 18” press to working condition. This will allow us to print small signatures for books and other printed material. We have been able to expand our foundry type library, from miscellaneous sources, some gifted, some purchased as they became available. We now have about 96 fonts of foundry type in various families, and also we have a small assortment of wood type.
We continue to look for equipment and type, and our latest acquisition is a 25 rack galley cabinet with galleys to store type jobs which have been set by students taking classes in letterpress composition.