The 13th annual Artisphere, May 12 – 14, turns Greenville’s downtown into an arts playground – both for grown-up shoppers and their kids.

In addition to Artist Row, featuring 135 artists, and music throughout the weekend, there will be plenty of hands-on activities for kids and parents.

Kerry Murphy, the festival’s executive director, said art becomes more than visual at Artisphere. It’s a hands-on experience.

The Art Lab lets visitors see behind the scenes.

“There has been a real trend in our industry to uncover the process,” she said. “We started the Art Lab in 2013. For the thirteenth year of Artisphere, we’ve got 13 demonstrations in the Art Lab.”

Children can participate in a Mother’s Day craft, see weaving and needle felting demonstrations, learn about jewelry making, collaging, paper making and more.

Clemson University will host a STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – exhibit with a variety of interactive experiences.

Kidsphere activities including a print-making demonstration with Greenville Center for Creative Arts, make and take insect sculptures, carnival masks, dream catchers and more. Look for live performances from the South Carolina Children’s Theatre, International Ballet and others during the performing arts showcase at the Peace Center’s amphitheater. Performances are free.

The Greenville County High School Exhibit displays the work of some of the area’s most talented up and coming artists.

Throughout the weekend, there will be a feast for the senses, even for the youngest in attendance. Keep an eye out for street performers, chalk artists and even puppet parades.

“There will be other fun surprises along the way for kids, too,” Murphy said. “If you come and spend the afternoon, you will see all kinds of things happen spontaneously – fun surprises around every corner.

For a complete schedule of events, visit

Here are just a few of the opportunities at Clemson’s STEAM exhibit:

Color Booth: Experiment with the effects of colored light in this exhibit. Learn how theatrical lighting designers make informed decisions when picking colored filters for lights on stage. Visitors can see and experiment with the effects of colored light on theatre scenery and costumes, and play a challenging guessing game.

Kinetic Energy Visualized IN Art (KEVIN): Discover the visual delights of variable motion with these kinetic sculptures. This exhibit displays sculptures that utilize wind power, gravity, motors, and strobe lights to provide unique visual effects.

Real-time Brain Response to Designing a Virtual Operating Room: This experience will allow the user to wear a head-mounted device that provides external input (virtual reality) and internal input (brain wave activity). The user will be able to move equipment in a virtual reality world to design an operating room while the audience observes the user’s brainwave activity in real time.

Playing Fraction Pies: Connect your knowledge of fractions and equivalency to musical notes and rhythms. Simply choose your fractions and press play — your fractions will transform into a musical composition you can see and hear.

Coding for the Carillon: Automating Clemson's Bell Tower: Watch live video and audio feed from the top of Clemson's iconic bell tower as songs play entirely automatically through a system implemented by a team of Clemson students in a Creative Inquiry project. Visitors can interact with the bells in real time through a virtual display and keyboard.

• DrawingwithRobotsR2D2MeetsRembrandt: This exhibit is an interactive activity that introduces children and young adults to computing programing through art. They write the code for shape they wish to create and download it to a small Scribbler robot that then “draws” their picture. 

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