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Cherington Shucker, executive director of Greenville Center for Creative Arts, is on a mission to lure more families to the new visual arts facility, located in the Village of West Greenville at the Brandon Mill.

“We actually have programs and classes for children, and we’re open to the public 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturdays for anyone who’d like to visit our gallery and see what we’re all about,” she said.

Founded by a group of Upstate artists, teachers and community leaders in 2015, the center offers public art classes, studio spaces and exhibition space for a fee. The old mill has been renovated to showcase Greenville’s growing visual arts community and provide a welcoming space for artists to hone their crafts, Shucker said.

Shucker is especially proud of the center’s children’s programs, which include an afterschool program for ages 10 – 14, a scribbles program for children ages 3 – 6, and parent and me workshops for parents with children ages 7 – 12.

The center is also enrolling children ages 8 – 14 for its summer camp, to be held June 6 – Aug. 8. The summer camp will teach children such techniques as painting, printmaking, sculpture, clay and mosaics over nine weeks.

Free children’s activities are also offered at the center on the first Friday of every other month. For example, the last First Friday event celebrated “kar-ne-vel: a celebration of artistic revelry” and offered Carnival-themed games and arts activities for the youth in attendance. The center exhibits six shows a year, and they open on alternating first Fridays. The next event will be held at 6 p.m. April 1.

“First Friday in the Village is a wonderful opportunity to come out and see the local artist exhibits, and you can participate in a free kids craft, which we have from 6 to 9 p.m. the first Friday of the month,” Shucker said. “We also have 17 working artists on the second floor of the center, and First Friday is a great opportunity to ask them questions and see their work.”

Of course, parents interested in taking arts classes are welcome, too. Adult classes are offered daily and include instruction in jewelry making, clay sculpting, calligraphy, and painting. Cost of classes ranges from $35 – $240.

Renovations on the center are still ongoing, and it’s currently raising funds to install a handicap-accessible elevator. A second building should begin construction later this year and will overlook Shoeless Joe Jackson Field. The additional space will allow the center to provide more classes and opportunities for the Upstate’s emerging artists, Shucker said.

“We’re excited about being here, and we’re hoping to let more people know our center is here and open to anyone who would like to visit,” she said.

Greenville Center for Creative Arts is located at 25 Draper St. in Greenville. For more information or a class schedule, visit its website at www.artcentergreenville.org.

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