As it nears the first anniversary of its opening in January, the Gateway Arts Center in Westminster, S.C., continues to expand its outreach to artists and to the community. Up next is the annual juried show, called “This IS Art!” Artists and artisans in all media can drop off their entries on Oct. 16-19 from 10-4, Oct. 20 from 10-3, and Oct. 22-24 from 10-5. The entry fee is $35 for two pieces. Cash awards for best in show, merit, and honorable mention will be given.
The center opened on January 12, 2018. Director Melody Davis discovered the site, an old post office with concrete floors and white brick walls, while shopping for a home with her husband. “We fell in love with this building,” she said. “It’s big—3000 square feet—with a garage bay. When all three doors are open, it’s an indoor/outdoor space.” Graffiti art adorns some of that space. And true to its emphasis on being a green organization, the furniture is made out of recycled barn wood, and recycled material is used for projects. “There is nothing like this in Westminster,” she said. “Residents never thought they would see an art gallery here.”
In addition to Davis, the 10-person board of directors includes Anderson Artists Guild member Diana Winuk. There is no paid staff.
So far, the center has hosted five shows, applied for grants (including an application to paint murals downtown through the Elevate Upstate program), participated in local events like the city’s Apple Festival, and offered classes. The classes are “ageless”—anyone who can sit and do what’s required is welcome. Twice a month, free classes are offered for disabled adults from The Tribble Center. Future plans include summer art camp and an afterschool art program. Artists interested in teaching a class should contact Davis.
There is also a community gallery in which members can exhibit work for sale; the center takes a 15 percent commission. In addition, there are two offsite venues available for individual or group shows: the Westminster Depot and the Westminster Music Centre. “Each are well attended locations with many activities on the roster, so they are good exhibit spaces,” said Johnson. “I am currently giving my membership first dibs, but there is space available for spring in the depot.”
The Gateway Arts Center is located at 213 East Windsor Street in Westminster. For more information, visit https://gatewayartscenter.net/.