Composer Gian Carlo Menotti founded the Spoleto Festival USA in 1977, aiming to create an American version of the festival inspired by the original Spoleto Festival in Italy. Menotti was drawn to the charm and artistic spirit of Spoleto, Italy, which served as the birthplace of the festival. He brought that spirit to Charleston, creating a premier arts festival.
The festival draws artists and performers from around the world and offers a wide range of high-profile events and performances. Piccolo Spoleto was founded 2 years later in 1979 and is a companion festival to the Spoleto Festival USA. It is a smaller and more local festival, featuring emerging and established artists from the Charleston area and beyond.
The outdoor art exhibit held annually at Marion Square is one of the most popular events at Piccolo Spoleto. This event features works from a variety of local and regional artists. It offering visitors the chance to see a wide range of artistic styles and mediums in a beautiful outdoor setting. LePrince Art Gallery artist and founder, Kevin LePrince, started his art career at this event over 20 years ago. This juried exhibit typically features over 80 artists and is free and open to the public.
If you're planning to attend these festivals, use these tips to get the most out of your experience.
Tips for attending the Spoleto Festival in Charleston.
With so many events and performances, it's important to plan ahead and choose which shows you want to attend. Consider purchasing tickets in advance to ensure you get the best seats and avoid disappointment. The same goes for hotels and resturants. This is a very busy time in Charleston. Plan ahead, getting reservations can be difficult if you wait until the last minute.
The Charleston area can be quite warm and humid in the summer months, so make sure to dress comfortably in lightweight and breathable clothing. Comfortable shoes are also a must, as there will be plenty of walking involved.
Take advantage of free events:
While many events require tickets, there are also a number of free events and activities available. Be sure to check the festival schedule for details and plan your itinerary accordingly.
Arriving early to performances and events can help you get the best seats and avoid the crowds. Plus, it gives you time to explore the area and grab a bite to eat before the show.
Explore the city:
In addition to the festival events, there's plenty to see and do in Charleston. Take some time to explore the historic district, visit local shops and restaurants, and soak up the city's unique charm.
While here, we invite you to visit the LePrince Fine Art Galleries on King St. The gallery is known for showcasing some of the most innovative and exciting contemporary artists.
LePrince Fine Art Galleries on King Street will be showcasing an exhibit by Bulgarian-born painter Ignat Ignatov, featuring his latest works - vibrant and expressive paintings. Ignatov's solo exhibit will be held on Friday evening, May 26th and again on Friday, June 2nd, and promises to be a highlight each weekend. Visitors will have the opportunity to view his large and small-scale paintings up close and personal, as well as meet the artist himself. The exhibit is free to the public, offering attendees the chance to experience the energy and vibrancy of the contemporary art scene in Charleston. During the exhibit on May 26th, Ignatov will also showcase several small plein-air paintings from his recent travels through Italy.
In addition to the Ignatov exhibit, LePrince Fine Art Galleries is home to a wide range of other contemporary works from artists around the world such as Tibor Nagy and Curt Butler. Attending the Spoleto Festival and visiting the LePrince Fine Art Galleries is a great way to experience the best of the art scene in Charleston.