Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Art project seeks to reduce negativity one board at a time

Wofford students help recruit participants for 21 Artists ON Residence project in Northside community

21 Artists 382x255

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – They’re looking to reduce negativity – and bring color, creativity and positivity – to the Northside community in downtown Spartanburg, one plywood board at a time.

The 21 Artists ON Residence committee – consisting of four Wofford College students; community leader Wanda Cheeks; Lisa Gosnell, community services specialist with the City of Spartanburg; and Curt McPhail, program officer with the Mary Black Foundation – hopes to “help stabilize and revitalize” the Northside area “to promote and influence an encouraging environment,” the group’s mission statement says. “Our efforts will reduce crime, create a healthier, safer place to live, and encourage community engagement and pride in the Northside.”

The group is recruiting artists of all kinds and levels of experiences from Wofford, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), residents of the Northside community and residents of the entire Spartanburg community. The plan is to have the artists assemble from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, to paint plywood boards that cover the windows and doors of abandoned houses with images of “what positivity” looks like to the artists. They will meet at the corner of College and Mill streets, near the entrance to the VCOM parking lot.

Anyone interested in participating may contact Ellen Smith, a student at Wofford who is a member of the committee, at or McPhail at 864-680-9454.

Lunch and art supplies will be provided free to the artists.

The group is encouraging the artists to be creative and open in their designs, but they are asking that colorful, warm, bright colors be used, along with positive images of people, nature and objects.