Exploring the Arts in Augusta
A recent addition to the Augusta arts scene is the Miller Theater. Originally opening in 1940, the theater hosted many shows until its closing in 1984. After many years of fundraising and renovations, the theater just reopened in January 2018, to serve as the home of the Symphony Orchestra Augusta (SOA) as well as the host for many other events. This theater recently hosted the 4th annual TedX Augusta.
If you are looking to uncover the local Augusta arts scene, you may want to start in downtown Augusta, where a variety of venues regularly offer live music, often featuring local-area Augusta musicians. But the live music scene isn’t limited to downtown Augusta. There are multiple live music venues and dance clubs located on Washington Road in Augusta, including the Country Club Dance Hall & Saloon.
In addition to music, you’ll find many opportunities to view or purchase art produced by local Augusta artists. There are local stores, such as Art on Broad, that feature art by area painters, sculptors, jewelers, potters and more, as well as galleries, such as Westobou Gallery. This gallery is maintained and curated by the Westobou Festival, an organization that highlights local Augusta artists as well as introducing artists from around the world to the local Augusta community. The Westobou Festival also hosts a week-long event each year, bringing a variety of artists to Augusta.
Speaking of festivals, Augusta also hosts Arts in the Heart each September. The event is a 2 1/2 day celebration of food, arts, diversity and culture that features music, area artist vendors and a huge variety of international foods. Some food booths are organized by restaurants, while others are completely produced by local area families with international roots. This festival spans multiple blocks in downtown Augusta on Broad Street.
If you’d like to learn more about the art of painting and sculpture, consider taking a pottery class at Tire City Potters or Artsy Me. Classes are also available for children to learn more about creating or pottery. Make an appointment to paint a pumpkin at Halloween or a Christmas tree in December at Tire City.
Another opportunity to support is local artists, farmers, bakers, businesses, and restaurants is the Augusta Market on the Savannah River. The market is downtown on 8th and Reynolds from March – November, every Saturday.
Many Augusta artists have taken their talents to other places. In fact, Augusta has produced several famous musicians. Perhaps the most well-known is James Brown. Visit 8th and Broad St to see a statue erected in his honor, or stop by the corner of 10th Street and Broad St to see a new mural honoring James Brown through the years. A more recent artist coming out of Augusta is Charles Kelley, part of the country music trio Lady Antebellum. You can now attend events at the Lady Antebellum Amphitheatre, named for this musical group. More About Augusta