Under One Roof
South Converse – Picnic Shelter – 440 South Converse Street
Lights on all day and all night
This park has special meaning to South Converse residents as a sign of local pride and a link to the past. Southside Spartanburg has a history as a thriving African American community with many proud businesses and homeowners. The area was greatly impacted by 1970s-era urban renewal projects that caused the destruction of many homes and businesses but is now flourishing once again. The local neighborhood association fought hard to ensure the funding and completion of this park in 2011. Touched by the story of the park’s origin, and the significance it holds for many residents, the artist Erwin Redl decided to use this picnic shelter to demonstrate the transformative power of turning something ordinary into something extraordinary.
Residents have attended workshops to learn how to install and program the LED lighting for the shelter. Redl hopes local residents will want to create special light programs for dances, poetry slams, cookouts, or other events in and around the shelter.
Using the simple picnic shelter as a basic structure within which many things can happen, along with the involvement of the local community, the artwork illustrates that we are all indeed together under one roof.