WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCIV) - Outside the South Carolina Artisans Center is just a preview of the art Mecca that waits inside.
"You can spend half the day easily and not see everything in the building," said Executive Director Gale Dogette.
Artwork fills every inch of two historic homes dating back to the 1800s. There abstract art to elaborate paintings, and everything in between for folks.
"What makes it wonderful is there's always this big push for buying made in United States but everything made in here is made in South Carolina and that makes it very unique," said Dogette. "You can buy a gift and you know that gift is not going to be something somebody already has."
Over 300 of South Carolina's finest artisans have their work showcased at the center. They have to go through a two stage jury process to be admitted.
In 1994 the state legislature deemed the center as the state's official folk art and craft center. Since then it has been one of Walterboro's strongest tourism draws.
"We see about 15,000 to 18,000 people every year and 95 percent come off the interstate," she said.
When a business built around art could be fragile, Dogette says the community jewel has proven to be unbreakable.
"We've been real fortunate to have loyal customers that have sustained us through all these years," Dogette said.
There are plans to add an outdoor music pavilion.
The South Carolina Artisans Center is located at 318 Wichman Street.