Art show remembers Greenwood grain elevator

When the Farm Bureau Co-op grain elevator went up in flames on April 27, the Greenwood community lost a part of its history and culture.

The structure often made its way into the work of local artists, particularly those who worked at the Southside Art League’s studios.

“The grain elevator was virtually in our backyard, just behind the gallery,” said Corrine Hull, a member of the Southside Art League. “A lot of people like to paint that grain elevator, just to go out back and see it there.”

To honor and remember the structure, the Southside Art League is featuring a special pop-up exhibition focused on the grain elevator. Eight artists have submitted paintings, photographs and other work, which will hang through the month of June.

The hope is to showcase how prominent the grain elevator had been in the background of daily Greenwood life, and what a loss it has been, Hull said.

On April 27, the abandoned Farm Bureau Co-op grain elevator at the intersection of Main and Washington streets caught fire about 3:20 p.m. The entire building went up in flames quickly, and the Greenwood Fire Department spent more than an hour battling the fire.

The fire spread to the commercial building directly next to the grain elevator. Traffic along Main Street was also severely disrupted.

A number of Southside Art League artists watched the whole thing unfold.

“We were there painting. It was wild,” Hull said.

As the shock of the loss of the building set in, a group of artists started discussing what they could do to remember it. Because many of them had painted it from the Southside Art League property, they decided to put together a mini-show featuring the grain elevator.

A call-out implored area artists who had featured the grain elevator in their work to take part in the show.

“We were pleased that we found some additional artists beside the core group who thought of the idea,” Hull said.

The plan was to hang the show this week, in time to be seen during the public reception for Amy Townsend’s exhibition “These Things Happen,” which will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. The exhibition can be viewed by the public 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday during regular gallery hours, and it will hang until June 26.