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Whit Whitley: Finding Art Elsewhere In Greensboro

By Whit Whitley

(Editor’s note: The Elsewhere Museum is an art museum located inside a former thrift store in Greensboro)

Recently I started the first stretch of my solo journey to see the entire eastern U.S. Prodded by an earlier unusual website visit, I decided the Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro had to be my first exploration.

My GPS took me to its location: 606 S. Elm St. I quickly learned that this street has no decent parking unless you can find a fortunate space in which you will not find your tires chalked after about two hours.

The mere mention of the name Elm Street first gave me visions of Freddy Krueger terrorizing people from the Nightmare on Elm Street film series.

I will admit that if you visited this museum after a night of social drinking, illicit smoking or getting stoned, you would have nightmares from the bizarre items that would challenge your imagination.

I won’t give it all away but here is a taste of the old store building’s curiosity:

• A half-head of a sinister-looking doll looking out at passing visitors like it was an artistic storyboard character from the movie “Children of the Damned.”

• A stuffed toy monkey staring at itself in front of a mirror as if it could take in what it was doing. 

• Outdated clothes from forgotten eras that no one in their right mind would wear today.

• Vinyl records of the past that probably had their grooves so worn down that they would have hissed like snakes over the muffled sounds of the player speakers.

• And lastly, a section of weapons which included fake hand grenades, open mess hall kits, and toy Army jeeps so soldier wannabes or veterans who missed their service careers could re-live some exciting moments.

Try to visit on a Saturday when you can visit the upper two stories of the facility where artists are in residence and some hippie-like locals prepare meals in a kitchen-like atmosphere that even has an old icebox.

There is a $1 to $5 entrance donation. The staff gives you the option of deciding what you may want to give them as an admission charge. It all depends on how generous you want to be or how much change you have in your pockets. 

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