2019 St. Louis Fall Arts Guide: 10 Spots Where Local Creatives Flourish
Grab your favorite pumpkin spice concoction and head out to explore the fall arts season in St. Louis. From visual arts to theater and music to fashion design, there is an exhibit or event for every art-lover.
A sophisticated yet welcoming new space for the longtime St. Louis contemporary gallery Atrium opens in late fall in The Dorchester, 665 S. Skinker Blvd. Owner Carolyn Miles continues to bring work by national and international artists—and a few select local ones as well—to an audience she consistently inspires and enjoys. The opening exhibition features international artist Lesley Dill, known for her feminist interests, represented in both two- and three-dimensional works. Nestled in an inspiring building known for design, and neighboring another gallery, Atrium looks out on beautiful Forest Park, a fitting setting for its contemporary artwork.
The Dark Room
The Dark Room is one of St. Louis’ premier venues to experience photography, music, delectable cuisine and culture. Located in the celebrated Grand Center Arts District and open seven days a week, The Dark Room is home to live jazz music every night and a rotating photo gallery featuring the work of St. Louis-based photographers. It’s the perfect place to pop in for a drink or appetizer when heading to or from a performance at The Grandel, Fox Theatre, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and more.
Celebrate St. Louis-area creatives in a lively, modern marketplace at the Made Festival Sept. 6-7. In partnership with The Women’s Creative, the free festival in the village at Westport Plaza features more than 70 amazing vendors ranging from vintage artisans to modern retailers. Members of the public who want to boost their own skills can learn new healing techniques or how to care for succulent plant arrangements during workshops on Sept. 7. Both days, mingle with the area’s finest makers, artisans, designers and entrepreneurs to the sounds of live music from local and national artists.
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
Join us to celebrate the expanded and renovated Kemper Art Museum at Washington University with special events Sept. 26-28! Don’t miss the debut exhibition “Ai Weiwei: Bare Life,” featuring artworks by Chinese dissident artist and activist Ai Weiwei, one of today’s most important artists and humanitarian voices. Experience new commissions by acclaimed artists Tomás Saraceno and Dan Graham as well as new and reimagined galleries revealing iconic favorites, new acquisitions and rarely shown works of art. Museum members enjoy advance access to the exhibition, galleries and reopening festivities!
Mosaics Fine Art Festival
Held Sept. 13-15 along scenic Historic Main Street in St. Charles, the 25th annual MOSAICS Fine Art Festival features approximately 100 invited and juried artists exhibiting and selling original works of art across a variety of price points and mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, drawing, wood, jewelry, metalwork, glass, mixed media and more. Attendees can enjoy interactions with the artists and community arts groups, live entertainment, food and drink from Main Street restaurants and street vendors and educational art opportunities in the Children’s Village and Art Shop for Kids.
The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
The Rep launches its 2019-20 season Sept. 4 with “Angels in America.” Featuring Tony Kushner’s revised script—which fueled acclaimed revivals on Broadway and London’s West End—this production is noteworthy because both parts will be presented in a rotating “rep” schedule. In October, “The Lifespan of a Fact” arrives, fresh off a hit run on Broadway, to take a funny and provocative look at the tension between truth vs. fact. In December, The Rep opens a new adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” that adds fresh flavor to Jane Austen’s beloved story while preserving its delightful language.
Ronald and Monique Ollie with a work of art from the Thelma and Bert Ollie Memorial Collection. Courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum.
Saint Louis Art Museum
A recent transformative gift of abstract, contemporary artwork by black artists has added significant depth and breadth to the Saint Louis Art Museum’s collection. “The Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection” presents 40 paintings, drawings and prints thanks to the generosity of St. Louis native Ronald Ollie and his wife, Monique. A decades-long collector, Ollie was instilled with a deep appreciation for art by his parents during his childhood visits to the museum. “The Shape of Abstraction” is on view Sept. 17, 2019, through March 8, 2020. Admission is free.
The Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries
An anchor of the Grand Center Arts District and one of St. Louis’ greatest cultural resources, The Sheldon is lauded for its perfect acoustics, intimate setting and performances by world-class artists—from jazz to folk, classical, world and bluegrass music. Tickets are now on sale for the 2019- 20 concert season, featuring rising stars and music legends alike. Upcoming season performances include Cécile McLorin Salvant (Oct. 5), Los Lobos (Nov. 8), Angélique Kidjo (Feb. 14), SFJAZZ Collective (March 14) and more. Visit TheSheldon.org for more information.
Stages St. Louis
A romantic and inspiring musical adventure, “Man of La Mancha” tells the epic story of author Miguel de Cervantes and his immortal creation Don Quixote. This poignant tale of heartbreak and triumph features a melodic score that includes the Broadway anthem “The Impossible Dream.” This perfect combination of classic literature, heartfelt drama and raucous comedy urges us to transform the circumstances of our lives through imagination—to see life not “as it is, but as it ought to be.” An inspirational musical journey not to be missed! Playing now through Oct. 6.
World Chess Hall of Fame
The galleries at the World Chess Hall of Fame continue to make chess fashionable. In an exhibition opening on Oct. 10, “Project Runway” star Michael Drummond weaves a narrative about the environmental effects of the fast fashion industry. “Michael Drummond: Being Played” features chess-inspired fashion with laser-cut synthetics, clothing spun from steel, digitally printed accessories and more. Simultaneously debuting is “A Beautiful Game,” which showcases the sophistication of chess—including a collection of chess-themed beauty products and advertisements— while celebrating the creative and aesthetic aspects of the game. Both exhibitions are free and open to the public.
Featured image courtesy of Chris Lawton.
This post has been brought to you in part by the mentioned organizations. This content originally appeared in Guided St. Louis: Maplewood, available now online and in print at these locations. Thank you for supporting the companies that keep ALIVE and Guided growing.