A St. Louis Summer Arts Guide
Summer is finally upon us in the Midwest—and with it has come a roundup of intriguing new experiences available at some of St. Louis’ finest arts institutions.
World Chess Hall of Fame
Located in the heart of the Central West End neighborhood, the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) celebrates the game of chess through engaging exhibitions and creative programming. As a not-for-profit, collecting institution, the WCHOF honors the accomplishments of the game’s finest players and presents exhibitions that explore the history of the game as well as its subsequent impact on arts and culture. Along with its sister organization—the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis—the WCHOF’s programming has distinguished St. Louis as an international destination.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation, one of the most celebrated examples of contemporary museum architecture, makes use of its environment to create transformative experiences with art. This summer, renowned American artist Glenn Ligon guest-curates “Blue Black,” an exhibition that builds upon the Pulitzer’s iconic Ellsworth Kelly wall sculpture of the same name. Ligon expands Kelly’s exploration of the two colors with a diverse selection of more than forty works from a range of styles and time periods, on view June 9–Oct. 7, 2017. Admission to the Pulitzer is free and open to the public.
Center of Creative Arts (COCA)
COCA is well known as a creative center for St. Louis’ emerging and master artists who work in music, acting, dancing, visual art and more. This summer the organization will produce a rendition of “Beauty and the Beast,” a production that’s seeing a resurgence with Disney’s release of a live-action version of the original film. With elaborate costumes, complex dance numbers and the film’s Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken, the event at COCA is a must-see. Featuring the finest local talent, this timeless story will unite crowds with beautiful music and unforgettable characters. The production runs July 21-23, 2017, at COCA.
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) is an internationally renowned institution dedicated to supporting the vibrant art form of opera. OTSL has introduced audiences to transformational art by commissioning new works from composers and launching the careers of several contemporary opera stars. This season, the company will produce four operas and one mainstage concert from May 20 to June 25, including Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” Mozart’s “Titus,” Philip Glass’s “The Trial” and Ricky Ian Gordon’s American masterpiece “The Grapes of Wrath.” There will also be opportunities to meet performers, special events, and even child care for Saturday matinees.
Contemporary Art Museum Of St. Louis
This St. Louis arts institution—one of the city’s finest—kicks off the summer with “Urban Planning: Art and the City 1967–2017,” a group exhibition of twenty four major artists’ responses to the transformational effects of urban development in the United States. The exhibit includes a site-specific installation by Abigail DeVille called “St. Louis Blues” and an exhibition of new works by KAWS called “FAR FAR DOWN.” Also on display is KAWS’ latest permutation of his “TOGETHER” sculpture series in CAM’s courtyard and a unique painting on the 60-foot long Project Wall that serves as backdrop to three new large-scale paintings. CAM’s Summer Exhibitions are free and open to the public, on view through Aug. 13.
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