Summer Events and Happenings in St. Louis

    It’s summertime in St. Louis — that means performances and art exhibits are at every corner for your enjoyment! Check them out:

    Blue Black at Pulitzer Arts Foundation | Jun 9 – Oct 7, 2017

    Influential American artist Glenn Ligon offers a lyrical meditation on the colors blue and black at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Inspired by his experience of the Pulitzer’s monumental Ellsworth Kelly wall sculpture, Blue Black, Ligon enlists the colors to pose timely and nuanced questions, touching upon notions of language, identity, and perception. The exhibition brings together a diverse selection of more than fifty works ranging from abstraction to portraiture, from Norman Lewis to Andy Warhol, and including well-known works by Ligon.

    Vita Eruhimovitz: Un/Virtual at The Sheldon | June 2 – Sept. 23, 2017

    The Sheldon Concert Hall & Galleries is currently featuring the works of Vita Eruhimovitz, a multimedia artist exploring the complicated relation between the physical and virtual world. The pieces featured in Vita Eruhimovitz: Un/Virtual range from sculpture to projections and digital interfaces utilizing augmented reality. The exhibit continues at The Sheldon through September 23, 2017. For more information please visit and

    Urban Wanderers: Art Goes to the Dogs | Bidding Closes July 23

    This year’s annual “Urban Wanderers” art show to raise funds for Stray Rescue of St. Louis has a very different tone, after an outbreak of distemper made this a very difficult year for the organization.  But the pieces themselves are better than ever thanks to a change this . year in how the artists approach their work for this exhibition.

    Ann Metzger Memorial National All Media Exhibition at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild | June 9  – July 22, 2017

    The Ann Metzger Memorial National All Media Exhibition is a juried show featuring artists from around the country. Anyone who visits the exhibition at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild between June 9 and July 22, 2017 will see a wide variety of art from paintings, to sculptures, drawings, glass work, and photographs. For more information please visit

    Diversity, Individuality at Kranzberg Arts Gallery with Artists First | June 2 – July 29, 2017

    Kranzberg Arts Center presents Artists First “Variation and Adaptation,” an exhibit highlighting the work of artists with disabilities.  Artists First is a non-profit organization which helps children, youth, and adults with disabilities find acceptance and expression through art.  Kranzberg Art Gallery will host the exhibit through July 29th.

    The Missouri Botanical Garden Mesmerizes with Garden of Glass | May 13 – Aug. 13, 2017

    Inspired by nature, Craig Mitchell Smith has crafted thirty glass sculptures especially for the Missouri Botanical Garden. The “Garden of Glass” centers on the Climatron where one can find surprises around every corner. The exhibition is over a year in the making, each piece slowly crafted and designed around the garden itself.

    Summer Exhibitions at CAM: Urban Planning, Color Key, & KAWS FAR FAR DOWN | May 5 – Aug. 13, 2017

    This summer, the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis presents three exhibitions – Urban Planning, Color Key, and KAWS: FAR FAR DOWN. Urban Planning looks at urban development over the past 50 years; Color Key features 2016’s Creative Stimulus Award winners and offers insights into identity, culture, mathematical inquiry, and personal trauma; and FAR FAR DOWN is a piece by the artist KAWS, whose work draws profound links between popular culture, commercialization, and the human condition.

    Laumeier Sculpture Park Reflects on 40 Years | April 1 – July 16, 2017 

    Laumeier Sculpture Park presents an exhibition in celebration and commemoration of its 40th Anniversary year, April 1–July 16, 2017, in the Whitaker Foundation Gallery at the Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center. Curated by Laumeier’s Curator of Exhibitions Dana Turkovic, the multimedia exhibition features a selection of works from the institution’s extensive collection of preparatory drawings, prints, works on paper, collages and photographs.

    The Imagery of Chess | March 23 – Sept. 24, 2017

    In 1944, the Julien Levy Gallery in New York hosted an exhibition challenging the traditional aesthetic notions of chess. In their latest installation, the World Chess Hall of Fame returns to this idea with “The Imagery of Chess: Saint Louis Artists.”  The pieces range from new takes on the traditional characters to more abstract interpretations of the game itself.  The show features 20 works of art, promoting a wide variety of local artists while paying homage to the 1944 exhibit.

    The Hats of Stephen Jones | April 21 – Sept. 4, 2017

    The St. Louis Art Museum showcases Edgar Degas’s study of the art of “high-fashion hats” with “Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade.”  The exhibition contextualizes Degas’s works with that of the impressionists surrounding him and the focus of their attention – the elaborate hats themselves.  The works of Édouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec are also featured. The exhibition will be open to the public through Sept. 4.

    More things to do this summer:

    Jungle Boogie Concert Series | Fridays thru Sept. 21

    The Jungle Boogie Concert Series brings bands to Schnuck Family Plaza, located at the center of the St. Louis Zoo, to perform every Friday this summer. Join the animals in gawking at some humans for a change. This year’s highlights include bluegrass act the Mighty Pines, jazz swingers Miss Jubilee, Beatles cover act Ticket to the Beatles and plenty more. All the fun goes down at 5 p.m. Fridays, May 26 to September 21 at the St. Louis Zoo.

    Art Hill Film Series | Fridays thru Aug. 4

    Perhaps you noticed that the Saint Louis Art Museum has gone mad for fashion. With an ongoing exhibition about the Paris millinery trade’s influence on Degas and Mucha, and another exploring the work of modern haute couture hat designer Stephen Jones, the museum has clothing on the brain. That thread is further embellished in this year’s Art Hill Film Series, with a quartet of films plump with Academy Award-nominated and -winning fashion. The popular movie screenings, which take place out front on Art Hill, start with Titanic at 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 14, and end with The Devil Wears Prada on Friday, August 4. In between those two are Dream Girls (July 21) and To Catch a Thief (July 28). Food trucks and concession stands will be set up at the top of the hill and ready for business from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and local bands will play while you eat. Admission to all four films is free.

    Fair St. Louis | July 2 – 4

    Since 2014, Art Hill in Forest Park has hosted Fair St. Louis, taking the pressure off the construction-addled Arch, where the event has traditionally been held. No knock on that big beautiful horseshoe or anything, but it’d be fine by us if Fair St. Louis stayed in the park. Since moving, the huge outdoor party has brought upwards of 250,000 people each year, marking the largest crowds in Forest Park since the 1904 World’s Fair. Dubbed “America’s Biggest Birthday Party,” this year’s affair — held Sunday, July 2 through Tuesday, July 4 — will bring Akon, 3 Doors Down and Jake Owen as its headliners, with each night wrapping up with a fireworks show. As always, admission is free.

    Let Them Eat Art | July 14

    This summer Maplewood celebrates its 11th annual Let Them Eat Art event – a whimsical tribute to Bastille Day. The event features live art demonstrations by regional artists, live music, and food & drink by Maplewood’s award-winning food purveyors.  Let Them Eat Art is not an art fair; it’s a celebration of making art and enjoying art in the shops and on the streets of Historic Downtown Maplewood.

    Total Eclipse at Jefferson Barracks | Aug. 21

    Don’t miss the biggest event of the summer, The Great American Total Solar Eclipse, on August 21st. At the park, the moon’s shadow will begin to pass over the sun at 11:49 a.m. and the total eclipse phase will be from 1:17 p.m. – 1:19 .pm. The viewing event at Jefferson Barracks will be free and open to the public.

    Festival of Nations | Aug. 26 – 27

    Tower Grove Park becomes the center of the world every year during the Festival of Nations. Immigrants from dozens of countries show off the culture, music and food of their old homeland for the benefit of their new one. Where else can you eat Nepalese food while hearing the music of the Ivory Coast? If you don’t want to eat your way through the festival (what’s wrong with you?), you can shop at the World Bazaar, enjoy the family arts and crafts area, and learn something about religions of the world through the St. Louis Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis.

    Big Muddy Blues Festival | Sept. 1 – 3

    Granted, ten dollars will only buy you a one-day ticket to the Big Muddy Blues Festival, but that is a small price to pay for what will be a master class in local blues. Last year, the long-running event went all-local for the first time, bringing 45 of St. Louis’ finest and most blues-riddled acts to three outdoor stages and three venues in Laclede’s Landing. This year’s lineup has not yet been announced, but the dates are set for Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3. A solid track record of excellence makes this show a must-see affair. Keep an eye on for announcements and more information.

    Japanese Festival | Sept. 2 – 3

    If you need one last big weekend out before school starts and fair days dwindle, there’s no event better than the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Japanese Festival. With sumo wrestlers, taiko drummers, dancers, food vendors, martial arts demonstrations and special presentations on the Japanese tea ceremony and traditional ikebana flower arranging, the Japanese Festival is an action-packed weekend. Sure, it’s crowded, and there’s a good chance the weather will be hot and humid, but in two short months you’ll be pining for that sun. Have fun while you still can.

    Saint Louis Art Fair | Sept. 8 – 10

    Saint Louis Art Fair presented by Centene Charitable Foundation is a nationally juried fine art and fine craft show consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top fine art fairs. Each year the Saint Louis Art Fair is held in the streets of Clayton, Missouri, attracting over 150,000 art enthusiasts to a space filled with quality food, art, and music. Come see the HEC-TV booth at the corner of Meremac and Forsyth to “Meet the Artists” of the 2017 Saint Louis Art Fair!

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