With Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky

Healthy Planet Arts Editor


November Is Art Show Season


The best artists and fine crafts artisans come to town on November 5,6,7 for the 9th Annual ARTstravaganza!, a wonderful art-filled extravaganza. For many years, the event has been a highlight of Missouri Artisans Association, the 501c3 statewide arts organization better known as The Best of Missouri Hands. Previously held at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, ARTstravaganza! moves this year to a new spacious venue: ArtSpace in Crestwood Court (formerly Crestwood Mall) at Watson and Sappington Roads.

The show opens Friday, November 5 with a free Moonlight Reception from 4 to 10 p.m. Inside ArtSpace, more than 30 BOMH Juried Artists from all over the state will present a spectacular array of work in clay, jewelry, photography, wood, glass, metal, naturals, mixed media and more.  At Friday’s Moonlight Reception, visitors will enjoy wine tasting from Wenwood Farm Winery. Live music will be provided by The St. Louis Classical Guitar Society. Funding for this great event is provided through the generosity of grants from Regional Arts Commission and Missouri Arts Council.  The Healthy Planet magazine and KWMU-FM 90.7 are media sponsors.

ARTstravaganza! continues Saturday, Nov. 6, from 10 am to 5 pm; and Sunday, Nov. 7, from 11 am to 4 pm.  The event is free to the public. There is plenty of free parking and lots of room to browse the art. The building is completely accessible.

Artists who are juried members of the Best of Missouri Hands are considered the best artists in the state. They are selected on the basis of the quality and originality of their work. They have exceeded the standard for mere competence in their field and risen to the level of excellence. The organization’s growing membership represents every level of expertise from emerging artists to nationally and internationally acclaimed professionals, as those in ARTstravaganza. Artists in the show will also be furthering the careers of aspiring artists through the generosity of a grant from Regional Arts Commission. The artists will be visiting St. Louis area high schools and colleges for Question-&-Answer sessions on what it’s like to be a professional artist. These visits will occur during the week prior to ARTstravaganza! Artist tenants at ArtSpace will also be open during the show to further tempt your art wish list! For info, call 314-318-1717 or visit www.bestofmissourihands.org.


While you’re in the neighborhood, why not make a weekend of art/fine craft shopping?   Artists Boutique presents another quality art and craft show at the Kirkwood Community Center, Geyer Road at Adams, on November 6 and 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This long-running November tradition (47 years!) has a reputation for wonderful, handmade works.  The event is free, so don’t miss it!


Mark your calendar now for December 4 and 5 as well when The Foundry Art Centre will hosts Big Red Box, a show and sale of gift-able holiday items Friday and Saturday, December 3 and 4.  Over 20 Juried artists from The Best of Missouri Hands (the best in the state!) will present the show.  Free gift-wrapping, refreshments, and entertainment are a part of the event.  The St. Louis Classical Guitar Society will entertain shoppers on Friday evening, December 4 from 7 – 9.  Hours are Friday, December 3, 4pm – 9pm and Saturday, December 4, 10am – 5pm.  No sales tax is charged on purchases made during this event, saving shoppers $$$.  The Big Red Box is in its 5th year and is a great event for family fun and shopping.  The Foundry Art Centre is located at 520 North Main Centre in St. Charles, Missouri, just 5 minutes from the I -70 Bridge.  For info, call 636-255-0270 or visit www.foundryartcentre.org.