ArtFul Living

By Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky, Arts Editor


It happens to everyone: you pass a place and think to yourself, “I’ll go there sometime.” But you don’t. Perhaps you pass that place repeatedly, randomly, once in awhile or often, always with the same mental note to spend some time there, later. Maybe, you’ve been to some of the ARTful venues in St. Louis—but it’s been a long time ago.

Well, make this month the “sometime” you’ve been predicting. Pick a different spot to visit each week, or plan one ARTful weekend full of destinations. Or, as we often hear, you might be a tourist and picked up this issue to find ARTful things to see and do in our area (if so, welcome!). The ARTful Happenings calendar (available online at www.TheHealthyPlanet.com) will guide you for special events occurring this month. Here are just a few suggestions to map out an ARTful adventure:

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, located at 3716 Washington, just west of Grand Boulevard, is an intriguing building on the outside, and even more so on the inside. Perhaps you’ve passed it (“I’ll go there sometime”) but haven’t yet taken time for a visit. Designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando as his first structure designed for a location in the United States, The Pulitzer seems like a huge contemporary sculpture. Inside, it’s a place for changing exhibitions and programming. The architect himself said, “It’s basically just two simple rectangles. But as you enter this simple figure or box, you discover a space that’s complex and rich. Once you’re inside, you learn things that could not be foreseen from the outside.” Come inside and explore the current exhibition “Art of Its Own Making,” on view now through August 20. Open on Wednesdays (noon to 5 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), admission is always free. Visit www.pulitzerarts.org for more info.

Right next door to The Pulitzer is the Contemporary Art Museum, open Wednes-day through Saturday. Even better, admission to the Contemporary is absolutely FREE all summer, thanks to the Gateway Foundation. So what’s keeping you from a visit? Visit www.camstl.org for details.

I continue to be surprised when I hear that some people have not yet been inside our beloved Saint Louis Art Museum to experience the new addition. Housing the contemporary collections, this space is light-filled. Works in the remainder of the museum have been moved to different locations, so be sure to allow time to wander. Admission to the museum in Forest Park is always free (special exhibitions may have a fee); check www.slam.org for more info.

If you like the outdoors, Laumeier Sculpture Park should be on your go-see list. Gigantic sculptures throughout the park on Rott Road, between South Lindbergh and I-270, await your discovery. It’s a place to stroll, to study, to take the kids on a summer day. Also free of charge (gotta love St. Louis!), find out more at www.laumeier.org.

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum at 3415 Olive, is relatively new to St. Louis’ list of ARTful institutions. Definitely worth a visit! Throughout the summer, an interesting exhibition entitled “Portrait/Process” explores the relationship between the making of art and the finished work. Learn more at www.iphf.org.

The World Chess Hall of Fame at 4652 Maryland in the Central West End, includes exhibition space for art. Two exhibitions remain through September: “Cage & Kaino: Pieces & Performances” and “Strategy by Design: Games by Michael Graves.” Check out www.worldchesshof.org to learn more.

Craft Alliance continues to celebrate its big 50th anniversary year. Check out exhibitions, classes and events at both locations: 6640 Delmar in the Loop and 501 N. Grand in the Kranzberg Center for the Arts. Specifics at www.craftalliance.org.

And that’s just a short list of some of St. Louis’ ARTful spots. Outdoor concerts abound here in the summer (Whitaker Series at Missouri Botanical Garden, Parties in the Park in Clayton, etc.) The Muny’s great July lineup of outdoor shows in Forest Park include Tarzan, Porgy and Bess, The Addams Family, Seussical, and Grease. On a budget? Arrive early to nab a free ticket. Learn more at www.muny.org.

Summer in St. Louis is totally ARTful, and fun.