With the Saint Louis Art Fair kicking off on Friday, both business and political leaders in the area are excited to take part in the event.
The Saint Louis Art Fair is a free event, which runs Friday through Sunday, and will celebrate the arts and the community that surrounds it. The event will feature 181 exhibiting artists with 12 special mediate categories.
Laura Miller, Interim Executive Director at Cultural Festivals, said the fair is designed to have something for everyone, and visitors who aren’t experts of the art world can come out and partake in the festivities as well.
“It offers the community to come together to celebrate the arts,” Miller said. “There’s no commitment, visitors can browse through the artists’ booths, listen to the music, participate in our children’s area and it’s all offered free. I think the beauty of this event is you can choose to come into an artist’s booth or not, the artists are there, they want to talk to you and they’re open to questions and having conversations you about their work.”
Clayton Mayor Harold Sanger, agreed with Miller about the the Saint Louis Art Fair offering a little bit for everyone but will also positively highlight the region.
“The art is meaningful not just for Clayton but for the entire region — it’s the premiere art festival of the area. Typically the art fair is rated by the artists as number one or number two art fair in the entire country,” Sanger said. “It puts a great spotlight on our city and our region in a very positive way. It draws in lots of people, we had about 130,000 folks last year and I’m hoping with the weather this year we are actually going to exceed that. It’s great for our business, our hotels, for showing off our city. It’s just a great event for everybody all the way around.”
Additionally, Sanger said that Clayton is the perfect location for the art fair because the city already embraces art.
“We are a centrally located municipality with a great arts culture. The city alone has 21 pieces of public art around our city,” he said. “Art is very meaningful to us to begin with and I think we are very much a destination municipality and people are used to coming to us for dining and retail and events, this fits in very well.”
Clayton’s annual Saint Louis Art Fair, which is sponsored by Centene Charitable Foundation, will take up eight city blocks this year and will include a plethora of artists, many of which are from Missouri.
Centene Charitable Foundation (SLA) said they were incredibly proud to support the event.
“As a long-time supporter of the Saint Louis Art Fair, Centene is proud to help strengthen the culture, education, progress and development of St. Louis by supporting the artists and works that are featured at the fair,” Centene spokesperson said in a written statement. “The arts can enrich the growth and revitalization of an entire city, and the creative offerings featured throughout this year’s event represent the best in the nation. The visual artists that come to St. Louis from across the nation, bringing their most original and creative works, have helped place this fair among St. Louis’ most treasured public events.
The art fair, which is celebrating its 24th anniversary, is also well-known for its offering of local cuisine.
During the art fair, the event will feature some of St. Louis’ restaurants to create and distribute their own culinary version of art work.
One of those restaurants will be Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery, which will offer plenty of treats for fair goers to cool off with.
Tamara Keefe, owner of Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery, said the restaurant was a fit for both the art fair and the creamery.
“We’re super excited to be part of the art fair, it was one of the events that we were looking forward to joining once we opened our new Clayton store which we just did in July,” Keefe said. “It was a very natural fit for us and it was something that we wanted to be a part of.”
Clementine’s will offer eight ice cream flavors at the art fair, three being adult flavors such as maple bourbon with salted candy pecans, a boozy banana rum with salted butterscotch caramel swirl, and also a 4 Hands Brewery milk chocolate stout flavor.
Keefe said there would also be non-alcoholic flavors that all ages could enjoy.
“We’re serving our famous gooey butter cake ice cream, salted crack caramel, obviously we’ll have vanilla there. We will also have a vegan ice cream there too,” she said. “We’re doing eight flavors total, three are naughty and five our nice and our other nice flavor is our triple dark chocolate.”
In addition to area restaurants set up in booths, there will also be a wine and craft beer garden, which will feature a selection of local and imported drinks.
Saint Louis Art Fair Dates:
Friday, September 8: 5 p.m. — 10 p.m.
Saturday, September 9: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, September 10: 11:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.