The oldest European settlement on the west bank of the Mississippi River was home in the early 1800s to famed naturalist artist John James Audubon. In the 1930s and 1940s it was the site of the renowned Ste. Genevieve Art Colony and Summer School of Art, which featured luminaries such as Thomas Hart Benton and Joe Jones. It was a favorite working location for later prominent regional artists, including Charles Rhinehart and Roscoe Misselhorn. Today the town boasts over a dozen galleries and studios of working artists.
On October 7-9 the Ste. Genevieve Art Guild revisits the days of the colony and school during its annual Promenade des Arts, with a major exhibit of contemporary "neo-regionalism" work by members of the Ste.
Genevieve Art Guild at the Felix Valle State Historic Site, the headquarters of the original art colony and school. Original colony paintings on display at the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center.
In addition, dozens of artists from the region will arrive in the town for the September 30-October 9 annual Plein Air Painting Event, ready to produce paintings of local scenes and people and culminating in an exhibit and sale of the works on October 7-9.
For those interested in hands-on art experience Ste. Genevieve hosts the Insider 573 magazine Chalk Art Festival September 24, when the streets of the town's historic district will come alive with chalk art paintings and artists creating, showcasing and selling their art.
Plus, a noted regional artist will offer a portrait workshop on September 29.
The events are bracketed by the town's September 23 Fourth Friday Art Walk and the October Fourth Friday event, featuring an opportunity to meet local and regional artists at informal receptions at galleries in the downtown.
Throughout late September and October, downtown galleries will host special shows and activities.
"We are very proud of our artistic traditions and excited by the vitality of the present-day art community in Ste. Genevieve," Art Guild President Juanita Wyman says. "There is an amazing body of talent here. And this month and in October we will be offering a wonderful array of events for artists and art lovers."
While most activities are free, preregistration and a fee are required for some. Information about all the events is available at the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center (66 S. Main); by phone at
1-573-883-7097 (toll-free); or on the center web site at www.visitstegen.com.