The end of summer is a restless time. Maybe you feel the need to let go of that fetid season publicly and welcome some autumnal bliss. Maybe you need to explore your creative side. Or maybe you just want to hook up with that groovy chick from work who says she's into art.
Whatever you're looking for, Artica has something for you. Now in its second year, Artica offers free parades, music, art (including Hap Phillips' Scorched Earth, pictured) and dancing in a blissfully unstructured format, spread over two days (noon-11 p.m. Saturday, September 20, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, September 21), against the Mississippi's romantically ragged, industrial riverside.
The Artica organizers are asking participants to dance, sing and/or create art within the permeable boundaries of the near north riverside, bordered by Mullanphy and Biddle streets, North Broadway and the river itself. One of the coolest events at Artica is Saturday's kickoff, the Boat of Dreams launching, in which participants parade to the riverside and cast off boats made of biodegradable materials filled with "hopes, dreams and ideas." (It doesn't matter if your boat sinks immediately; it's the thought that counts.)
Artica may be the closest thing St. Louis has to a Seattle or San Francisco-type art happening. Find out more by calling 314-752-9528 or visiting www.artica.org. -- Ivy Cooper
Tim Garrett is an artist whose primary tool is a $4,500, 800-pound authentic '60s photobooth. The Monett, Mo., native's art takes the form of photo strips that can be whimsical (he does a Lady and the Tramp gag with himself, himself and a string, instead of two dogs and a piece of spaghetti) and haunting (ask him about the photobooth shot of a couple making out that started his obsession at age twelve). He creates strips that play tricks with time and space and, for one fascinating project, call for people to wear the artist's father's glasses while telling a story for the camera. His new show at Mad Art (2727 South 12th Street; 314-771-8230; 7-10 p.m. Friday, September 19, free reception; through November 16) includes a single work made from 400 (!) photobooth strips. -- Byron Kerman
Can You See What I hear at DEAFestival?
The DEAFestival is a lot like any other local warm-weather festival -- you can expect hot dogs, live entertainment and face-painting for the kids. The difference is that this party is tailor-made for hearing-impaired folks, though everything is suitable for the hearing community, too.
The fun includes celebrity deaf and hard-of-hearing performers, who will all perform in sign-language, with interpreters on stage as well. Look for a children's tent with crafts, mimes, magicians and clowns, and art and poetry from deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults. The Fest also serves as a reunion for old friends in the hearing-impaired community from remote cities, who will converge on St. Louis for the weekend (10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Westport Plaza parking lot, Page Boulevard at I-270; free; 314-229-7683, www.rtr-stl.org).
This is a great destination for hearing children and adults, too, so they can become more familiar with a world that's not really so different from their own. -- Byron Kerman
Full Metal Jackets
While there haven't been any recent advancements made in plate-mail technology or the efficacy of the halberd, there are new developments in the display of these medieval necessities. The St. Louis Art Museum (Forest Park, 314-721-0072, www.slam.org) has redesigned their Arms and Armor rooms to more closely resemble "an eighteenth century gentleman's salon." These tastefully appointed galleries (three in total) re-open on Friday, allowing the curious to view cuirass and the like in high style. Admission is free. -- Paul Friswold