It's such a simple idea: an art fair in St. Louis, with the exhibiting artists all hailing from the area. Elegant, really. It's the sort of idea one would expect from the brains and brewers over at Schlafly; read Tom Schlafly's monthly column "Top Fermentation" (available in the company newsletter), and you soon learn that Tom is not just a tireless promoter of his own ideas and agendas (and an entertaining wordsmith, to boot); he's also a tireless booster for St. Louis. Art Outside, the aforementioned all-local art fair, is really just the logical extension of Schlafly's philosophy that what happens in St. Louis is exciting, compelling and worth touting.
The third incarnation of Art Outside, which takes place in- and outside the Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-241-2337 or www.schlafly.com; free admission) from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday (September 8 and 9), fully demonstrates the power of this philosophy. Covering one end of the Bottleworks parking lot is the "artists' village," a collection of tents housing talents as diverse as Marie Oberkirsch (fiber artist), William LaChance (painter) and Bill & Julie Newberry (woodworkers); on the other end of the lot, the Tribe of Judah (contemporary gospel), Rats and People (folk rockers), and Maid*Rite (all-woman jug band) serenade the crowds. Inside the Bottleworks, the best films of the 48-Hour Film Project screen in the Crown Room. Once darkness falls, Pandora's Matchbox light things up with their unique brand of fiery entertainment. Whether you come for the art, the music, the films, the late-night variety show (courtesy of the 52nd City crew), or just the food and beer, everything that goes in your eye-holes, ear-holes and beer-holes is made right here in St. Louis. Goddamn, it's a good feeling.
Fri., Sept. 8; Sat., Sept. 9