There's a pervasive belief in this country that owning art is a privilege reserved only for the very wealthy. But tucked into the mission statement of the Independent Art Market is the revolutionary idea that "art doesn't need to be expensive to be great." And to prove this theory true, one needs only to attend the Independent Art Market to realize two things: Beautiful art is being made here in St. Louis, and this art is affordable to the average St. Louisan. Take the jewelry of Yuko Suga as an example; her Braille necklaces have the delicate patina of finely weathered metal, which imparts a toughness that stems from their implied great age. And hidden in plain sight is a secret message, worked into the surface as if eaten away by time. Old and new simultaneously, her works are only part of the treasure trove that awaits you at this year's Independent Art Market. Painters, textile artists, ceramicists and even a paper lantern artisan all take part in the three-day market at the Lofts at 315 (1000 Locust Street; www.independentartmarket.org). Hours are 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday (December 7 through 9); admission is free all three days, so you'll have more money to purchase gifts — for friends or for yourself.
Dec. 7-9, 2007