Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fun finds: St. James Court Art Show

This weekend the yearly  St. James Court Art Show was held in historic Old Louisville.  For those unfamiliar with St. James (as it's called locally), it's a juried fine arts and crafts show that includes 750 artists from all over North America.  Each year the show draws around 300,000 people.

I usually head out to St. James every couple years, or when I'm on the hunt for something specific.  During our house construction, I bought our doorbell cover and the house numbers we embedded into our mailbox there.  

Although I use mostly blue and brown tones inside, the outside has historic greens, reds and grays of traditional Craftsman design.  The doorknob was an absolute perfect choice, as it looks like it would have been crafted for a Craftsman home in the 1920s.  The mailbox numbers are kiln-fired pottery with a glossy ceramic finish, and they bring the green and red colors out to the mailbox at the end of our long driveway, giving passers-by a hint that something a little different is ahead.  (The other 4 homes in our small neighborhood are more of the McMansion variety.)

But back to this year's St. James show.  The show runs for three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), but we were busy Saturday, and I was afraid that the perfect piece might be gone by Sunday, so I headed out Friday around lunch time.  The sun was out and the temperature was a little brisk, just as it should be for St. James, which is always held the first full weekend in October.  (You never know about temps around here.  I think when I went a couple years ago, it was around 90 degrees that day.)  I even grabbed the last open parking spot on my favorite little dead-end side street.

Side note:  The public schools in Louisville actually close on the Friday of St. James every year because they otherwise would have so many teachers and staff wanting to take the day off that there would not be enough substitutes.  Even though they had to start school two days late this year because of power outages due to a storm, the school system decided to add two days on to the end of the year rather than to be in school on St. James day!  It's serious around here!

You never know what you'll see at St. James.  There are artists with items that start in the thousands, and artists that have items you can buy with no more than a $20 bill.  Here is a sampling of items that caught my eye.

A chair made of washers?  What?!  Unfortunately $2600 was out of my budget.
Love me a good impressionistic seascape
This is exactly my style
I was looking for this artist, who I had seen a couple years ago.
Each of these squares is a different texture, most coming from old signs.
I'm not usually a fan of yard statues, but I wouldn't mind this one
I bought this and can't wait to wear it!
The drop could be removed so that the necklace could be worn two different ways
This is going on my Xmas list (the artist has a website I can send my family to)
These handbags were made from scarves and ties
Yes, I had to grab a funnel cake.  Couldn't resist.
Very moody
I've seen photos that look like letters, but this vendor's collection was the most creative I've seen
There are a couple artists who make figures out of large nails.  These figures were all musicians.
There are figures for most every profession.   Guess what this one is!
Fun art for a kids room or a funky pad
This is a bit creepy, but it's still amazing that someone could  turn anyone into a puppet
Upscale spin art on glass
Another example of nail figures, this one a jockey on a horse (very appropriate for Louisville)
We were given this same metal kitty several years ago.  
Unlike our other felines, she doesn't require kitty Prozac.

See anything you like?  Aside from the maille necklace, I also purchased something for The Teen for Xmas.  Even though he doesn't read the blog, I shall keep his gift secret.  Unfortunately I didn't find the perfect large abstract painting for my living room, but that just tells me that I indeed should go with the awesome piece I found last week at Z Gallerie.  Just gotta get it hung now!

Since the Old Louisville area is home to the country's largest collection of Victorian homes, I would be remiss to give you a taste of St. James without sharing some of the gorgeous old architecture and gardens that all the artists booths are surrounded by.  

I love neighborhoods where each home looks different.  I know some of you probably live in cookie-cutter subdivisions, and that's fine for some, but I have an obsession about my house architecture and my cars.  I must have something different than the norm!

Hope you enjoyed a peek into the St. James Court Art Show.  If you live around the area and haven't been, be sure to stop by on the first full weekend of October next year!  If you went to St. James this year, what was your favorite find??



  1. Wow, I just love the architecture in the area too. That washer chair is a must, pity about the price. I love the tie handbags, how original. I too enjoy visiting this type of arts and crafts markets, you can always find something interesting.

  2. Looks like an awesome arts and crafts show, and a great place to visit! I don't like cookie cutter house subdivisions for me either!

  3. Looks like a great day out! I LOVE your necklace, it's ace!!

    PS I so miss funnel cakes. Oh yum.

  4. I absolutely love the show. I go every year. Is there any way you remember the name of the artist who was showing his bonsai trees?

  5. Anonymous - Here's the artist listing from last year's show. It was Sweet Valley Bonsai from Conley, GA.


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