With fall on the horizon, the 62nd Annual St. James Court Art Show is back and will again be held the first full weekend in October. What was once just a way for residents of the neighborhood to pay their bills has become a “Top 10 Fine Arts and Craft Show in the U.S.” – as ranked by Sunshine Artist Magazine (September 2017).
Howard Rosenberg has been named the new Executive Director of the St. James Court Art Show. Rosenberg has been an active member of the Old Louisville community since he moved there in the early 80s. He currently serves as the chair on the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council and the Garvin Gate Blues Festival. Rosenberg is also an active member of the Jewish Community Federation.
“I have felt it important to be involved in this extremely unique and beautiful historic neighborhood. I believe in the value that the SJCAS brings to this region,” says Rosenberg. “To be a part of this great event in a meaningful way is a life’s dream. To be able to contribute to the value that it brings to our community is humbling.”
The St. James Court Art Show takes place on Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, and the art show is a rain or shine event held in historic Old Louisville, one of the largest preserved districts of Victorian architecture in the United States. The show began on St. James Court and has since expanded to Belgravia Court, South Fourth Street, Third Street, 1300 Third Street Neighborhood Association and the West End Baptist Church.
In addition to the plethora of local Kentucky artists, hundreds of artists travel to Louisville from all around the world to participate in this incredible show, and only about one in four that apply are selected to show their work at St. James Court Art Show. During this three-day event guests will discover unique works of art in 17 artistic mediums, from clay to wood, and everything in between. Food and drink from local vendors will also be available for purchase.
In the early years of the art show, profits were around $700 and attendance was approximately 40,000. Today, the St. James Court Art Show attracts over 150,000 visitors and tops $3 million in sales, while showcasing more than 700 artists. A portion of those profits profits also help fund scholarships for the St. James Court Art Show H.S. Scholarship Competition, which annually awards over $52,000 total to six deserving high school art students. St. James Court Art Show also has a grant process that supports several other Old Louisville non-profits and events such as, The Cabbage Patch Settlement House, Garvin Gate Blues Festival, Old Louisville Springfest, Shakespeare in the Park, Central Park Clean Up and many others. Profits also benefit the preservation of the iconic St. James Court fountain and the Old Louisville neighborhood. The maintenance of the iconic St. James Court Fountain alone can cost $10,000-$30,000 a year, and the neighborhood is also responsible for maintaining the greens, trees, sidewalks, gas lights, lions and urns of the court. Those who live in Old Louisville benefit from the amenities of the neighborhood, as do the thousands of visitors.
Those traveling to Louisville for 62nd Annual St. James Court Art Show will find plenty to do after the art show concludes each night. Named “One of the Great Places in America,” by the American Planning Association, Old Louisville is located a few miles from other notable Louisville attractions such as the Kentucky Derby Museum, Churchill Downs, Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, 21c Museum and Hotel, and numerous bourbon distilleries. Walking distance from the art show are a number of other local restaurants, bars, and businesses, like Old Louisville Brewery, Amici Café, Pizza Donisi, Granville Inn, Seafood Lady, and Old Louisville Tavern.
The St. James Court Art Show® is a juried fine arts and contemporary crafts show held among the country’s largest collection of Victorian homes in the heart of historic Old Louisville. St. James Court Art Show® was founded on October 12, 1957 by St. James Court Association president, Malcolm Bird. Back in 1957, St James Court Association was faced with an empty treasury, mounting debt for recent fountain repairs, and an immediate need to generate funds. The Art Show seemed to be a perfect means to generate funds and bring residents together. For over 60 years, the first full weekend in October has meant that it’s St. James Court Art Show time. What originally began as a way to pay the bills has become an autumn tradition that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to see (and purchase) original art from talented artists.