Tag Archives: St. James Court Art Show


Art For Everyone

The Kentuckiana area is lucky to have an amazing event once a year known to bring more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world. If your mind went immediately to horses and giant hats, think again. When the leaves change and the weather cools, the St. James Court Art Show is what attracts people from near and far.

The one-of-a-kind experience for art lovers in the heart of Old Louisville is a juried show that now has more than 700 exhibitors who sell their wares and high-level art.

Howard Rosenberg, executive director of the St. James Court Art Show, said the event is special for many reasons. “The setting is unique,” he said. “There are very few art shows in the country – I don’t know of any of them – that are right smack dab in the middle of a historic landmark neighborhood. It also gives people an opportunity to see some of the finest art in the country.”

And it’s free.

The show was started in 1957 by St. James Court Association President Malcolm Bird as a way to make money. The association was out of funds, and it had looming debt because of recent fountain repairs. The show was originally open to all and was just an exhibit. Art was hung on clotheslines from tree to tree.

Over the years, the show grew and expanded in the neighborhood, adding Belgravia Court, sections of Third Street and the West End Baptist Church. The money raised from the show has helped fund historic preservation of the neighborhood, which has spurred housing restoration in the area. “It grew because it became such an iconic art show, but it also grew because it benefits the other neighborhoods to participate,” Rosenberg said. “They’re all part of a consortium that makes up the art show as participants. It’s grown because of the level of art, because of the demand, because of it being so special.”

The St. James Court Art Show also focuses on ensuring diversity of artistic medium, making sure that it’s not just oil paintings or watercolors. There are 17 different mediums, including jewelry, clay, wood and more.

The jurors of the show select artists based on photos of the art, with no idea who the artist is, Rosenberg said. So, entry is entirely based on the quality of the art. “Then, during the show, another group of jurors – people from the art world – visit and assess the artists themselves,” Rosenberg said. “Are they engaging? What do people think of the art? Are they actively participating? Not like a car salesman trying to sell something, but are they engaging people?”

The show annually awards $52,000 in scholarships to area high school students. Several of are as high as $15,000 individually. So, visitors are not only supporting artists who are supporting themselves, they are also supporting the next generation of artists.

Rosenberg has lived in Old Louisville off and on for 36 years, and has been a volunteer and organizer of several projects in the area. He said he likes the way the St. James Court Art Show showcases the neighborhood.

“Because of the setting, because of Central Park, I think that that’s what’s so special about it,” Rosenberg said. “The fact that it continues to improve and expand, and new artists are brought in. The fact that there’s a scholarship program for students. It brings the neighborhood together and showcases it in a special way.”

This year’s St. James Court Art Show is Oct. 5, 6 & 7 in Historic Old Louisville. It’s open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, but please leave your dogs at home. For a complete list of artists and vendors, pick up a free program available at the welcome tents at St. James Court and Magnolia Avenue, Fourth Street and Magnolia Avenue, St. James Court and Hill Street. Or just ask a volunteer, who will be happy to help you.

St. James Court Art Show

Oct. 5, 6, & 7

Historic Old Louisville

For GPS, use 1402 St. James Ct. in Louisville

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday & Saturday

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday


Free Admission

Rain or shine

No pets allowed


62nd Annual St. James Court Art Show Returns Oct. 5-7

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.

stj2In 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.

For more information about the St. James Court Art Show, visit stjamescourtartshow.com and follow on Facebook at facebook.com/StJamesCourtArtShow.

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.