St. James Art Fair fuels creative fire

Laurel Deppen

If you know a Louisvillian, there’s a good chance that during the first full weekend of October, you can find them at the St. James Art Fair.

The St. James Court Art Show is an annual festival of fine arts and contemporary crafts located in the heart of Old Louisville. Each year, rain or shine, hundreds of vendors and thousands of art appreciators from across the country gather in Louisville to share a passion for the arts.

This past Sunday, even the rain couldn’t stop the spirit of the festival. Vendors and artists still smiled as they set up their tarps to protect their art, and patrons still walked ecstatically through the streets of St. James Court, umbrellas in hand. Through unsatisfactory weather, art-appreciators still continue to come for a tradition rich with art variety.

Vendors return to the festival year after year because of the good publicity it brings, but also because of the passionate clientele.

Jake Asuit, a knife crafter from Georgia and a St. James participant of five years, commented on the St. James patrons.

“I love the folks,” Asuit said. “This place – it’s raining like crazy – they’re troopers … and you do support the arts here. We love the St. James Court.”

This passion for artistry is what vendors believe keeps the festival going. Their art continues to ignite the passion of the St. James Court.

Jonathan Rose, an artist from Franklin, Tennessee, whose craft is making instruments, commented on creativity as a skill he believes everyone possesses.

“I believe everyone has a creative fire that could make the world a better place if they were to tap into it and release it into the world,” Rose said. “I just encourage people to embrace their creative side. Some people create paintings and music and some people create spreadsheets and organization but they’re no less creative … We can make the world a better place by tapping into and releasing that creativity. That’s part of what fuels my love for art and what I do.”

That creative fire Rose commented on was alive and well during the festival, and opportunities like this are not only limited to the Louisville area.

Mitchell Rickman, a WKU alumnus and owner of Rickman Pottery in Bowling Green, participated in the St. James Art Fair and will soon be a part of the World’s Greatest Studio Tour. The studio tour is a similar art festival that showcases local artists and their studios in the Bowling Green area. The event will take place the first weekend of November and will feature 25 different studios and 40 different artists.

Reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected]