Metro-East News

It’s Art on the Square if you want art, music, competition or food

Last weekend, the preacher-man said there were three sermons a year that ministers just have to get right: Christmas Eve, Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day.

The 15th annual Art on the Square runs all weekend on the Belleville Public Square. As an events columnist, this one I just have to get right. So here goes:


The nationally ranked juried art show (you’ve heard that before, right?) has more than 100 artists, who will bring everything from tiny prints to giant outdoor sculptures with prices to match. Metro-east faithful know that Friday night at Public Square in Belleville tends to be more adult-oriented (expect rampant alcohol consumption), while Saturday’s show will see more strollers; Sunday is when the resolute art aficionados come back for one last look before the show packs up again for a year.

The art comes in many forms, from jewelry and fine craft to oil paintings and photography. There’s sculpture and wood carving, watercolor and glass.

If your dearly beloved insists there’s simply nothing of interest for her, she’s simply not into art, well drag her along anyway. If nothing else. ...


Music is an art form as well, and Saturday starts off with Mark Biehl from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Wine Court. Biehl’s website says his first release was “based on the premise that much can be used to stimulate the imagination.”

The Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra is on the main stage from 1 to 1:45 on Saturday, and Beabout Jazz will be at the Wine Court from 2 to 4:45 p.m. Back at the main stage from 2:15 to 3 is the Metro East Community Chorale. Wrapping up Saturday at the wine court is the John Farrar Trio from 5:15 to 8 p.m., and the Roscoe Beano Band on the main stage from 6 to 8 p.m.

Sunday kicks off with traditional Irish and Celtic music from Celtica on the main stage from 11 a.m. to 12:30 pm.; the Don James Quartet from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the wine court, the Masterworks Chorale is at the main stage from 1 to 1:45 pm.; and The Convertibles wrap up the wine court from 2:15 to 5 p.m. and Anita Rosemond finished up at the main stage from 3 to 5 p.m.

Kids’ art

The Children’s Art Garden is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. This is the place for the under-12 set, and any of us in the over-12 set who can borrow a friend’s kid so we can play with crayons and paint. There are several make-it-and-take-it stations, including your own instrument, making a hat, decorating a cookie. There are also several projects that single artists will later put together to make giant collaborative pieces, such as a monarch butterfly to be displayed at the St. Louis Zoo.


It’s one thing to have a show, and quite another for it to be a contest. The Art on the Square is a contest, one in which the People’s Choice winner takes home an extra $1,500 in addition to their sales. Best of Show and Mayor’s Choice are among the more than 20 awards given; in addition to high school artists receiving awards. Under the main tent, look for high school students art and see who is among the winners splitting $5000 in prize money.

Eat and drink

“Cafe on the Square” has better-than-fair fare from local restaurants that includes food and wine pairings. It helps make Art on the Square a one-stop date night. There will be more than a dozen restaurant and catering vendors, with brats and chili to fresh fruit smoothies.


▪ The Petal Pushers Garden Club’s plant sale is from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Jersey County Historical Society, 601 North State St., Jerseyville. Expect hostas, daylilies, irises, ferns, Russian sage, lamb’s ear, pink primrose and sedum. This year’s proceeds will go toward putting in native plants at the TreeHouse Wildlife Center in Dow, Ill.

▪ The Lewis & Clark State Historic Site is hosting a Point of Departure Event with re-enactors and artisans who will demonstrate blacksmithing, candle making, coopering and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the historic site in Hartford (GPS 3500 New Poag Road)

▪  Cahokia Mounds Kids Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Cahokia Mounds State Park, Collinsville. Free event with activities that include making arrowheads, launching spears with an atlatl, learning to identify animal pelts and tracks, and making pinch pots. There’s also the more modern face painting, a free photo booth, and performances by the Kahok Dancers at 2 and 4 p.m.