Fountain fundraiser transforms into timeless tradition

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - Old Louisville is ready for its annual weekend in the spotlight with the St. James Court Art Show.
The free event kicked off Friday morning and runs through Sunday.

The show started more than 60 years ago as a way to save the neighborhood. The St. James Court Association founded the event back in 1957. It desperately needed money fast to help pay for recent fountain repairs, and the show provided an immediate source of funding. In the decades since, it’s distinguished itself as so much more than just a fundraiser.

Now, every October, Old Louisville appreciates art like none other.

“It’s local. It’s Louisville, and I love the artists and the preservation of this area,” patron Annie McDonald said.

She said she’s gone to the show for at least 40 years and loves the homage it pays to the neighborhood architecture.

“This area was the first Victorian area in the country. People kind of copied us. They may have gotten bigger and better, but they copied the idea, you know. So, it’s just cool,” Annie said.

Street after street, you'll find vendor after vendor making masterpieces to marvel the masses.

"I paint my pictures. I don't print my colors,” artist Sylvia Pixley said. “I believe a lot of people come out here that are just here for a long walk, and they learn something.”

Artists and their appreciators come from all over, like Jess Taber. She's a co-owner of KT Leather and Designs

"This is like one of the best quality shows that we do too, and I get to see all of my good friends who do the show. So, I get to see everybody that lives all over. You know, Bobby lives in Oklahoma, and I've got people that live in Florida. So, it's nice to be able to check out everybody and hang out for a couple of days,” Taber said.

Whether you're an art aficionado or easing into the craft, this decades-long tradition promises to give you a weekend to remember.

"Great quality, great people, southern hospitality, you can't beat it. It's the best place to be,” Taber said.

“Art is all in the eye of the beholder. Just the things that people can create,” patron Bill Moss said.

The show is also partnering with the Dare to Care Food Bank in Jefferson County. They're trying to collect 8,000 cans, and you can be a part of that effort. You're encouraged to bring a canned food item to the show and can just drop it off at any of the information or welcome tents. Organizers are hoping this will help them get ahead of the busy holiday season.

The show runs 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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