Art on the Square 2018

Between a very busy weekend schedule, and some rather unpredictable weather, I was worried that this was the first year since Ladybug was a baby that we weren’t going to make it to Art on the Square. But the weather cleared during a break in our schedule on Saturday, so we had a (fairly quick) walk around to see the sights.

There are always so many unique and beautiful things to look at!

One of my favorite things to do at Art on the Square is watch the artists at work…we were lucky this year, because there were three different women demonstrating their various crafts while we were there:

It’s always nice to see such big crowds turn out for this event!

Art on the Square 2017

It’s Art on the Square weekend in Belleville! This year is the 16th fair, which means Art on the Square has been a thing for as long as our Markel family has…as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the first one was the exact same weekend that Ryan and I got married!

This is always one of our family’s most anticipated events of the year, and if I counted correctly, this is the 10th year we have attended. We all love walking around and looking at the different art. And we all love finding new favorites: styles of art, individual pieces, and artists! This year, we were especially impressed with the art made from sculptural felt, something I didn’t even know about before this weekend!

We went on Friday night for the first time this year…usually we go bright and early on Saturday morning. I don’t know if it was because of the impending rain, or if it’s always like this on Friday, but it was busy!

There was so much to see. Jewelry and textiles, glass and sculptures, photography and line drawings, and all the different kinds of paintings you’d expect. I may not understand all the different styles of art, and of course, they can’t all be my personal favorites, but even a novice like me can appreciate how much talent is on display in every booth!

Belleville always looks so pretty for Art on the Square!

Today is the last day of the fair for 2017, and then we have to wait a whole year for it to come back again!

Art on the Square 2016

This weekend marks one of our favorite Belleville events of the year…Art on the Square!



I love how familiar it is every year, yet somehow, it’s also always very different. We look forward to seeing some of our favorite artists, as well as discovering new ones. And it always amazes me how many different kinds of art there are!


One of the best parts is watching the artists from the Gateway East Artists Guild at work:



And Belleville always looks great, dressed up for the fair!


We are so fortunate to live here in Belleville, where we get a chance to enjoy the number one art fair in the nation every year!

Art on the Square 2015

It’s that time of year again…Art on the Square has taken over the area around the fountain in downtown Belleville!


There is always so much to see, even on a rainy day like today. In addition to admiring many different kinds of art, we saw a few artists at work, including a glass blower and a woman working with copper wire. This is always one of my favorite Belleville events…I hope the bad weather that’s predicted for tomorrow holds off so the artists can have a nice showing!

Art on the Square 2014

Today was Art on the Square day! Belleville always looks so pretty during the art fair:

This year, there were cool cut-out stands placed all around the town square. Unfortunately, most of them were too tall for the children to reach, but they still look cool on their own!

I love watching the artists that are doing demonstrations. It’s fascinating to see how intent they are, and how much they love their work!

Of course, we stopped by to see our favorite artist, Mark Hurd, and buy a small print to add to our collection. Someday, we’re going to commission him to do a piece of one of our favorite places in St. Louis.

There were two artists from Belleville’s sister city of Paderborn, Germany, doing demonstrations. I thought this was a really cool way to celebrate Belleville’s 200th birthday…it’s certainly not something they’ve done before!

There are so many different kinds of art to see. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t “get” them all, and certainly they aren’t all my taste. But, I love that we get to see it all, and talk to some of the artists. I also love that the children are getting exposed to so much different art. It’s interesting to see how their tastes have changed over the years (or stayed the same!), and what catches their eyes that we might not have noticed.

There are many reasons I love Belleville, but Art on the Square is definitely the thing Belleville does best!

The Worst Decision Art on the Square Ever Made

This year’s Art on the Square poster has been revealed:


I can almost not find words for how wildly inappropriate this is. Belleville is celebrating her 200th birthday this year, and Art on the Square had the chance to have a really cool, historic poster. But instead, they commissioned a poster they had to have realized would be covered in cats. Yes, the cats are supposed to represent things in Belleville’s history, but you don’t even see that, because you’re too busy trying to figure out why our beautiful town square fountain is surrounded by cartoony cats.

I mean no disrespect to the artist, Don Nedobeck. I’m sure he is very talented in his field of work. This is not my style of art, however…not even close. But I also know that art is subjective, and some people like cat art. I don’t think, however, that the group of people who do is great enough to warrant commissioning the poster that will forever represent this year’s art fair covered in them.

Even if you overlook my immense dislike of cartoony cat art, there’s still the issue of this poster not fitting with any of the other posters they’ve produced, ever. There have been many different art styles displayed in the posters over the year, some that i have liked less than others, but they all fit together. We have a grouping of three rotating posters from previous Art on the Square festivals, and even though they are all by different artists with different styles, they are still complimentary. And they focus on the people of Belleville, not cats!

We have bought the Art on the Square poster every year since we’ve lived in Belleville, but I will not be buying this one. That makes me sad, from a continuity standpoint, as well as from a “missing out on having a souvenir of both Art on the Square and Belleville’s 200th birthday” standpoint. But there is no way I want these cats gracing the walls of my home. And I really think Art on the Square made a huge mistake choosing this design to be the face of this year’s historic event.

Our “Artiversary”

We were very lucky this year, because Art on the Square, one of the most-anticipated annual events in our household, just happened to fall on our wedding anniversary. As always, it was a fun way to spend the morning, walking around, and looking at all of the amazing art that fills our town square!


Even if it’s not something I would actually buy, I love looking at it all! There was jewelry:















Plus the more traditional wall art, of all kinds:




There was also a food court:


And a children’s area (we were there too early to actually make anything):


Of course, we visited our favorite artist, Mark Hurd:


And purchased a print, which matches the poster for the year that we always purchase, and have signed:


We also saw some artists at work, including a painter:


And a wood-carver:


I’m already looking forward to going back next year, and seeing what new things there are to discover!

Third Grade: Week Twenty-Six Wrap-Up

This week, we really started moving ahead in Adventures in My Father’s World. We’re doing one state sheet a day until they’re done, (which happens to coincide perfectly with how many math lessons we have left!). We’re ready for summer vacation, and we’ve almost met all of the days the state requires us to have, but we also want to get through every state sheet, because Turkey and Bunny love learning state trivia, so we can’t skip any. I’ve also had to adjust our book basket readings to go with the states we’re studying, but seeing as how Turkey and Bunny have usually finished the book basket selections by Wednesday, anyway, having some extra books to choose from is not a problem! We only have one major topic left in our overview of early American history–Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. We’ll be starting on that next week, and it will last us for two of the remaining three weeks of school.

We also had our annual field trip to Art on the Square this week. I give the children an assignment every year–for example, one year, I picked a few different types of paintings, and told them to find examples of each. This year, the assignment was fairly simple–choose your favorite piece of art, and then explain why it’s your favorite. It was fun hearing their explanations as to why they chose a particular piece–the artists did a good job making their audience feel something! Turkey loved watching these sculptures move in the wind…it’s what he looks forward to the most every year!

Art on the Square 2012

It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year again, but this weekend was Belleville’s annual art show–Art on the Square. The weather was perfect for browsing the different tents–warm and sunny. There was a good crowd there already when it opened at 10 on Saturday morning, so hopefully this was another successful year for the artists in attendance!

Every year, I give the children an assignment while we’re there. For example, one year, it was finding and identifying different styles of painting. This year’s assignment  was finding one piece of art that was a favorite, and then explaining why they chose it. Bunny really liked a group of paintings of the Great Plains..she said they made her feel free and wild. Turkey really liked these sculptures, because they’re colorful and fun, and move in the wind.

As always, I loved looking at all of the different styles and kinds of art at the show. It seems that all kinds of art are represented, from photography to paintings, sculptures to jewelry, pottery to wood carvings. Even when something doesn’t reflect my personal taste, I can still appreciate the talent and effort it takes to make it–especially since I’m not gifted in the art department!

We got to see a few different artists at work, demonstrating their skills.

The children enjoyed the children’s art area, and they had a fun time adding their personal stamp to the giant mural that was set up.

This year, we even bought a few prints from my favorite artist, local photographer Mark Hurd!

Best in the Nation

Art on the Square has once again been named the best fine art show in the nation!

We look forward to this every year…I’m already looking forward to this year’s show, even though it’s still over four months away. It’s great for the children to see so many different kinds of art, and interact with the artists, and it’s fun for me to dream about some of the pieces I’d like to buy someday. At the least, we get the show poster every year, which we rotate into our collection at the top of the stairs.

One of these years, though, we’ll buy some real art…possibly something local, like a painting of Busch Stadium or Ted Drewes!