If you missed Open Studios this year, don’t worry, there is always next year. A previous blog post already mentioned the Preview Party which had a record breaking 720 people in attendance. Special thanks goes to the River City Professionals for co-hosting the program, helping to promote the event, and bringing all of their members to party. In addition to the 150+ Open Studios artworks on display in the galleries, Pi on the Spot, also known as PiTruckSTL on Twitter was parked outside the building serving up fresh pizzas straight from truck’s oven. As a local phenomenon, Pi has been embraced by the St. Louis community and even Chicago based Senator, turned president Barack Obama has endorsed the iconic deep dish pizza with his seal of approval. Just recently, chefs of Pi were flown to the White House to caterer an event especially for the president. Alongside the Pi Truck, a Frosty Treats ice cream truck was also parked outside for those looking to fill their sweet tooth on a hot summer’s evening.
As an added bonus to the Preview Party, guests were encouraged to enter a bike raffle to win a Electra Pink Hawaii Cruiser donated by Big Shark Bicycle Company. Ramona Scott was the winner and stopped by the museum the next day to pick up her prize and even rode it home.
With temperatures reaching over 99 degrees, that still did not stop the devoted cyclists from riding over 14 miles and stopping at a variety of studios along the way. Led by Greg and Alex from Bike Shark Bicycle Company, the bike tour departed the Contemporary on both Saturday and Sunday at 10am. Special thanks also goes to Bike St. Louis, a division of Great Rivers Greenway for endorsing the program and helping to make bike riding in St. Louis safe and accessible.
Later that day, Director Paul Ha and Associate Curator Laura Fried introduced themselves at the museum to over 30 people that registered for a 4 hour bus tour to select studios. As visitors boarded the luxurious air-conditioned bus provided by BEST Transportation St. Louis, “Pops” the driver greeted them and drove them all over the city to studios chosen directly by both the director and the curator.
On Sunday, winners from our Facebook competition joined Joe and Jeff from Glide St. Louis Tours for a segway excursion to select artist studios. Director of Individual Giving & Stewardship Emily Klimek acted as the Contemporary representative on the tour. If you applied to win a spot on the segway tour, do not give up, become a Fan of the Contemporary on Facebook now and look out for the next opportunity on this platform. Those that won the Facebook competition also received a free meal ticket to the Open Studios BBQ.
What better way to end a whole weekend of programs and tours plus a Homegrown Summer for that matter then to enjoy barbeque from Pappy’s Smokehouse and ice cold beer from Schafly. The watermelon was sweet and chilled to perfection, but the pulled pork sandwich was definitely the crowd favorite. Normally, you would have to wait hours to get a taste of Pappy’s perfectly cooked BBQ, but at the Contemporary it was all there for the taking for only $10 a meal. In addition to the BBQ, sides, and beer, Ted Drewes frozen custard was offered as an additional summertime treat.
What could be more “Homegrown” than Ted Drewes, Pappy’s, Schlafly, 150+ local artists, and the Great Rivers Biennial exhibition? Well, you asked for it… the Rum Drum Ramblers, with upright bass, harmonica, and banjo guitars rocked the courtyard with down and dirty St. Louis blues. The summer might not be over, but this year’s Open Studios was the climax of the Contemporary’s Homegrown Summer, a series of programs featuring local art, food, and music.