Tristan Johnson, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Founded in 1919, the St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre is America’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre venue. The theatre seats over 11,000 people, and even has 1,500 free seats for every performance. With its 101st season, the MUNY underwent a $100 million renovation to bring the stage and seating into a more modern era and allow a larger variety of shows to be performed. Their most recent season included shows like “Guys and Dolls,” “Kinky Boots,” “Footloose,” “Matilda” and “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” While the MUNY will not be putting on shows until their next summer season, it is worth marking your calendar to attend one of their famous performances.
The St. Louis Art Museum
Located in Forest Park, this world-renowned fine arts museum contains a comprehensive collection that spans over 5,000 years of cultures from all corners of the world. The St. Louis Art Museum always has unique and exciting exhibitions. Currently, they have exhibitions on Balinese Art, Printing the Pastoral: Visions of the Countryside in 18th Century Europe, The Bauhaus and its Legacy: Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet, and the Shape of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection. The best part of the museum is that general admission is free! You can view the works of famous artists, from Vincent Van Gogh to Henri Matisse, for no cost. The St. Louis Art Museum is a true gem of the St. Louis community.
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Laumeier Sculpture Park is a nonprofit arts organization that is internationally recognized by the American Alliance of Museums. It is a 105-acre open park in St. Louis County that present 60 works of large-scale outdoor sculpture. With sculptures representing giant eyeballs, mounds of dirt, stacks of logs, and a bedazzled cat, the park offers art and entertainment around every corner. The park contains a 1.4-mile walk trail that is perfect for a nice stroll with the upcoming fall season and is something that every St. Louis resident should experience at least once in their lifetime.
The Missouri Botanical Garden
Also known as Shaw’s Garden for founder and philanthropist Henry Shaw, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a 79-acre masterpiece that showcases the beauty of nature from around the world. Located on Shaw Boulevard, the garden contains more than 6.6 million specimens, and is the second largest botanical garden in North America. It is comprised of many different areas, including the Gladney Rose Garden, the English Woodland Garden, the Seiwa-en Japanese Garden, the Strassenfest German Garden, and many more. The Missouri Botanical Garden also maintains the Butterfly House in Chesterfield, an indoor butterfly conservatory that is truly a sight to be seen.
St. Louis Mercantile Library
An UMSL student that wants to experience art culture in St. Louis must look no further than their own campus! The St. Louis Mercantile Library, founded in 1846, is the oldest library that is still in existence west of the Mississippi River. The Library concentrates on collecting materials that showcase Westward Expansion and growth of the St. Louis region. It contains a core collection of over 250,000 books and millions of archival materials. Currently, the Mercantile Library is showcasing various exhibits titled “Headlines of History: Historic Newspapers of St. Louis and the World Through the Centuries at the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association,” “Saunders Schultz: Visionary Abstractions,” and others.