Plenty of surprises are waiting to be experienced in Missouri. For every fantastic museum, you’ll discover an equally amazing gallery or outdoor exhibit. Artwork fills our state from border to border.
In the lovely (and always fun) college town of Columbia, find the perfect gift at Bluestem Missouri Crafts. The shop showcases the works of more than 300 artisans from Missouri and our eight neighboring states. Items include artwork and crafts for the garden and the home, as well as clothing and jewelry, plus gifts for children.
Also in Columbia, the flourishing North Village Arts District treats visitors to a vast variety of artistic opportunities. Listen to live music. Say hello to working artists in their studios. Stop for lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Fun and creativity are abundant everywhere you turn in this bustling arts district.
Known for its rich cultural history, Hannibal garners major praise as an “art town.” Not long ago, National Public Radio highlighted Hannibal as a nexus for creativity – a place where working artists can make their home and practice their craft. Today, a quarter of Hannibal’s Main Street storefronts are occupied by artisans who create all manner of beautiful folk art. This river city is part of 50 Miles of Art, a corridor of fantastic galleries and art-centric Missouri towns (including Clarksville and Louisiana) spaced along scenic Route 79.
Admire the beautiful works of local artisans at Craft Alliance. Located in the vibrant Delmar Loop district of St. Louis, this education center and exhibition space focuses on fine contemporary crafts. Examine the gorgeous displays of sculptures, blown glass, graphic-art pieces, paintings and metalwork. Consider taking an on-site class to develop your own skills.
Be dazzled by larger-than-life art when you visit the town of West Plains. Artist Michael McClure’s West Plains Historical Murals showcase life throughout region’s history. Murals include renderings of early American Indian inhabitants; Civil War scenes; and the musical heritage of the Ozarks.
The town of Chillicothe also treats visitors to amazing outdoor art. The Murals of Chillicothe depict the area’s history via 17 huge scenes. Subjects include sports, the Utica Brick Plant and renderings of Chillicothe in 1928 – the year the town became known as the “Home of Sliced Bread.”
Celebrate a century of mystery and enchantment as the Pythian Castle turns 100. This amazing structure fascinates visitors to Springfield. The Knights of Pythias (a fraternal organization) built the castle as an orphanage in 1913. After the orphanage closed, the United States military owned the building for more than 50 years. Today, the Pythian Castle is open for tours, dinners and a variety of events. Both the Paranormal Task Force and the Ozark Paranormal Society consider Pythian Castle a “haunted site.” As you explore this massive place, you’ll cover almost 40,000 square feet – including a ballroom and even dungeons.
Art aficionados love Springfield for its diverse, fantastic cultural scene. The downtown area bustles with working artisans, galleries and performance venues. Making a great thing even better, the Springfield community gives back. Visit Art Inspired, which employs and empowers adults with developmental disabilities. The creative staff recycles everyday items (such as old documents) into gorgeous pieces of art. Find Art Inspired right downtown, next to Springfield Hot Glass Studio.