Forget Fireworks. Here's What to Do on July 4th When You're So Over America



Not feeling patriotic? You're not alone. It's a tough year to be a proud American. The complete shitshow that is the current political landscape seems to have many citizens on edge this holiday season and not quite as enthusiastic about waving around the red, white and blue.

So if you can't even get it up to slam some beers, inhale a pork steak and blow shit up this year, what's a St. Louisan to do? Well, there are plenty of options. From playing mini-golf in an art gallery to watching fencing tournaments to catching a free trivia night, here are all of the ways to entertain yourself while you wait for sweet, sweet impeachment.

Golf the Galleries: Tee off at the Sheldon Art Galleries this summer at “Golf the Galleries,” a playable, artist-designed, nine-hole mini golf installation. The family-friendly, accessible course will combine visual arts with the fun of mini golf to create a truly unique experience. Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, 12-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Continues through Aug. 11, $10 adult / $6 child, Sheldon Members: $8 adult / $4 child, 314-533-9900,, The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis.

Spectator USA Fencing National Championship: 2018 USA Fencing Summer Nationals is the largest fencing tournament in the world. A qualifying match for the Olympics, thousands of people from around the country will come together in this 10 day event to cheer on their fencers to victory. Free to come, it is worth the day to come and watch this fast paced amazing sport! Bring the family and enjoy the Daugherty Innovation Zone that will showcase where technology is taking fencing, and sports as a whole. Also come and check out the fan zone where kids can try fencing out. En Garde! Through July 8, Free, 314-342-5036, America’s Center, 701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis.

Damon Davis - Darker Gods: Artist Damon Davis opened his largest solo exhibition to date on June 8, the afro-surrealist allegory Darker Gods in the Garden of the Low-Hanging Heaven. Occupying the entirety of the Luminary’s galleries, the show composes an alternate adjacent universe parallel to our own moment that is presided over by darker gods — deuses on the flip. For this large-scale exhibition, Davis constructs new mythologies around the tropes and cultural ideas of Blackness, exploring the function of narrative and its effects on identity and belief systems in communities of color. Continues through July 12 on Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Free, 314-773-1533, The Luminary, 2701 Cherokee St, St. Louis.

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds: The story is captivating. Two Ancient Egyptian cities and the artifacts of their civilizations lay hidden beneath the Mediterranean Sea for more than 1,200 years. Now you can experience this epic discovery, unveiled first in North America at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds. Runs through Sept. 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 0-23, 314.721.0072, Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr Forest Park, St. Louis.

Aisha in Wonderland: Aisha in Wonderland is an allegorical journey that centers around themes dear to Guerresi and links to the charm and the value of the mystic and veiled body’s diversity. It is the representation of the spiritually strong woman who, through her own identity, is able to dissolve the distinctions present between the masculine and feminine genres, leaving aside the stereotypes linked to Islam. The exhibition developed around the concept of inner identity and communication, as the importance of freedom of expression, a narrative path, where photographs and installations alternate. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through July 28, 314-696-8678, Projects + Gallery, 4733 McPherson Ave, St. Louis.

Amy Sherald: If you think you aren’t familiar with Amy Sherald’s work, you’re wrong. Sherald painted Michelle Obama’s official portrait, and that image was broadcast around the world and back. Sherald’s portraits are of everyday black people (Mrs. Obama excepted, of course) with serene expression standing against featureless monotone backgrounds, and done in the large-size format once reserved for royalty and the wealthy elite. By portraying her subjects realistically and in vibrant color, Sherald liberates the black image from the traditional narrative; there are no sociological clues that hint at the status of her people. They are their own context, their eyes taking in the viewer with majestic calm. The exhibit remains up through August 19, and admission is free. Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 3750 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-535-4660.

Chinese Buddhist Art, 10th-15th Centuries: Very rarely does an art exhibition include the actual wall an artist worked on, but the Saint Louis Art Museum does so for Chinese Buddhist Art, 10th-15th Centuries. A six-foot-by-four-foot section of a temple wall that has a painting of the Bodhisattva Akalokiteśvara (Guanyin) on one side is the focal point of the exhibition, and an exceptionally rare object. The show also includes four hanging scrolls, and a never-before-displayed painted, wooden sculpture of a seated arhat, the Buddhist term for a person who has achieved enlightenment. Chinese Buddhist Art, 10th-15th Centuries is open Tuesday through Sunday (March 30 to August 30) in gallery 225 of the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; Admission is free. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays through Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr Forest Park, St. Louis, 314-721-0072.

Critical Mass: Creative Stimulus Award 218: Work by the 2018 winners of the Critical Mass Creative Stimulus Award, including Kahlil Robert Irving, Adrienne Outlaw and Sage Dawson, is featured in this exhibit curated by past Creative Stimulus Award-winner Mel Watkin. Creative Stimulus awards unrestricted funding to support artists to pursue special projects, experiment with new techniques and deepen their understanding of their working processes. Tuesdays through Fridays, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Continues through Aug. 12. Free. 314-533-9900, The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis.

Edo Rosenblith: Let Me Help You Make A Mural: Israeli born, St. Louis-based artist Edo Rosenblith will guide COCA visitors of all ages in creating a site-specific mural, blurring the distinction between artist and audience. Inspired by Rosenblith’s signature black and white wall drawings, the mural will reflect the thoughts, ideas, opinions and expectations expressed through collective visual impressions on COCA’s Millstone Gallery walls. Let Me Help You Make A Mural serves as a visual call and response that evolves over time, where the audience is invited to join the artist in creating a mural. The exhibition marks Rosenblith’s first time-based and community-collaborative work. Curated by Yvonne Osei. Through August 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. 314-561-4866, The Millstone Gallery at COCA, 524 Trinity Ave., St. Louis.

Free Association: SIUE’s Response to The Talking Cure: On display from June 1 through July 19, Free Association is an exhibit created by the students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the MFA and BFA programs. This exhibit is specifically in response to Melissa Stern’s The Talking Cure, which has been on view in the KAC gallery for the past several months. Her exhibition centered on works that suggest a story to the viewer and she invited collaborations with the viewer in a variety of artforms. We have used this model in our exhibit and we are also welcoming responses from the viewers of our exhibit. Through July 19, 11 a.m. through 6 p.m.. Free. Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N Grand Blvd, St. Louis, 314-533-0367.

Great Rivers Biennial: As part of its mission to present work by modern artists, the Contemporary Art Museum supports local artists through the Great Rivers Biennial. A team of esteemed jurors from the art world work through more than 150 applications to select three artists who live in the metro area for a high-profile exhibition at the museum. Addoley Dzegede, Sarah Paulsen and Jacob Stanley are the recipients of the eighth installment. The show continues through Sunday, August 19, and admission is free. Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through Aug. 19, free admission. Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 3750 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-535-4660.

Watershed Cairns: Libby Reuter and her collaborator, the photographer Joshua Rowan, temporarily place site-specific cairns in the landscape to mark watersheds around the area. The exhibition features seven cairns in the sculpture garden and photographs by Rowan on a video monitor alongside the installation. Featured in the Sheldon's Lucy and Stanley Lopata Sculpture Garden. Tuesdays through Fridays, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Continues through September 23, Free, 314-533-9900, The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis.

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