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Catholic Art Festival planned for Oct. 1 will bring together visual and performing artists from across the archdiocese

Catholic artists of all kinds will showcase their God-given talents at the Catholic Art Festival on Oct. 1.

The Catholic Art Festival will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, on the grounds of Epiphany of Our Lord Parish in south St. Louis. Catholic artists from the archdiocese will have a wide range of creations for sale, including prints, paintings, pottery, clothing, jewelry, rosaries and more.

Festival founder Rachel Stinehart wants the event to be an opportunity to celebrate the beauty and creativity found in the Church.

“I was wanting something that was just exploding with Catholicism and would get people excited about what our faith has that’s unique,” Stinehart said.

Stinehart, who grew up involved in many forms of visual and performing arts and is a regular cantor at Mass, got the ball rolling in the spring with the help of Angela Miller with the Office of Young Adult Ministry. Others had casually talked about starting some sort of art festival before, Miller told her, but they needed someone to just step up and lead it.

“So I said, ‘Sure, let’s do it!” Stinehart said.

In addition to giving the wider community a chance to experience the beauty of faith through art, Stinehart had also seen a need for fellowship and community among Catholic artists themselves. “I had run into lots of fine art artists that seemed like they were on an island,” she said. At one of her first meetings with interested artists, one woman described the loneliness she felt at art school. “She went to art school and she felt so alone. She said, ‘I’m the only one that allowed God to really influence the work that I created, and nobody else related to that,’” Stinehart said.

All the artists are from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, so the festival is a chance to support creators who are both local and Catholic, Stinehart said. In addition to visual art, four musical acts will perform throughout the day, including one specifically for children. The family-friendly event will also include a kids’ corner, where volunteers will help children make some simple crafts that support the festival’s emphasis on the beauty of our faith, like decorating a craft version of a monstrance and host.

“It calls to mind in a very kid-friendly way that Christ’s Real Presence is in the Eucharist — that’s a cornerstone of our faith and something that makes our Catholic faith so special,” Stinehart said.

A volunteer with Bishop Sheen Rosaries will teach older children (aimed at ages 7-15) how to make rosary decade keychains. These activities, and entrance to the festival, is free. Food and drink will be for sale (along with the art, of course), and there will be opportunities to pray the Angelus and participate in a Rosary procession.

About 20 artists are committed to the festival now, with room for a few more to apply. Stinehart hopes to make the Catholic Art Festival an annual event, growing in its offerings in the coming years.

>> Catholic Art Festival

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

Epiphany of Our Lord Parish

6596 Smiley Ave.

St. Louis, MO 63139

For more information on the event, including the day’s schedule and information about featured artists, visit catholicartfest.com.

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