The brainchild of Nita Turnage and Hap Phillips, Artica celebrated its first festival in 2002 with Exploring the Edge. Phillips and Turnage were inspired by the history and landscape on the riverfront and decided to reintroduce life to the urban wasteland. Artica invites St. Louis artists to peruse the land, lay claim to a spot (be it a thicket of brush, a gathering of trees or the remnants of a lost building) and create heaven within.
"The Artica festival is unlike any other festival in St. Louis. From the unique post-industrial setting to the interactive nature of the event, Artica lives and breathes creativity and innovation. We have taken a very unconventional space that is decaying and ignored and turned it into a playground for artists and participants of all ages. Every person who attends must interact in some way… simply getting to the event requires interaction with the landscape and its history."