Posted by Public Information & Marketing on May 24, 2017

If plans take you to St. Louis Lambert International Airport before Nov. 17, be sure to stop by the Lambert Gallery in the baggage claim area of Terminal 1 to check out Function & Ceremony: The Art of Melanesia.

The William and Florence Schmidt Art Center at Southwestern Illinois College has curated the newest exhibition to grace the Lambert Gallery under the Lambert Art & Culture Program, a partnership of St. Louis International Airport and the Regional Arts Commission. The Lambert Gallery is open to the public.

Items in the exhibition come from the college’s permanent Melanesian art collection. Each item provides both a practical function of daily living while simultaneously serving a sacred and often ceremonial function as well.

“The art pieces come from Papua New Guinea. Every swirl, embellishment or animal depiction has a spiritual or sacred purpose or meaning,” notes Schmidt Art Center Curator Nicole Dutton.

The Schmidt Art Center is a vibrant cultural hub in the Metro East. Located on the college’s campus in Belleville, IL, the center offers changing exhibitions of visual art; educational programming for students of all ages; cultural and musical programs by professional artists, writers and musicians; showcases of senior artists and student art, films and poetry; outdoor sculptures and a permanent collection of over 900 works of art; tours and discussions that can teach how to look at and appreciate artwork.

This is the first time the art center has been selected to participate in the Lambert Art and Culture program which commissions works of art that elevate the visitor experience, generate regional pride and sustain the vibrant local arts community. In 2016, the Lambert Art and Culture Program executed 12 rotating art exhibitions, in addition to the airport’s permanent art collection.

For more information about The Schmidt’s Lambert Gallery exhibition or other upcoming events and arts education opportunities, visit or phone 618-222-5ART (5278).