Cut & Paste podcast: Touhill art show dances with social-justice themes | St. Louis Public Radio

Cut & Paste podcast: Touhill art show dances with social-justice themes

Feb 18, 2016

What do you call a group of visual artists inspired by the death of Michael Brown and the social-justice movement it spawned? St. Louis curator Freida Wheaton calls them the “Sweet 16.”

It’s a nod to their numbers as well as a reference to their niche. On Feb. 26-27, you can see the work of these St. Louis artists at the Touhill, in conjunction with “New Dance Horizons IV.”

Dance St. Louis’ annual event presents three world premieres this year, inspired by legendary St. Louisans Maya Angelou, Miles Davis, Dick Gregory and gospel singer and pastor Cleophus Robinson.

The accompanying art exhibition, “Visualizing Life: Social Justice in Real Time,” includes “Sweet 16” artist Howard Barry, whose recovery from a brain injury launched his work. In our latest Cut & Paste arts and culture podcast, we talk with Barry and Wheaton about the show of large-scale works, which will remain on display long after the dance is over, in a second exhibition at the Vaughn Cultural Center.

Here’s some of what you’ll hear in the podcast:

  • Barry, on the sentences and other secrets hidden in his artwork: “For the people who are nosy like me, I always hide things.”
  • Barry, on painting with coffee: “One day I accidentally dipped my brush into the coffee … and before I caught myself, I had painted on this picture.”
  • Wheaton, on some people wearying of the ideas of “Ferguson” and “social justice.” “Whether the name ‘Ferguson’ is used or not, the issues that preceded Ferguson and that continue, and that will continue, quite honestly, will be with us.”

Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcasts every few weeks on our website. You can also view all previous podcasts, which focus on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link.

Follow Willis and Nancy on Twitter: @WillisRArnold and @NancyFowlerSTL

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