Art

Provided by Perennial

A local program re-purposing broken chairs helps heal women with criminal convictions as they prepare to re-enter society.

The hit TV series “Orange Is the New Black” explores the lives of women behind bars. But even after their release, orange remains an important color to some of St. Louis' former female inmates. So do purple, green and the entire rainbow.

Provided by Kathryn Bentley

The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) today handed local artists Kathryn Bentley, Arny Nadler and eight others $20,000 each to make their dreams a reality.

Bentley, a theater artist, and Nadler, a sculptor, are among the first group of 10 visual, performing and literary artists to become RAC Artist Fellows. Their names (see full list below) were announced in a morning news conference at RAC's offices. (Note: An earlier version of the article said the offices were in University City. They are in St. Louis.)

Mary King Swayzee: Artist And Art Critic

Dec 11, 2013
photo of Mary Swayzee
Provided

Mary King Swayzee, an artist and a former art critic of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, died Saturday of cancer at the Mari de Villa retirement community in Chesterfield. She was 84 years old, and before her illness lived in Ladue, where she maintained her residence and studio. 

Mrs. Swayzee was reared in St. Louis, attended Mary Institute (now MICDS) in St. Louis, graduated from the Master’s School, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., in 1947, and in 1951 from Barnard College in New York City, where she majored in art history. 

Keep Calm and Carry On: The jury in the Einstein vs. Jesus: The Right to Free Thought trial is shown returning from lunch. These Nine Angry Felines are preparing to find against science on ALL counts. (Artist's writing)
Work of Jay Thompson

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Artist Jay Thompson and his granddaughter Jessica literally herd cats. And yes, it’s a two-person job.

When they visit an animal shelter, Thompson woos readily approachable felines while Jessica, 10, wrangles more prospects. But their goal is not to adopt or just play with these cats but to immortalize them in Thompson’s Cat Works photography.

(Courtesy Serendipity Gallery)

Fifteen years ago, Clark Whittington was searching for a way to make his art more sellable. Inspired by a co-worker, he came up with the idea of a vending machine dispensing art.

“I used to work at a company where a friend of mine had a Pavlovian reaction to snack wrappers. When he’d hear the crinkle of cellophane, he’d buy something for himself. So that gave me the idea to put art in a vending machine,” said Whittington.

Bryan Haynes

For more than thirty years, St. Louis native Bryan Haynes made his living primarily doing commercial art. But when he moved back to Missouri, he began to paint landscape scenes based on the geography and history of the region.

"Seeing it anew, I just started to paint landscapes purely for the joy of it," said Haynes. "But then those shapes in the landscape..began to describe the narrative within the paintings."

Artwork by Bill Kohn / (Courtesy Bruno David Gallery)

A new exhibit featuring the work of the late St. Louis artist Bill Kohn opens tonight at the Bruno David Gallery. The exhibition is small in number, but large in scale, featuring five of Kohn's signature colorful works painted on big stretches of canvas.

"Bill was an amazing painter," said gallery owner Bruno David. "He traveled around the world many times over and made a lot of paintings during his travel, drawings, coming back to St. Louis every time. And some of the paintings that he made, he felt that they needed to be extremely large."

I am closing in on fly-away time, I guess, if the calculations of Moses are right. In the life of an oldster, my age, 68, peeks around the chronological corner to look at the biblical drop-dead age of 70. Although life expectancies have been extended in the 3,000 years or so since Moses made his proto-actuarial poetical observations, the additional years we actually are given are few. And the truth is, they are not necessarily any good and can be degrading and horrible.

Too Much on My Plate
Courtesy of the artist

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Mary Sprague’s had a busy life. She gave birth to four children before finishing a master's degree, taught community college classes, made art, moved from California to St. Louis for her husband’s job, taught at Meramec, made more art, divorced, hosted legendary parties and made even more art.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon:  Enter the old, beaux art, Cass Gilbert building of the St. Louis Art Museum from the new stairwell designed by David Chipperfield and look up, up over the museum’s main entry. “We Like America and America Likes Us” reads the immense red, white and blue banner on the balcony. You will have to go upstairs and get a close look at the banner to notice the gingham print on the quilted letters all of which is intended to call to mind American folk traditions.

Images courtesy Stih & Schnock © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

When Berlin-based conceptual artists Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock first visited St. Louis in 2002, they were surprised by how familiar the city felt to them.

"We were baffled by how German it is. How normal everything sounds and looks," said Stih. "It wasn’t New York, it wasn’t Chicago, for sure not LA, It was something like a nice, quiet, city with extraordinary town planning."

(Image courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles) / (Courtesy Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz Collection, Miami. )

Although artist Rashid Johnson explores themes of identity and black history in his work, he does not see the exhibition of his work at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum to be an exploration of the black experience.

What it does show is the breadth of his work during the last fifteen years, in multiple mediums and with multiple layers of meaning.

Noah Kirby
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Metal sculptor Noah Kirby wants to make sure people know he worked “for” the late Bob Cassilly, not “with” him, as some claim. But just being in proximity to the creator of St. Louis’ City Museum was life-changing, giving Kirby a first-row seat to Cassilly’s genius, and generosity with space and materials.

Zoe Scharf / (Courtesy STL Design Week 2013)

From darts to bike tours to artwork made out of old books, STL Design Week 2013 is all about looking at and talking about design in new and interesting ways.

"This is the third year for Design Week, and Design Week was started by AIGA, which are graphic artists," said Margaret McDonald. "And this year it encompasses architects, illustrators, interior designers, industrial designers."

McDonald is chairperson for STL Design Week 2013, and a principal at architecture and interior design firm Arcturus.

Adrienne Davis with a work by Sam Gilliam. It is acrylic on polypropylene on birch panels.
Jarred Gastreich | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - In her 20s, Adrienne Davis’ focus on race, gender and identity was well defined. Her research as a Yale Law School student and young law professor centered on critical race theory, or the ways in which racism is institutionalized in American society, a theme mirrored by her early art purchases.

“The pieces are very vivid, they have very, very sharp lines, there’s a kind of a definite-ness to them,” Davis said.

(Courtesy Craft Alliance)

Starting tomorrow, Craft Alliance asks St. Louisans to answer the question, "What do you want to do before you die?"

It's part of an international art project called "Before I die..." in which the public is invited to write their hopes and dreams in chalk on a wall for all passing by to see. Hundreds of cities around the world have their own chalkboard wall. It was started in 2011 in New Orleans by Cindy Chang after she lost a loved one.

(Courtesy United Designs International Biennial Design Exhibition)

Posters are designed to be functional, usually to get a message out quickly. This often means they are here today and gone tomorrow. But an exhibit currently on display at the University of Missouri - St. Louis gives a little more longevity and exposure to the art form by displaying 100 posters by graphic designers from 40 countries.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Honoring the tradition of a long-well-regarded craft as well as the innovation of the present, the Speaking of Fibers exhibit coming to the Saint Louis University Museum of Art features more than 40 works from members of the Missouri Fiber Artists Organization.

Posing for a Drink and Draw session at the Handlebar
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: It seems to be the new favorite cocktail. Mix in one part drawing or craft-making and one part beer, wine or your favorite mixed drink, and presto: an evening of fun.

Local watering holes and restaurants, an art gallery, a nursery and even a grocery store are encouraging DUIs: drawing under the influence. These events range from bawdy to benign.

Bluff Line Storm
Bryan Daves Haynes

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The exhibit of Bryan Daves Haynes’ paintings in the Old Courthouse Rotunda, TREES/WATER/SKY – A Walk Through Missouri conflates present and past to provide a bright new lens for viewing the Missouri region. Haynes’ awesome anachronisms show the period we live in at present as a part of an idealized history.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Hoffman Lachance Contemporary Art Gallery in Maplewood has dedicated one week to showcase gallery director Michael Hoffman’s thick, rich paintings on wood panels. Hoffman’s secret paint concoction creates luminous swirls in high relief like wet rocks that never dry to lose luster.

Philip Slein, in light shirt, sits in front of a Hi-Fi-FoFum sign in his advertising room.
Jarred Gastreich | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Craigslist may not be a place you imagine art collectors trolling for new finds. But where else could you locate an eight-foot-tall Hi-Fi Fo-Fum sign?

And does that even count as art?

Provided by Saint Louis University Museum of Art

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: If you don’t make it to summer camp this year, the next best thing is James M. Smith’s spectacular installation in the first floor gallery at the St. Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA).

Public art wall displays students' private aspirations

Jul 8, 2013
Christopher Burch
Provided Christopher Burch | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A mural on the public art wall near Powell Symphony Hall may be temporary, but has permanent impact.

“Reflective Mythologies: Portraits (re-mixed)” explores mythmaking through art, and this through the eyes of 25 students who participated in the project that was led by Craft Alliance. It was led by Christopher Burch, an artist who has roots in University City.

art by Jo Jasper Dean
Provided by PHD Gallery

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Philip Hitchcock describes the current exhibit, Drunk on Color, at his phd Gallery on Cherokee Street as “high voltage oil on canvas.” He calls Jo Jasper Dean’s work “intoxicating” and “amplified.” Hitchcock is right.

Dean’s paintings communicate heat and energy that is as intense and enjoyable as a top-shelf cocktail consumed on a tropical beach.

Courtesy of the artist and Bruno David Gallery Yvette Drury Dubinsky. "Fig for Lunch". 2013. Mixed media on Japanese paper. 22 x 34-1/2 inches (diptych)
Provided by the artist and Bruno David gallery

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: I was in the middle of writing about Yvette Drury Dubinsky’s extraordinary exhibition at the Bruno David Gallery when the gargantuan tornado of May 20 swept through Moore, Okla., reducing the town to splinters and changing forever the lives of all who lived in that place, and for anyone with a filament of empathy, changing them as well.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Community visionaries and organizers from across the region held a conference in St. Louis on Friday.   The “Livable St. Louis” conference aims to transform the region through a range of quality of life improvements.

The conference was organized by Trailnet and focused on improving declining neighborhoods through projects such as affordable housing, safe streets, vibrant public spaces and green infrastructure.

Regina Martinez works with a group called the Rebuild Foundation that tries to transform old structures into new community assets.

Whaam! Varoom! R-rrring-g! The canvases of painter Roy Lichtenstein look as if they're lifted from the pages of comic books. Comics were a big inspiration for this pop artist, who was rich and famous when died in 1997 at age 73. But at a major Lichtenstein retrospective at Washington's National Gallery of Art, you can see that the artist found inspiration beyond comic books; he also paid his respects to the masters — Picasso, Monet and more.

The Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation said today that it has evidence that a painting that first came to light in the late 1800s is an early "Mona Lisa" also done by Leonard Da Vinci.

Samuel Clemens, who is said to have taken his pen name Mark Twain from the cries of riverboat crewmen, found the inspiration for his classic works while growing up in the river town of Hannibal, Mo. Today, more than 125 years after the first pressing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there's a new set of artistic characters in Twain's boyhood home.

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