Arts & Culture

Nancy Kranzberg
Nancy Kranzberg

While visiting the Palm Springs Art Museum in California, I wandered into the magnificent Ostergaard Glass Galleries and feasted my eyes on some glorious works of art. A very informative documentary  titled,"Pilchuck: A Dance With Fire" was playing outside the galleries. The film told of how Pilchuck was founded by the iconic figure Dale Chihuly and a few art friends in the counterculture days of the early 70s. Pilchuck Glass School pushed the boundaries from its very beginnings.

The St. Louis landscape was Eugene Mackey’s architectural canvas; his palette was integrity, artistic genius and spirituality.

“You work on a project until you find the soul of it,” his longtime friend, Van Brokaw, said he once told him. “Spirituality was an important underpinning in his life.

In a career that spanned nearly 50 years, Mr. Mackey infused more than 3,000 spaces with a spirit of humanity, inextricably interwoven with beauty and functionality. He died on Sunday (Nov. 27) of an aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He was 77 and had lived in Ladue.

A memorial service for Mr. Mackey will be Sunday, Dec. 4, at Lupton Chapel.

Elizabeth Herring, who turned 90 on Oct. 26, practives for her trapeze show in this photo taken in October of 2016.
Provided | Elizabeth Herring

As a teenager, Elizabeth Herring of Ladue escaped a life luxury by joining the circus. Tonight, she’ll be back in the ring, celebrating her 90th birthday at a party benefiting St. Louis’ Circus Harmony.

Dred Scott's grave is one of the most frequently visited graves at Calvary Cemetery. This photos was taken in November 2016.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Why aren’t Dred Scott and his wife buried in the same cemetery?

Pamela Richardson posed that question to Curious Louis recently after a visit to Calvary Cemetery in north St. Louis, where Dred Scott is buried.

“I wondered, ‘Is she not buried with him — and why not?’ I had been to Calvary many times. I had seen his place of rest, but her name was not on the tombstone,’’ said Richardson, who has family members buried at the cemetery.

An uncooked egg sits in stone, the shell turned transluscent by white vinegar. Through it the yolk is visible.
Provided by the Catalina Ouyang

Catalina Ouyang’s sculptures are an amalgam of unexpected materials: a raw egg soaked in white vinegar, marble, fake bones, a printed copy of Italio Calvino’s book “Invisible Cities” and basketball shorts. 

Ouyang uses the objects to examine her Chinese-American identity and challenge social pressures placed on immigrants to conform to North American norms. She specifically aims to provoke questions about how society asks immigrants to assimilate into white culture.

She wants people to consider what for her is a consistent dilemma: “How to contend with what I call the aspirational fantasy of whiteness in what I think persists as an imperialist and colonialist power structure."

Kea Wilson recently published her first novel, "We Eat Our Own," with Scribner.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“Canny, funny and impressively detailed.” That’s what the New York Times had to say about Kea Wilson’s first novel “We Eat Our Own,” published earlier this year with Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Rendering of proposed Grandel Theater renovations depicts glowing exterior of building at dusk with people chilling outside.
Provided by Kranzberg Arts Foundation

After closing several years ago, the Grandel Theater in Grand Center will get a new shot as a rehabbed performance venue and exhibit space.

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation has begun renovating the Grandel Theater and intends to will reopen its main stage by spring or summer of this year. Kranzberg Arts Foundation Executive Director Chris Hansen said he wants the space to do more than just host performances.

“We really want to stay focused on meeting the needs of our broader community and making sure the space connects the dots beyond just the main stage performances,” he said.

Akshat Chandra plays Boris Arkhangelsky in January 2010.
Provided by Akshat Chandra

In January 2010, I played in the Delhi International Grandmaster Open, my first major tournament. I was 10 years old and brimming with optimism and hope, having started playing chess a few months earlier on my visit to India. In the first round, I found myself playing 66-year old veteran Russian International Master, Boris Arkhangelsky.

A mob stops a street car during the East St. Louis race riots, which started on July 2, 1917. An estimated 500 people were killed over the course of two days.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Libraries

One hundred years after the 1917 East St. Louis race riots a permanent monument to victims will be dedicated, and educational programs, musical and theatrical presentation, and other events will be held.

The East St. Louis 1917 Centennial Commission and Cultural Initiative announced its plans Wednesday. Commission vice chairman Edmond Brown, president of ELB Enterprises, said the monument will “commemorate those lost during that time, to act as a point of education as well as for healing of the community.” Commission chairman, the Rev. Joseph Brown, a professor of Africana studies at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, said there will also be “rituals taking place around East St. Louis to respect the places where we know people were murdered.”

Mary Langenberg: Supported Art Museum, Symphony and more

Nov 30, 2016
Photo of Mary Langenberg
Provided by the family

Mary Langenberg didn’t have far to go to pay calls on some of the institutions she supported so generously in her long, productive life.

She was by all accounts a vivacious and beautiful woman, who loved entertaining her friends and cherished good, lively, yeasty conversations.

Members of the group Stile Antico:  Helen Ashby, Katie Schofield, and William Dawes.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio.

When you think of the Christmas hits making the rounds on the radio today, your mind probably doesn’t immediately jump to Renaissance music. That’s what the British early vocal music ensemble Stile Antico is bringing to St. Louis tonight — selections from their Christmas music repertoire that hail back hundreds of years.

Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane navigate life after loss at age 50 in a new book.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

What do you do when you lose the love of your life after age 50? That’s a question two nationally-known authors with ties to St. Louis tackle in the book “Suddenly Single After 50: The Girlfriends’ Guide to Navigating Loss, Restoring Hope and Rebuilding Your Life.”

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the book with authors Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane. 

Crane lost her husband of 42 years after a five-year battle with lymphoma. Ballinger and her husband divorced after 29 years of marriage.

Richard 'Onion' Horton spent the majority of his years on the radio at WGNU.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

Updated with funeral and memorial arrangements. - Richard “Onion” Horton, one of the most colorful figures in St. Louis talk radio for more than three decades, has died.

Mr. Horton immersed himself in the facts, figures and statistics he gleaned daily from media sources. It was his battle raiment for his radio programs that aired on various St. Louis radio stations over the years; his longest run was at WGNU.

Following the ceremony, the crowd marches away from the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers holding signs that express solidarity with Standing Rock.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A few weeks ago, Kevin Koehler, the guitarist for iLLPHONiCS watched his friend Monkh Horrell enter the glass-walled studio and performance space at the Gaslight Lounge.  As Horrell and his band Monkh and the People began to play, Koehler was stuck by how his friend used his musical talent to fight for the environment.

Koehler also performed that night during the STL Rocks for Standing Rock, an event they organized. They donated proceeds from the show directly to the tribe, which is leading the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

An example of an image found in "Capturing the City," which features workers at the intersection of Grand and Olive circa 1907.
Capturing the City

Charles Clement Holt was many things: an engineer, a draftsman, a surveyor for the St. Louis Streets Department. He became so good at the latter that he eventually became head of the Streets Department.

The Vijay Iyer Trio
Barbara Rigon

Vijay Iyer knows that people come to his concerts with their own ideas about what the music is all about.

 

Some might expect to hear Iyer evoke the great jazz pianists who came before him. Others might expect intricate interpretations of modern pop tunes, or perhaps wonder if he will draw on his Indian American roots.

Frances Johnson, widow of blues legend Johnnie Johnson, holds congressional gold medal awarded for his military service.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Fans of blues legend Johnnie Clyde Johnson long have complained that – although a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – the native St. Louisan’s stellar musical talents were often unfairly overshadowed by others.

As U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill put it, “He wasn’t quite as ‘showy’ as some of the other musicians he hung out with.”

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for November 27, 2016 will be “The Keys and Strings Hour + New Music.”  The Quieter Side of Jazz will feature a dozen solo piano players playing a style known as stride piano.  They were recorded over the years from 1921 to 1993.  Some of these pianists are James P.

On Chess: Life in the trenches, earning an IM/GM Norm

Nov 23, 2016
Akshat Chandra is shown at the Junior Closed tournament.
Austin Fuller | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

The St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center is rightfully considered the most innovative, as well as friendliest, chess club in the world. The club made its reputation by hosting elite events such as the national championships; women’s championships and junior championships, as well as the prestigious Sinquefield Cup.

The club also hosts weekly tournaments for club players and attractive competitions for master class players.  From Nov.17-22, the club hosted the 2016 St. Louis Autumn Invitational, which includes the international masters and international grandmasters tournaments. Each tournament was a 10- player round-robin with prize money as well as “norm” opportunities at stake.

Peal Harbor Print
Hasegawa Sadanobu III | Saint Louis Art Museum

The Saint Louis Art Museum’s current exhibit “Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan” highlights an underappreciated category of Japanese art.

The museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Fellow for Japanese Art, Rhiannon Paget, and curator of Asian Art, Phillip Hu, joined St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter to discuss the exhibition.

Slinkies are one of the toys on exhibit in the Missouri History Museum's "Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s" exhibit. https://www.flickr.com/photos/southpaw2305/4291636470/in/photolist-7xeL1f-64TFJk-64XYyu-4DfKXx-8hNXsa-e44sdM-oGHS7T-e44ri4-e4a5i1-ixGSpw-mk
Clare Black | Flickr

Baby Boomers, rejoice! A nostalgic throwback exhibit has rolled into town highlighting the toys of yesteryear. Hailing from the Minnesota State Historical Society, you can view collections of toys from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s through January 22, 2017 at the Missouri History Museum.

Sharon Smith, curator of Civic and Personal Identity at the Missouri History Museum, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the exhibit and what separates toys of Baby Boomers’ childhoods from the rest.

roast turkey
M.Rehemtulla | Flickr

A slight bit of relief is being touted for grocery shoppers preparing to cook Thanksgiving Day meals.

According to the Missouri Farm Bureau, the overall cost is down slightly this year to $50.46 for a gathering of 10 people, which averages out to about $5.05 a person. The estimated cost from 2015 was $51.92, or $5.19 a person.

St. Louis native Sean Gunn as Kirk in the "Gilmore Girls." The pig is named Petal.
Netflix

If actor Sean Gunn isn’t out promoting the Netflix reboot of the “Gilmore Girls,’’ which premieres on Friday, you might find him at a comic book convention meeting fans of the film “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which will be released in May.

The two projects meant months of commuting between the West and East coasts for the 42-year-old St. Louis native who follows Cardinals baseball wherever he is and admits to liking both Imo’s and Pi pizza. And, yes, he went to high school here — St. Louis University High.

How should you handle potentially divisive conversations at the Thanksgiving dinner table? https://www.flickr.com/photos/kasilof/11692803775/in/photolist-iPfFc6-5JGFXS-7iBRKu-5FUxrh-qkjkNx-qByHBx-5FQhBX-6Ts5w-5FQdin-qkjkf8-u16R8-49Z9XY-t9JaW-49kPWh-5FUvn3
Robert & Pat Rogers | Flickr

Meditation. Listen and ask questions. A “no politics” rule. Not attending. “I don’t know what I’ll do.” These are all answers St. Louisans gave when asked “how are you planning to handle political differences at the Thanksgiving dinner table this year?”

International Institute staff and volunteers serve a Thanksgiving meal to new refugees and immigrants to the St. Louis area on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016.
Hannah Westerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Nov. 23 with corrected numbers – Thanksgiving came a little early for hundreds of refugees and immigrants who gathered for a meal with all the trimmings Tuesday afternoon at the International Institute in St. Louis.

The Institute, which serves as the region’s “Welcoming Center for New Americans,” said it has served more than 1,000 new refugees in the last year, from countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria and Iraq.

“We’re pleased that it’s an all-American holiday that has meaning all around the world,” said President and CEO Anna Crosslin.

Provided by CAM

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis hopes its upcoming exhibit will help regain some of the public trust lost after the Kelley Walker exhibit spawned controversy this fall.

The new exhibit will feature four artists: photographer Deanna Lawson, visual artist Louis Cameron, figurative painter Nicola Tyson and muralist Katherine Bernhardt.

Although CAM planned the latest exhibits before the Walker exhibit opened, administrators want the show, which opens in January, to address some of the concerns people in St. Louis had about Walker's displays.

Visitors and area artists expressed outrage that CAM gave wall space to a white artist who they criticized for defacing images of black people — from civil-rights era photographs to an enlarged image of the rapper Trina on the cover of the culture magazine King.

Earlier this year, iLLPHONiCS released a new album titled "Gone With the Trends."
Provided by iLLPHONICS

Earlier this year, iLLPHONiCS released “Gone With the Trends,” its first album on a new label called The Record Machine. Just a month ago, the group released a music video for one of the album’s flagship songs “96to99.” The hip-hop-funk-rock fusion band has been a staple on the St. Louis music scene since 2006.

The Rev. Brian Fallon urges high schoolers from around the St. Louis area to keep and open mind during the Come and See retreat weekend at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury on Nov. 18.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Even though he's only 16 years old, Matthew Mora of Oakville is pondering a pretty mature question: whether he should go into the seminary and, possibly, become a Catholic priest. 

To help him consider this decision, he is attending the fall "Come and See" retreat this weekend at the St. Louis Archdiocese's Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury along with more than 40 other young men from the St. Louis area. 

Dennis C. Owsley / Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited  for Sunday, November 20, 2016 is “The Career of Matt Wilson.”  Drummer Matt Wilson, who hails from Knoxville, Illinois, is one of the great drummers in today’s jazz.  In addition, his persona is one of sly humor, which shows up in the titles of his compositions and stage manner.  We will hear him with his Arts & Crafts, his Big Happy Family group, Deena DeRose, Dawn Clement, the Palmetto All-Stars, the Either/Orchestra, Marty Ehrlich, Karrin Allyson, Denny Zeitlin, the Herbie Nichols Project, Bob Stewart, Dewey Redman, John Medeski and the Liberation music orche

Grisha Goryachev hails from St. Petersburg, Russia. He's a flamenco guitar virtuoso who draws inspiration from his classical guitar roots.
Motohiro Asano

Acclaimed flamenco guitarist Grisha Goryachev, performing this weekend in St. Louis, hails from St. Petersburg, Russia. In fact, he comes from a long line of guitar teachers: both his father and grandfather taught guitar lessons and passed their art down to Goryachev.

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