Arts & Culture

100 Years
9:52 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

On Chess: St. Louis History Is Chess-Rich

Steinitz and Zukertort in 1866 (This engraving is from a match in New Orleans.)
Credit Wikipedia

The chess boom in St. Louis may appear as though it has materialized out of thin air, but the Gateway City has a vibrant chess history.

Chess adds to a rich and developing cultural renaissance in St. Louis. And as we celebrate our city’s 250th birthday, I think it’s appropriate to take a look at some of the important names, events and places that have helped shaped our ever-growing chess culture.

This column explores the early days of chess in St. Louis and some notable champions and championships that placed St. Louis at the center of the chess universe.

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History
2:34 am
Wed February 12, 2014

St. Louis At 250: How They Lived

Image of the first church built in St. Louis. Published in Commercial and Architectural St. Louis by George Washington Orear (1888).
Credit Wikipedia

In St. Louis’ first few years, more longtime residents of Cahokia, Prairie du Rocher, Mine La Motte, Old Mines, Mo., Ste. Genevieve and the area moved to Laclede’s fur trading post. Land-owning small farmers, fur traders, miners, merchants from the region’s French settlements all came to Laclede’s settlement.

“Religion was a very strong reason. They just didn’t want to live under the English,” said Margaret Kimball Brown, author “History as They Lived It: A Social History of Prairie du Rocher.”

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Events
2:30 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Arts Rundown: Blank Slate Vs. Full Report

Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
Credit Provided by the foundation

In a recent conversation with my daughter, who works in the arts, I said that I liked to know about the artist before seeing his or her work.

She disagreed, saying that the art should be experienced on its own by each person. Expectations could cloud the impressions created.

I understand her view, but coming into something cold makes me feel vulnerable (which I’m sure she would say is a good thing) and the journalist in me wants to have done homework.

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Obituary
10:48 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Remembering Richard McDonnell, MAXJAZZ Founder Dies At 68

Richard McDonnell
Credit MAXJAZZ

Word spread quickly on social media this past weekend: Richard McDonnell, founder and president of the St. Louis-based MAXJAZZ recording label, had died.

One of the first tributes posted -- by Dean Minderman, editor of the respected music blog “St. Louis Jazz Notes” -- was put up to replace rumor with facts. Yes, McDonnell had suffered a stoke while attending a concert Feb. 7 at Jazz at the Bistro. He died the next day.

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Mustard Seed Theatre
11:10 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

STL Rising Star, Alicia Reve' Like, Helps Piece Together Black History in 'Gee's Bend'

Marty Casey (left) and Alicia Reve' Like from Gee's Bend.
Credit Mustard Seed Theater

Alicia Reve' Like plays Nella, a bright patch in an Alabama family whose quilts tell stories of segregation and the civil rights movement.

Last February, Alicia Reve' Like portrayed a motel maid who whooped up on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Black Rep’s “The Mountaintop,” the story of King’s last hours.

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History
9:33 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

St. Louis At 250: Why This Place

The Sheldon Art Gallery is hosting the exhibit, “Imagining the Founding of St. Louis,” which includes Oscar Edward Berninghaus, (American, 1874–1952), Laclede Landing at Present Site of St. Louis, c. 1914, watercolor, 10 x 14 inches, Private Collection, St. Louis
Credit Private Collection / courtesy Kodner Gallery

As all in the area should know by now, 14-year-old Auguste Chouteau and his band of 30 “mechanics” unloaded their boat a bit south of the legs of today’s Gateway Arch 250 years ago on Feb. 15*. People may not know that this middle stretch of the upper Mississippi Valley was already rich with French settlements on both sides of the river. Residents, especially the younger generation, of those settlements would help St. Louis grow quickly.

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Jazz Unlimited
10:51 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Live From The Village Vanguard-Part 1

Slide Hampton-1988
Dennis C. Owsley Copyright Dennis C. Owsley

Jazz Unlimited for February 9 is “Live from the Village Vanguard-Part 1.”  We continue our survey of New York jazz clubs with the first of two parts on the Village Vanguard.  Max Gordon started the club in 1935 and ran it until his death in 1989.  Since then, his widow Lorraine continues to run it.  It remains the way it was when Max died.  The featured artists for this show, guitarist Jim Hall, the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band, the Brad Mehldau Trio, Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines, the Steve Kuhn Trio, the J.J.

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Commentary
8:44 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Site Specific Works Challenge Perception Of Art

Nancy Kranzberg

A lot of art works are hard to categorize.

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Cityscape
7:12 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

St. Louis Arts Therapy Organizations Give Kids With Cancer Positive Outlets

Dance therapist Becky Brittain with second-grader Arianna Dougan.

Two arts therapy organizations in St. Louis will receive an influx in donations thanks to upcoming charitable concerts. Proceeds from the 4th Annual Pazaz Gala 2014 Saturday, February 8 at the Touhill will go to the dance therapy program Drea’s Dream, and a concert Thursday, February 13 at the Sheldon based on the music of Al Hammerman will benefit the songwriting therapy program Kids Rock Cancer.

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Cityscape
6:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Art Exhibit 'Imagining the Founding of St. Louis' Opens At The Sheldon

Oscar Edmund Berninghaus, (American, 1874–1952), Laclede Landing at Present Site of St. Louis, c. 1914, watercolor, 10 x 14 inches
Private Collection courtesy Kodner Gallery

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of St. Louis, the Sheldon Art Galleries has organized a major exhibition depicting the founding of the city and the people involved. Imagining the Founding of St. Louis includes paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture by a variety of noted artists.

Sheldon Art Galleries Director and co-curator of the exhibit Olivia Lahs-Gonzales commented, “Obviously this all happened before the advent of photography so there was no photographer on the boat with the explorers, so it’s really left up to artists to kind of imagine what it was like.”

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