Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Chuck Berry turned 81 last fall, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that a couple of dozen singers whose average age is 80 have earned international acclaim singing rock and roll. Indeed, many people associate rock music predominantly with youth. That's a mistake you certainly wouldn’t make after seeing a rousing new celebration of life called “Young@Heart,” which opens with a 92-year-old woman declaiming with an appropriate British monotone the chorus to the Clash’s punk classic, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

Harriet Hosmer's Beatrice Cenci
Provided by St. Louis Mercantile Library

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Harriet Hosmer wasn't born in St. Louis. She didn't grow up here or, in fact, live here for very long.

But the woman who would go on to carve her own way as a neo-classical sculptor in a man's world was changed by her time in St. Louis. And she left her mark, including some of her work, in several significant places.

2008 photo of Sally Van Doren (300 pixels)
Provided by Ms. Van Doren

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The St. Louis region has long supplied spiritual and intellectual nourishment to poets, both born-here poets and poets who’ve migrated here. The list of names stuns you: T.S. Eliot; Marianne Moore; Sara Teasdale; poets laureate of the U.S. Mona Van Duyn and Howard Nemerov; and Eugene Redmond.

Book cover, Black Olives
Provided by the publisher

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Martha Tod Dudman gained respect and renown as a writer of brutally honest nonfiction – "Augusta, Gone" and "Expecting to Fly" – that laid bare her personal and familial relations. So we had to ask how much of "Black Olives" is based on fact.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Perfume bottles come in an amazing array of colors, shapes and styles. Filled, they can offer up wonderful aromatic scents, triggering old, familiar memories. Empty, they can be dazzling objects of art, delicate little treasures of glass, silver and porcelain.

The face of Darfur

Apr 24, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: St. Louisans who have a mundane reason to go to St. Louis City Hall next week - renew license plates, check a deed, pay a water bill - will come face to face with people a world away.

"Faces of Darfur" presents images of refugees who have fled what has been labeled a genocide, of Darfuris who have remained in Sudan and face continuous danger, of people trying to maintain a life where stability does not exist.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Bloum Cardenas grew up seeing her grandmother creating. And when Niki de Saint Phalle began a round, bright female piece called "Clarice Again," Cardenas watched it in the yard and painted and colored a smaller version of her own.

"She didn't want me to be painting on her work," said Cardenas, a board member of the Niki Charitable Art Foundation and herself an artist living in San Francisco working mostly with plastic bags. "But she gave me one to color so that I could participate."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Past stretches of green grass at the Missouri Botanical Garden, around open tulips and emerging tree buds sits a giant skull. Flashes of greens and yellows, oranges and reds pop out from glaring eye sockets. Nearly every inch sparkles under the Sunday sun.

And there are voices.

Three of them. Through the ear-like archway, Kavi Wilson listens as his words bounce from shiny spot to shiny spot, back into daylight through the space between bared teeth. Kavi, 5, stares up into a ceiling of blue glass circles and a white half moon.

Hi-Pointe going dark?

Apr 17, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Hi-Pointe Theatre, which closed Thursday after the final showing of the British comedy “Run Fatboy Run,” will re-open in several weeks, the owner assures the St. Louis Beacon. But regular patrons of the art house at Skinker and McCausland may not recognize what they see on its screen.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Good evening. My name is Philippe de Lapérouse. On behalf of my fellow co-chair, Isabelle Montupet, and members of the Les Amis steering committee who worked diligently over the past year to organize this event, I would like to thank all of you for joining us this evening to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Lafayette’s birth. ...

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Cheers to the winners of this year’s St. Louis marathon and related events, now called Go! St. Louis. It takes grit, nerve and a lot of sweat to lead the field. But I found equal inspiration elsewhere during the race — at the back of the pack.

In sports, as in most things, glory falls on the winners. Take the steely Kenyan speedsters who’ve dominated distance events for years. I saw them once as they flew past the finish line of the Boston Marathon, pushing the limits of human endurance. As a jogger who had never entered a race, I was in awe.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When the Avalon Theatre Company announced auditions for its spring production of "Little Bosnia," excitement buzzed in the St. Louis Bosnian community. Four actors from the former Yugoslavia were chosen, some performing for the first time. They jumped at the chance to interpret a familiar story, one they've often encountered in their community and lives.

Union Methodist Church, 3543 Watson Road.
Donna Korando | Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Among the many Bosnian immigrant communities scattered throughout the country, St. Louis is affectionately referred to as Little Bosnia. The St. Louis south side neighborhoods are lined with coffee shops, bakeries and other businesses reminiscent of the native land where the estimated 50,000 Bosnian immigrants, now in St. Louis, once lived. Inspired by this community, the Avalon Theater Company presents the world premiere of a play fittingly titled "Little Bosnia" on April 10-20.

These tiny books are less than one inch.
Provided by Washington University

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Most people are well aware that size has nothing to do with worth. Treasure can be made up of small, but precious objects. For all too many St. Louisans, it will take a bit of a treasure hunt to find a marvelous new exhibit that shows off tiny masterpieces.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis is considering what could be its biggest production yet: a move from its long-time home at Webster University to a new facility in the Grand Center arts and entertainment district.

Karl Markovics and Dolores Chaplin enjoy life before the Nazis in "The Counterfeiters."
Jat Jurgen Olczyk | Sony Pictures Classics

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Sixty-three years after the fall of the Third Reich uncovered the stark horror of the Nazi concentration camps, and 61 years after the first publication of “The Diary of Anne Frank” put an unforgettable human face  on Hitler’s murder of 6 million Jews, the Holocaust remains one of the  central stories of our time, a story of immense moral weight that lends  itself to fiction, to nonfiction, and from time to time – as in the  recent case of the woman who claimed to have been saved from the Nazis  by wolves -- one masquerading as the other. We are haunted by the Holocaust, as we should be.

The Lens: You broke it, you pay for it

Jul 8, 2007

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 8, 2008 - Here's the official description of "The Tracey Fragments," which bypassed theaters locally and debuts today on DVD:

"15-year-old Tracy Berkowitz (Ellen Page) is riding around a pre-blizzard urban wasteland on the back of a city bus, naked except for the tattered curtain she's wrapped in, and looking for her missing brother (whom she has hypnotized to think he's a dog)."

Maya Lin considers Grand Center commission

May 30, 2007
josh_habermehl_church300.jpg
Photo by Josh Habermehl | Grand Center

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: May 30, 2008 - Internationally acclaimed artist Maya Lin is mulling over ideas for making what remains of a 124-year-old, burned-out stone church in Grand Center one of her next art projects. Should she take it on, it would be her first permanent art installation in Missouri.

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