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Art

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.

Review: Germans like their America at SLAM

Oct 10, 2013

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.

Art Connects German And St. Louis History

Sep 23, 2013
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.

UMSL Presents International Poster Art Exhibition

Aug 23, 2013
(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.

Review: Awesome anachronisms in Bryan Haynes' paintings

Aug 1, 2013
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.

Review: Hurry to catch Michael Hoffman

Jul 18, 2013

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?

Review: James M. Smith brings joy of summer camp to SLUMA

Jul 9, 2013
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.

Review: I'll have what Jo Jasper Dean is Drinking

Jun 18, 2013
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.

Review: Cecilia Andre brings sunshine into Belas Artes

May 27, 2013
Art by Cecilia Andre
Provided by the artist

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Brazilian artist Cecilia Andre found herself drawn to the beautiful tile that she encountered everywhere while traveling through Portugal. Her research into the Portuguese tradition of decorative tile is on display in her glimmering painted canvases, now showing for an extended period at the Belas Artes Gallery.

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.

Review: You can help see the 'Whole City'

May 3, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Colin Kloecker and Shanai Matteson are the co-directors of Works Progress, a public design studio in Minneapolis. But for the next couple of weeks they are in St. Louis as guests of The Luminary Center for the Arts as a part of The Luminary’s ongoing How to Make a World That Won’t Fall Apart series. The collaborative month-long project, Whole City, puts St. Louis under the microscope as these two Minnesota artists take a fresh, outsider look in, that allows them to ask (as they put it) “naïve” questions.

Review: Art lighter than air at White Flag

Mar 25, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Tony Matelli exhibit that opened recently at the White Flag Projects gallery is undeniably fun.

The installation is very unfussy. There are only five objects. But all are perpetually active, so giving them space seems advisable.

Preview: What do we want? Spring!

Mar 8, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When do we want it? Now!

Please?

The birds are on their way. The daffodils and hyacinths are waiting just below the slush. But spring is apt to take you unawares. At the Tavern of Fine Arts Spring Art Opening Celebration, spring is happening right now.

(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.

"Y'aba" by Yvonne Osei, Portfolio's "Skin Stories" exhibit
Provided by the gallery

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Art can change lives. For example, “365 Days with Dad” Artist Cbabi Bayoc hopes that when people view his positive images of African-American fathers, they’ll fold those perceptions into their belief systems. 

But you can’t be changed by what isn’t there. For many years, African-American art was absent or spotty in many collections.

One Dot At A Time, Lichtenstein Made Art Pop

Oct 15, 2012

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.

Is This An Early 'Mona Lisa'?

Sep 27, 2012

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.

Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

Just in time for the holiday travel season, contractors at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport have finished their work on Concourse A.

The projects - part of a $70 million overhaul of Terminal 1 - include new ceilings, flooring and carpet, and completely new bathrooms.

Also included? Two new pieces of public art, which airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge says are the first new pieces since the mural of black aviation was completed nearly 20 years ago.

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