Arts & Culture | St. Louis Public Radio

Arts & Culture

Review: Serkan Ozkaya works magic

Oct 7, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 7, 2008 - Serkan Ozkaya, the young Turkish artist currently featured at Boots Contemporary Art, is someone to keep an eye on. In spite of (or maybe because of?) being enamored with appropriation and reproduction, Ozkaya creates a magical quality with his art that makes one remember and long for that thrill of encountering an original -- in whatever form.

Celebrate Halloween all month: Part 1

Oct 7, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 7, 2008 - Halloween can get a little predictable: pumpkins on stoops, cottony cobwebs in doors, cheap costumes at your local big-box store.

Maybe a few too many nips from your little ones' stash, or the tiring sight of young women making innocent costumes "bad" by adding fishnets and eyeliner, adds to the gloom. But parents shouldn’t despair.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 7, 2008 - Opera lovers across the region, especially in Festus, should get a lift from this happy "local girl makes good" news.

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson, who dazzled audiences when at the last minute she stepped into the cast of "The Tales of Hoffmann" at Opera Theatre of St. Louis last May, has been awarded one of the opera's biggest opportunities.

Collecting in the Heartland: Monsters

Oct 7, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 7, 2008 - Their names bring back memories of cool autumn nights huddled in the soft glow of the family TV set: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon . . .

They chilled us, thrilled us, frightened us and delighted us, as they rattled, screamed and crept their way through our imaginations - beasts and giants and all manner of strange, stalking, wild things that seemed to repel us and attract us at the same time.

Eric Greitens inspires with stories of everyday leaders

Oct 6, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 6, 2008 - Eric Greitens doesn't believe in putting things off. When he was recently introduced at a Civitas program as an example for students to become leaders of the future, he disagreed. "I don't believe you have the capacity to be leaders of the future," Greitens said. "You have the capacity to lead now."

Review: Dorsey returns with strong show

Oct 5, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 5, 2008 - With Alma Mater, on view at UMSL’s Gallery 210, Jennifer Dorsey has found the perfect subject matter to suit her photographic style and temperament. She’s gone into classrooms, lounges, refectories and hallways of two patrician private high schools, St. Alban’s and the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. (where she herself teaches), photographing them empty of people but full of their traces.

This article first appeared in the Saint Louis Beacon: October 1, 2008 - Bring 'em back as tourists, says Jane Eckert, a St. Louisan who specializes in agrimarketing and agritourism. Eckert recently launched ruralbounty.com , a website designed to link family farmers seeking to diversify their income and urbanites desiring country fun. Her firm, Eckert AgriMarketing, advises clients on ways to turn their operations into commodity-producing public attractions. Turning dairy cows into cash cows, you might say.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 30, 2008 - Stan Kann died yesterday afternoon (Sept. 29, 2008). I was, ironically, running the vacuum cleaner when my friend John called with the news. Honest!

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 29, 2008- The St. Louis Beacon extends a warm welcome to our 3,100 media colleagues and the various political entourages descending on "the heartland" / "middle America" / "the flyover zone'' for Thursday's vice-presidential debate at Washington University.

David Sanborn: Kirkwood native looks back on the music

Sep 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 25, 2008 - Famed saxophonist David Sanborn still makes it back to the St. Louis area a few times a year, to visit his mom and his old home town of Kirkwood, and to drive around looking for landmarks of his time growing up here.

Review: Oliver Jackson at Metropolitan

Sep 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 25, 2008 - The large exhibition of Oliver Jackson's works at Metropolitan Gallery is a welcome sight.

Jackson, a St. Louis native, has been busy exhibiting painting and sculpture across the country, but hasn't had a show here in years. This exhibition represents his largest survey to date, comprised of 30 prints, paintings and mixed media works made between 1970 and 2007.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 24, 2008 - In late August 2005, as Hurricane Katrina closed in on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, weather forecasters predicted it could cause massive damage and death tolls in the thousands. Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans went on television and called for a total evacuation of the city. But, in the first of a tragic series of failures over coming days at all levels of government, he did not order the city to provide buses or trucks to evacuate the many thousands of poor New Orleanians who did not have access to cars.

Could this house tour turn you green?

Sep 24, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 24, 2008 - If you want to know what it’s like to live in a “green house,” or just how much it costs to “go green,” you’re in luck.

You can find out at the Third Annual Green House Tour, part of the Green Homes and Renewable Energy Festival this weekend. The tour is 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday starting at the EarthWays Center, 3617 Grandel Square in midtown St. Louis. The festival with more than 70 exhibitors will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in the 3600 block of Grandel Square. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 21, 2008 - I recently had the idea that used books might sell better during an economic downturn. So, over the summer, I went poking into used bookstores, asking questions, especially whether sales are up. Mostly, I stayed in the central/south/west corridor of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 21, 2008 - Remember back in the early '80s when MTV emerged and the entertainment industry was convincing itself that the promotional films record companies had been producing for years had suddenly become part of a major aesthetic breakthrough, and that "Billie Jean" and "Hungry Like the Wolf" were the future of cinema as we know it?

Review: James M. Smith at the Sheldon

Sep 21, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 21, 2008 - James M. Smith’s new show at the Sheldon, What Came Before, shows the artist moving in a more sculptural direction and moving deeper into themes he has often broached in his long career.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 19, 2008- When Bernie and Barbara McDonald finish their set at John D. McGurk's Irish Pub and Garden on Monday night, it will mark the end of an extraordinary run of Sunday and Monday performances for the traditional Irish music tandem.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 18, 2008 On occasion, you'll still hear an overcaffeinated radio host deriding bloggers, with an edgy, irrational disdain. When they get really worked up, it's almost inevitable for these AM talkers to accuse bloggers of "typing in their underwear from their parents' basement." Luckily, this stereotype has mostly gone away, as an array of bloggers cranks out digital copy at an ever-increasing pace.

Tower Grove Park lily pads bloom again

Sep 18, 2008
Streetcar "car-card" advertisement
Provided by Tower Grove Park

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Visitors won't be coming on streetcars to see the lily ponds in bloom as they once did -- note the "car card" advertisement above that would have been posted on the interior of a United Railways Co. streetcar. And more than likely, you won't see women in long dresses holding parasols and men in Victorian suits standing on lily pads.

But what you will find these days in the middle of historic Tower Grove Park are the same three lily ponds, newly revived after a $400,000-plus renovation. And they are looking as they did nearly a century ago when people rode streetcars to see them in full bloom, and some did pose for pictures standing on lily pads.

Review: 'Nervous Laughter' touches a nerve

Sep 17, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 17, 2008 - For Nervous Laughter at the Philip Hitchcock Gallery, Leslie Holt has curated a large group of works guaranteed to touch a nerve somewhere, depending on your personal proclivities, religion, politics or the line you draw between public information and private sensibilities. Holt, one of St. Louis' most prolific and savvy painters, never goes overboard with this show; but these works do bump up against those boundaries of decorum that Hitchcock himself is fond of pushing.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 17, 2008 - When you're promoting an event called the Big Read festival , it helps to have a big name to brag about, and organizers of this year's festival think they have one: Alan Alda

But if a big name doesn't have the right reputation, it can cause big grumbling.

Review: '70s vibe at Hoffman LaChance

Sep 17, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 17, 2008 - Three Hundred Six is the number of miles that separate the domiciles of Stacie Johnson and Michael Behle, St. Louis and Chicago artists respectively who have curated the thusly titled show at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary in Maplewood. The show brings together artists from these two metropolises and they have both more and less in common than you would think.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 17, 2008 - St. Louis Actors' Studio's mission is to address a particular aspect of the human condition and adhere to it when selecting our season. This approach enables us to focus on what drives us in our day-to-day adventure of life -- what makes us tick. Last season, our first season, we explored the Family Dynamic -- its triumph and its dysfunction. Actors, directors and writers who participated in a workshop created an original production on the same theme.

Learning about bonobos by meeting Lucy

Sep 17, 2008
Baby Lucy, a bonobo) is cradled by her mother, as sister Lexi looks on.
Photo by Marian Brickner | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 17, 2008 - Do you know what a bonobo is?

St. Louis photographer Marian Brickner says the 10 years she has invested in chronicling the endangered ape species will be worth it if more people are able to answer yes to that question.

"I simply wanted people to know they exist," said Brickner, a determined woman who has spent countless hours observing bonobos through her camera lens at the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida.

Towata's work at the RAC is painful and joyous

Sep 16, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 16, 2008 - Echoes from Manzanar: If the Walls Could Talk is painful and joyous at once, a truly moving collection of art and memories by Arthur Towata, one of the most influential ceramic artists working today.

The Lens: Outside, looking in

Sep 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 15, 2008 - There are artists whose works are hung in galleries or shown on screens or preserved in books, and there are artists who ignore the rules and find material in everything from the interior decoration of their apartments to the organization of trash piled on the street. There are "outsider" artists, and there are artists so esoteric that they never even make it outdoors. Three recent DVD releases show four major artists working underground, out of bounds or within worlds solely of their own making.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. September 13, 2008 - The new GOP mantra of "drill, baby, drill!" doesn't thrill Elizabeth Kolbert.

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The longtime writer for The New Yorker is one of a series of speakers at this fall's special edition of the Washington University Assembly Series dedicated to issues in the Nov. 4 election. Her book "Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change," was chosen for all of the university's incoming students to read and will be the subject of a series of group discussions this semester.

Spotlight on young actors

Sep 11, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 11, 2008-  Most of St. Louis' colorful theatergoers and participants can agree that the local scene has unabashedly expanded over the past half-decade or so. From feisty breakout companies such as The Orange Girls to the ever-growing and perennially popular Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, times are good for our actors (and those of us who applaud them). Here, we introduce (or reintroduce, for savvy stage fans), five who are riding the theatrical wave in the Lou.

On movies: Coen brothers score again

Sep 10, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 10, 2008 - Time and time again, in the strange and strangely believable universe created by the Coen brothers, obsessive characters pursue elusive goals - a lawman tries to catch a killer and find meaning in a world marked by seemingly random violence ("No Country for Old Men"); a deceptively laid-back slacker searches for a missing rug ("The Big Lebowski"); a childless couple commits major felonies to obtain a baby ("Raising Arizona"). In the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, pursuit of a goal is inevitably complicated by the competing needs of other characters, and chaos ensues.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 9, 2008 - Helen Weiss began her career at Famous-Barr in 1959 at a time when many women were just beginning to establish careers outside the home. Many in retailing and other professions looked to her as a role model. It wasn’t for her ability to rise through the ranks. She stayed a mid-level executive until her retirement last year. Rather it was because she always kept about her a sense of who she was – a party giver, a fashion plate, and an unreconstructed liberal who never fell out of love with that futile Democratic presidential candidate of the ’50s, Adlai Stevenson.  

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