Visual Art | St. Louis Public Radio

Visual Art

One of Beverly Sporleder's line drawings in the University City Public Library exhibtion.
Nancy Fowler

With school starting, many local kids are looking back on long summer days of watching movies or playing video games. But the Sporleder children spent their summer getting ready for a family art show at the University City Public Library.

Eight family members including three of Beverly Sporleder’s grandchildren are in the exhibition, open through Aug. 30.

William Morris
Durrie Bouscaren

When William Morris was growing up in St. Louis in the 1970s, his mother was close behind with her Super 8 camera.

William Morris, Brett Williams and Meghan Grubb
Nancy Fowler

Three local artists received $1,500 each on Tuesday night to help fund projects that include home movies and ideas about the spaces where we live.

In an event at The Sheldon Art Galleries, the local Critical Mass for the Visual Arts organization named the recipients of its 2015 Creative Stimulus Awards. The money helps pay for the cost of ongoing work as well as funding new projects.

The 2015 winners are:

Detail of Lyndon Barrois Metroscape Image
Courtesy of Arts in Transit

Artists who contributed to Metro Transit's Metroscapes project are being featured in a gallery show at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary in Maplewood. The project began when Director David Allen and the rest of the Arts in Transit crew realized they had an abundance of advertising poster space left free this year.

“We thought that one way we could improve the experience for our riders at Metro is to put something beautiful in there,” said Allen.

Beyon Bosch exhibit print
Courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum

Did you ever read the description next to a museum painting and scratch your head? The St. Louis Art Museum and Washington University students worked together to combat that head-scratching moment for a new exhibit.

Art museums are working to avoid jargon, or art speak. In this case, the topic is a bit more obscure than Picasso or Rembrandt. It's the influence of 16th century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch on the common culture of his time.

rc)Left to right. Drew Battles (Serge), John Pierson (Ma and Larry Dell (Yvan) talk and laugh about "Art" and life
Nancy Fowler

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter,” poet Khalil Gibran wrote. Nowhere is laughter between companions more important than in the Tony Award-winning play, “Art,” presented by the St. Louis Actors’ Studio, beginning tonight.

But wait, shouldn’t a play called “Art” be about art? Well, it is — and isn’t.

The City & The City: Cotton Belt Freight Depot, 2015
(Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE, New York ©Mariam Ghani)

Mariam Ghani came to St. Louis with the idea of an already divided city.

“There’s a lot of long and complicated history that goes into making St. Louis what it is today,” Ghani said.

Leslie Laskey, second from left, at Art Kamp in 2010
Dennis Cope

On Thursday, Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts will laud a 94-year-old professor who’s still a working artist.

Leslie Laskey will receive the Dean’s Medal for outstanding service at an annual awards dinner. Besides Laskey, the event honors six other alumni and friends of the school.

Ferguson Firsthand user at True/False
Courtesy of Dan Archer

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be at the Canfield Green apartments when Michael Brown was shot? Graphic journalist Dan Archer can. He’s created a virtual representation of that day based on eyewitness accounts, news reports and grand jury testimony.

Review: Sarah Frost's 'Site' grows on the senses

Nov 15, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The term art installation can be used for any number of things. It sounds like something serious, though sometimes, the “installation” is a more minimalist “art object placement.” Installation is hardly grand enough a word for Sarah Frost’s complete use of the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Gallery 210.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 31, 2013 - After an autumn day drive to spot the brilliant colors of leaves along the Great River Road, head back to St. Louis to see an amped up nature projected into the night sky against the large exterior wall of the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM).

Jennifer Steinkamp’s projection, Orbit 11, is not complicated or challenging. It bares no overt message. But it is quite lovely. Computer animated graphics of luscious plant life are seen through a bug’s eye-view. Wiry vines of green leaves change to brown, flower and shift again, the gleaming tendrils constantly swirling in motion, slow enough to hypnotize.

Review: Bill Kohn's work sizzles at Bruno David

Oct 21, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 21, 2013 - Just as Saint Louis University has added dashes of electric blue highlights to the mid-city skyline, Bruno David Gallery has brought Bill Kohn’s sizzling electric paintings to Grand Center. The Monumental Paintings retrospective includes Techos Uno, the earliest work in the exhibit, and the immense Jaisalmer Fortress. Both are examples of the artist’s work inspired by years of world travel.

Review: Germans like their America at SLAM

Oct 14, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 14, 2013 - 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.

Too Much on My Plate
Courtesy of the artist

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 10, 2013: 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: Liner's exhibit encapsulates women in upholstered eggs

Sep 30, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 30, 2013 - French psychoanalytic theorist Jacques Lacan used the term “the gaze” to describe the power relationship involved in one person looking at another. Lacan refers to the agency of the looker and the objectification of the human who is “gazed” upon. Pop singer Lady Gaga’s raw meat dress by Argentine designer Franc Fernandez comes from a tradition of meat wear (British artist Linder’s 1982 chicken meat dress, Jana Sterbak’s 1987 Vanitas sculpture, the list is rather long) that typically make a statement about the “male gaze.”

Review: Rashid Johnson's Message at the Kemper

Sep 26, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 26, 2013 - In Message to our Folks at Washington University’s Kemper Museum, Rashid Johnson toys with his affection for the Afrocentrism that shaped his family life throughout the 1980s and ’90s.

Review: The Good Ship CAM Celebrates 10 Years of Art Exploration

Sep 16, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 16, 2013 - When architect Brad Cloepfil designed the now 10-year-old Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis on Washington Ave., he had both the advantages and disadvantages of that location. It would always be in contrast to Tadao Ando’s Pulitzer building next door. One of the things CAM had going for it was a welcoming image. The panel of windows overlooking Spring Street and the glass entrance allow drivers-by to see the action inside. The open walkway at the building’s entry allows for mulling around the building before and after art openings, music events and parties at the museum.

Review: Award-winning artwork explores St. Louis' evolving horizon

Aug 27, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 27, 2013 - The 2012 Creative Stimulus Award exhibit at the Regional Arts Commission is titled Within an Evolving Horizon. The horizon found consistently in the artwork, however, is that of the city of St. Louis.

Each artist’s odyssey allowed him or her to capture a personal St. Louis that could not be found on a postcard in the Arch gift shop.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 23, 2013 - University City residents, shoppers and diners may soon see a small wall go up in The Loop. But it’s not designed to be a barrier -- it’s meant to be a bridge.

The concept of the 9-by-15-foot brick structure called “Wailing Wall” was selected in a contest called "St. Louis Soup Across the Delmar Divide,” sponsored by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the Missouri History Museum and the Anti-Defamation League. Last Sunday, 70 people came to the History Museum to hear seven finalists present their ideas about bridging the “Delmar Divide.” The term was coined in a BBC news documentary last year to describe vast economic differences in a small area north and south of Delmar Boulevard.

This Must Be The Place provides pop-up exploration

Aug 21, 2013
Justin Strohm
Chelsea Embree | Beacon intern | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 21, 2013: St. Louis' newest art gallery is not an art gallery. Instead, This Must Be The Place features pop-up shows in old, vacated buildings that show their wear and tear.

For founders Zach Swanson and Justin Strohm, it was important to pursue these spaces and reconsider the traditional presentation of art in square galleries with white walls.

Review: Tavern of Fine Arts serves up mixed art cocktail

Aug 12, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 12, 2013 - Some people seem to think that the summer is as good as over the moment that July folds into August. Some people are wrong. The good people at The Tavern of Fine Arts correctly identify the usually hot month of August, in its entirety and despite school schedules, as a month of primo summer living, and viewing, and dining and drinking.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 12, 2013 - 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: St. Louis as Sin City

Aug 8, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 8, 2013 - St. Louisans may be dismayed to find our fair city heralded at the top of a national top 10 list of most dangerous cities. Our murder, crime and sexually transmitted disease rates garner us labels of superlative that are generally not considered all that super.

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, Aug. 1, 2013: 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, July 18, 2013: 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.

For postwar German art, let Richter be your guide

Jul 15, 2013
Betty, 1988, Gerhard Richter, oil on canvas, 40 1/4 x 28 1/2 inches.  Purchased with donations.
Provided by the St. Louis Art Museum

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 15, 2013 - Entry into the special exhibit in the St. Louis Art Museum of Postwar German Art in the Collection begins with a small gallery space holding two paintings by Gerhard Richter. Cattycorner to one another are Ölberg (1986) and Betty (1988). The close placement of these two quintessentially Richter paintings – dated within two years of one another, but utterly dissimilar in style and technique – attests to the fantastically rich diversity of artistic expression that took formation in the years following WW II, encompassing the Cold War and preceding the internet.

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

Jul 9, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 9, 2013 - 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).

Entering Smith’s Unscripted exhibit feels like walking through an adventurer’s scrapbook. Smith’s playful and ambitious dreamscape exists outside of time. He has created a past future just as the science fiction writer Ray Bradbury described it.

Public art wall displays students' private aspirations

Jul 8, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 8, 2013 - 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.

St. Louis in Barcelona: Cassilly and Gaudi

Jul 5, 2013
xxxFor the Beacon From left: The serpent fence around City Museum; a figure in Park Guell
Donna Korando | St. Louis Beacon | 2013: Sarah Hermes Griesbach

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 5, 2013: I knew before I arrived in Barcelona that I would find Bob Cassilly there.

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

Jun 18, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 18, 2013 - Philip Hitchcock describes the current exhibit, Drunk on Color, at his phd Gallery on Cherokee Street as “high voltage oil on canvas.” He calls 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.