ARTful Living

by Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky

Healthy Planet Arts Editor

Ah, February: the month of  amore, amour, amor, laska, milosc, lieben—however you say it, the month spells L-O-V-E!


“Passion is like glass,” states Third Degree Glass Factory’s recent press release, “ever changing, beautiful, unique, timeless and HOT.” Heat things up with your honey on February 13 at the “Hearts on Fire” Passion Party, from 6-10 p.m. Master glass artists from throughout the U.S. are flying in for this very special evening: sip a drink from the cash bar as you watch them create molten art with torch and flame… and maybe take home a special collector’s piece. If you prefer to DIY, make a Token of Affection glass tile with your sweetheart for only $20.  Or better yet, make it for FREE if you dine at a St. Louis Originals Restaurant before you come to Third Degree, 5200 Delmar (Visit www.stlouisoriginals.com to view list of participating restaurants). Bring your receipt! The live bluegrass band starts at 8 p.m.  Attend on February 19 to dine fireside (advance reservations required), sample chocolates (courtesy of Kakao Chocolate) or sip chocolate martinis. The answer will be “Yes!!” if you pop the question for some hot fun this month at Third Degree.


Passionate about pursuing the unusual? Check out the gallery at Craft Alliance in the Kranzberg Arts Center at 501 N. Grand, January 29 through April 18. “See How My Mind Works” is an exhibition of large-scale installation work by Tim Curtis that explores the use of written language in visual art.


“Writing requires collaboration with the reader and both are private acts.  But encountering someone’s private thoughts in a public space changes the dynamic,” states Curtis. Utilizing text written on handmade chalk boards, Curtis immerses the viewer in those thoughts, blanketing the walls of the gallery, floor to ceiling, with chalkboards.  One of Curtis’ goals in this work is to create an environment inspired by his impression of early childhood classrooms. The artist describes the writings as “aphorisms that vacillate between the humorous and the serious; many are sarcastic observations concerning the contradictory and/or petty nature of human behavior.”

Tim Curtis holds an MFA in Sculpture from UCLA, taught at both Webster and Washington Universities, and exhibited his work throughout the U.S., Europe, Korea and Africa. Visit www.craftalliance.org for details.


Marbles Yoga Studio and Art Gallery (okay, that’s a strange-enough combination right there!) presents some interesting work but this month’s exhibition caught my eye. Gary Gackstatter thinks of his pen and ink drawings “as paintings using a brush that has a single fine hair.” It’s a low-tech approach, in a too-tech world, that demands hours for every square inch achieved. The time spent in the creation of a single work causes a “deep relationship with the subject,” according to the artist. Simple, direct, beautiful! See “Brilliant Ink” at 1905 Park Avenue in Lafayette Square when the show opens on February 5; visit www.marblesyoga.com for more info.


What stirs the heart more than the pure, hot music of classical guitar? Two classical guitars! On February 27, Guitar St. Louis presents Guitar Duo Melis, comprised of Susana Prieto from Santander, Spain and Alexis Muzurakis from Athens, Greece.  There is not enough space in this entire column to list the international honors this pair has received. Name a competition on the Continent, and they’ve won it. They’ll win your heart, too, at this not-to-miss performance. Visit www.guitarstlouis.net for details.


Congratulations are also in order for Guitar St. Louis for receiving the Challenge America: Reaching Every Community grant of $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts. With funding from this prestigious award (one of only two awarded in the state!), Guitar St. Louis is able to present performances by national fretted instrument ensembles for teachers and students of St. Louis city public schools, grades 3-9. What a wonderful way to inspire future musicians and generate true love of classical music for a new generation!


I know Healthy Planet readers love to attend and support ARTful events. Due to space limitations, only a portion of this month’s events can be published here in the ARTful Happenings calendar. To see the full list of this month’s ARTful events, please visit www.thehealthyplanet.com.