ArtFul Living – Can You Say, Free???

With Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky
Healthy Planet Arts Editor

The arts sometimes are viewed as a luxury, using “expendable income.” That’s a fact in lots of places. I’ve spent as much as $35 for admission to art museums in some parts of the world. This month, however, I was truly struck by how many free—absolutely free– ARTful opportunities there are in St. Louis. No two ways about it: we’re lucky in St. Louis…..and we’re spoiled! Check out the many, many listings in my ARTful Happenings calendar (there are even more events included online at www.thehealthyplanet.com/ARTfulHappenings ) and I know you’ll agree: there is no reason to be deprived of experiencing great art here, no matter what your budget.Even if you have to pay a little for a ticket, some things are just worth is. Although there are still cranes and construction fencing outside the St. Louis Art Museum, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some excitement going on inside. This month, the Art Museum hosts a very special exhibition entitled Monet’s Water Lilies, October 2 through January 22. Inspired by his gardens at Giverny, French Impressionist Claude Monet (1840–1926) painted approximately 250 oil paintings in his Water Lilies Series. Monet’s Water Lilies reunites one of the most impressive large-scale triptychs within this group for the first time in more than 30 years. The triptych stretches 42 feet, with sections from The Cleveland Museum of Art, Saint Louis Art Museum, and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Advance tickets are highly recommended. Visit www.slam.org/monet for ticketing information. One March, I travelled all the way to Paris, only to discover that Giverny was closed until April—-I’m not missing this chance to see Monet’s favorite flowers!Christ Church Cathedral, at 1210 Locust, hosts a traveling exhibition entitled “Icons in Transition.” Featuring over 180 pieces by Russian artist Ludmila Pawlowska, the exhibition opens on October 29 and remains through mid-January. It’s an awesome collection of works, FREE, and it’s right here in St. Louis for a limited time. For info, call 314-231-3454.The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) is accepting applications for the Katherine Dunham Internship for the 2012 winter semester, announced Jill McGuire, executive director. This internship, including a $2500 stipend, was created by Sara Burke, RAC commissioner, and her husband Jack, to assist African Americans interested in a career in arts management. It was named for Katherine Dunham, renowned choreographer, dancer and social activist with whom Ms. Burke studied dance in East St. Louis. “Jack and I hope to see African Americans running cultural institutions in St. Louis, and believe this is one step to mentoring these future leaders…(to provide) networking connections or the access to professional development in this field,” added Ms. Burke, owner of City Studio Dance Center in the Central West End. “It is our firm belief that the more diversified an arts organization is, the more creative and ultimately successful it will be.” For more information about the Katherine Dunham Internship, visit www.art-stl.com/rac/interns.cfm or call Diane Kline at 314-863-5811. Deadline for application is Monday, October 31.As The Sheldon turns 100, St. Louisans are asked to share their memories of the great concert hall. For photos or video, upload to the Sheldon’s Flickr page at: www.flickr.com/groups/sheldon100/ or mail to info@thesheldon.org. Include your name, address, phone number and/or e-mail with all submissions. Photos and video will be returned upon request, but please do not send originals.

Clayton’s newest addition, Ober Anderson Gallery, announces a special appearance by contemporary art icon Peter Max to inaugurate its opening season. Previews for the exhibit, “Colors of a Better World,” begin Oct. 15 and continue through the opening weekend, Oct. 22 -23. Receptions to meet the artist are 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 22 and 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at the gallery, 14 North Meramec. The exhibit and artist appearances are free and open to the public, but RSVP’s are requested at 866-398-8390 or 314-727-1345.

With paintings on exhibition in hundreds of museums and galleries worldwide, Peter Max’s vibrant colors and unmistakable, whimsical style have become part of contemporary culture. Max has been called a Pop Icon, Neo Fauvist, Abstract Expressionist and the United State’s “Painter Laureate.” The artist has had the distinct honor of painting the last seven Presidents of the United States and the world’s best loved celebrities. Contact the Ober Anderson Gallery at 314-727-1345 or visit www.oberandersongallery.com for more info.

Congratulations to a Healthy Planet favorite, as Third Degree Glass Factory at 5200 Delmar celebrates its 9th birthday on October 21, 6-10 p.m. Included is a competition for glassblowers to create the largest blown glass pumpkin during the evening. Best of all, one lucky attendee will win the finished masterpiece. Skip the traditional autumn bonfire this year; head instead for fiery fun with glass. Find out more at www.stlglass.com.