Get out. I mean it: Get out! Beat the Winter-Willies with some Historically Based ARTful Adventures

Although my ARTful Happenings calendar has plenty to keep you rolling, check the expanded online ARTful Happenings at www.thehealthyplanet.com/2012/02/artful-happenings  to find more than can fit on any calendar. Here’s just a start:

Exhibitions at PHD Gallery are always carefully curated, a combination of complementary works. “Macedonian Inspirations: Modern Artifacts” is no exception. The show presents a perfect combination with twenty of David R. Hanlon’s Macedonian photographs beside ten Macedonian-inspired, ceramic vessels created by James Ibur. These two St. Louis artists find inspiration in historic and contemporary Macedonia, an area situated on the northern edge of Greece, with Bulgaria to the east and Albania to the west. Alexander the Great conquered the region in the 4th century B.C.; the area has known Roman and Ottoman rule. Recently two St. Louisans discovered the artistic wealth of the region.


Photographer David R. Hanlon spent two summers with an archaeological team at a medieval castle excavation in Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. The experience opened a new interest for him. Photographing the ruins and its artifacts drew Hanlon to discover more about both the ancient culture of the castle, as well as the contemporary urban spaces of the country.


Much of James Ibur’s work has an air of antiquity about it, resembling ancient pieces that could have been unearthed in some faraway archeological dig. The surfaces present illustrative motifs as found in nature, often reflective of specific cultures. Drawing from Mediterranean Amphoras, Middle Easter minarets and elements of African architecture, “the pieces on view meld images of spirals, labyrinths and other bridges with iconic vessel imagery,” described gallery owner Philip Hitchcock.


Hanlon and Ibur coordinate the Photography and Ceramics programs respectively at St. Louis Community College-Meramec in St. Louis. Their joint exhibition runs through March 3 at 2300 Cherokee. For more info, call 314-664-6644 or visit www.phdstl.com.

Some years ago, a few yoga studios launched artistic utilization of the blank walls in their studios by hosting art exhibitions. Great inspiration as participants worked out, as well as a beautiful enhancement of an otherwise bare space! It was an idea that worked.


The trend has been repeated in west county’s town of Eureka.  Comprehensive Chiropractic and Studio, located at 113 West 5th Street in Eureka, includes an active yoga studio with art exhibitions. Now, through March 31, its walls host “Candlelight,” works by Galina Todorova. Working in her native Bulgaria, Todorova is known for her sensitive drawings, prints and paintings, finding inspiration through both yoga and her Orthodox Christian beliefs. “Some of my artworks are created especially with gratitude for the protection and support I have had in my life,“ explained the artist. “I dedicate my painting, Candle Light, to the necessity of a strong connection between the human body and soul.”


Living in the USA for six years from 2004 to 2010, Galina Todorova actively participated in our local arts community while working at the Saint Louis Art Museum as a gallery attendant. She also earned her USA citizenship during this period. Last year, she exhibited her work in two solo exhibitions in St. Louis and, in 2009,  Todorova received an outstanding artist award from the Saint Louis Artist’s Guild for her entry in the ‘Portraits Around the World’ exhibit. View Todorova’s works during the “Open Art” event in Eureka on March 4, 2-5 p.m. For info, call 314-606-2095 or visit www.galina-art.com.


The St. Louis Guitar Society continues to heat up St. Louis winters with a performance on February 18 by “The Royal Family of the Guitar,” the Romero Family Guitar Quartet. Known to millions the world over, three generations of these Spanish greats have collected accolades since founded in 1956 by Celedonio Romero. Their performance resume is impressive, including both the Tonight Show and the Today Show and PBS specials such as An Evening at the Boston Pops.


“For many years having so many virtuosi of the same instrument in one family was unique in the world of musical performance, and in the realm of the classical guitar it is still unprecedented,” St. Louis Guitar Society director Bill Ash noted. The Romero Family last visited St. Louis in October 2001, and are sure to sell out again when they perform this month in University City at 560 Music Center. For ticket information, call 314-935-6543 or visit www.metrotix.com.