ArtFul Living

By Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky
Healthy Planet Arts Editor

If you’re tired of being cooped up, snowed in,
or maybe bored with your burrow,
ART is the ANSWER! Read on…

Normally, I don’t put much stock into wooly worms, or groundhogs, or any other such weather predictors (yes, sometimes that also includes t.v. weatherpeople). This year, however, when Puxatawny Phil crawled back into his burrow to curse us with more weeks of winter, the little critter was right! It’s been a very loooong winter!

Start the month with First Friday in Grand Center on March 7. Galleries are open 5-9 p.m. and are sure to be buzzing with activity. Get out, stretch your legs (or hop on the free shuttle), pop in and out of venues. Take some friends, or meet some new ones. See all the latest exhibitions at Bruno David Gallery, the Sheldon Galleries, the Contemporary, the Pulitzer, St. Louis University Museum of Art, MOCRA, Craft Alliance, and more. Did I mention it’s all free? Find a map at www.firstfridaysgrandcenter.org.

Also, on March 7, visit Art St. Louis’ new space downtown at 1223 Pine when Varsity Art XVIII opens with a reception, 6-8 p.m. The exhibit showcases works by area undergrad and grad level university students. Details at www.artstlouis.org.

Or, head the other way to Blank Space at 2847 Cherokee to the March 7 opening of “Speak to Me: Imagine the Modern Muse” photography exhibition of works by Dave Moore.

Contemporary Art Museum honors the 10th anniversary of its building with the second in a yearlong series, this on the concept of the kunsthalle (a non-collecting museum). The Susan Sherman Distinguished Speaker Panel features Beatrix Ruf, director and chief curator of Kunsthalle Zurich, with Amy Sadao, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania-Phildelphia. The free session begins at 7 p.m. Find more info at www.camstl.org.

Clayton Fine Art Gallery, at 21 N. Bemiston, presents a delightful exhibition, “Fashion Unites with Art,” March 1-31. Prints of wildly colorful high heels and jackets, actual wood and felt purses, and artfully decorated boots are just a few of the digital and fashion items by Russian artist Irina Tevzadze. A native of Georgia, Tevzadze studied at the renowned Tbilisi Academy of Fine Arts, working first as an art professor and later a designer at the noted fashion house of Maka Assathiany in Paris, Moscow and Tbilisi. Creating poignant and colorful work, Tevzadze believes art and fashion are two intertwined disciplines. The guidance she offered to her students echoes for everyone who views Tevzadze’s work, “They need to open up their minds and let the art in. Let it guide their creativity.” Meet Irina Tevzadze at the reception on March 15, 6-9 p.m.

The Saint Louis Art Museum presents a fine exhibition, “Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from LeGray to Monet.” Opening on March 16, the exhibit will remain through July 6. Check www.slam.org for info.

Moping on Mondays after a fun ARTful weekend? Tune in to “Inside Classical Guitar,” hosted by the St. Louis Guitar Society’s President Bill Ash and John Clayton (formerly on classical-music KFUO radio). The program airs on Monday evenings at 7 p.m., at RAF-STL FM, 107.3. Live stream at http://rafstl.org/listen. Past episodes are archived at www.GuitarStLouis.net.

This following info may not seem not overtly ARTful, but the ability to express one’s self in an artistic manner is a result of the freedom we know as Americans. Artists interpret life, society, bring light to what is hidden — in so many ways, the ARTS define a culture. Throughout history, artists are suppressed by those who wish to silence their messages. We owe thanks to the veterans who, through too many conflicts, have given of themselves so that we may live in freedom.

On Saturday, March 29, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., St. Louis Community College-Wildwood will host a free, day-long, hands-on event for veterans. Vets will participate in workshops focused on health, family and future opportunities. The event is much more than an informational fair. Veterans will be able to access e-benefits accounts, schedule career exploration sessions, enroll at the college and more, right on site. A networking lunch is included. Missouri Career Source, Veterans Center and the Veterans Association Health System will have representatives at the event. For more info, contact Debbie Ward, 636-422-2241.

If you know a vet, please share this information with him or her. If you are a vet, thank you for your service, and please attend this helpful event.