ArtFul Living

With Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky
Healthy Planet Arts Editor

Collaborations Lead To Special Art Exhibits

When a top culinary artist and a noted landscape artist collaborate, the result is bound to be something wonderful. Gerard Craft is the owner of Niche, Pasteria, Brasserie by Niche and Taste restaurants, as well as being a James Beard finalist — definitely a powerhouse of culinary expertise. Bryan Haynes is well-known for his Missouri landscapes, especially of scenes along the Missouri River. The two joined forces to bring Haynes’ original works into Craft’s restaurant.

Missouri-native Bryan Haynes left Missouri to attend the University of New Mexico, completing his education at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Like many other art majors graduates, Haynes came away with more than diploma; he gained the ability to see in a new and different light. He built his career as a commercial artist in Los Angeles but returned home to paint the Midwestern landscape. “Everything seemed to come together,” explained Haynes. “There was the convergence of a narrative and painting. Living in a rural area now, I feel a sense of community with people who have direct links to the land.”

Of Haynes’ art, Bob Moore, historian for the National Park Service in St. Louis, described it as “sublimely beautiful, art that stirs emotions in the viewer. (Haynes) is part Thomas Hart Benton, with a dash of George Catlin, Grant Wood, Joe Jones, N.C. Wyeth and any number of other great artists.” Even a casual viewer can notice the strong influence of Thomas Hart Benton in Haynes’ work.

When Chef Craft moved to St. Louis, he was impressed by the availability of fresh local farm products and Missouri’s wineries. The Missouri River area offered a sense of peace to him. “It was identical to the tranquility I felt living by the ocean before I came here,” Craft stated.

Behrer Woods was the first mural that Haynes painted for Craft’s Niche restaurant. Now, a year later, a second mural Magnificent Missouri has been completed. See it at Niche Restaurant, 7734 Forsyth in Clayton. Make dinner reservations (314-773-7755) and enjoy the ARTful view!!

It’s always a pleasure to recognize my fellow “Planeteers.” Linda Wiggen Kraft is the Green & Growing Editor here at The Healthy Planet. But that’s only one of the hats she wears. On April 11, Linda co-hosts Slow Art Day 2015 at the Kemper Art Museum on the Washington University campus. Once a year, on the same day at locations throughout the world, five preselected works of art are viewed “slowly and mindfully,” allowing at least ten minutes per piece to fully investigate the artwork. It’s a far cry from the typical race-through-the museum manner that so many people experience art. Studies reveal that a mere 17 seconds is the typical amount of time spent viewing any given museum piece. Slow Art Day includes a lunch during which participants discuss their impressions of the artworks viewed. Find details and register at www.SlowArtDay.com. This is the fifth year that Linda has led the group, so be prepared for a memorable experience!

There’s a true art to green living. The annual Earth Day Celebration, in Forest Park on April 26, offers a day to explore all things green. Whether you’re wondering about solar power or curious about clothing made from natural fibers, you can find it at Earth Day. Enjoy live music, local foods and beverages and so much more. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.; more details at www.stlouisearthday.org. Located in front of the Muny, the event is family-friendly and free!!

The long sleepy winter is officially over when the Pulitzer Arts Foundation reopens May 1 with new galleries and three related exhibitions: Calder Lightness, Richard Tuttle Wire Pieces, and Fred Sandback 64 Three-Part Pieces. Since closing at the end of 2014, The Pulitzer underwent a major renovation to the Tadao Ando-designed building. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, May 1, 5 – 9:00 pm, with a special performance composed by David Lang and featuring singers from local choral groups. The Pulitzer is located in Grand Center at 3716 Washington. For information, call 314-754-1850 or visit www.pulitzerarts.org.

See ArtFul Happenings at TheHealthyPlanet.com