Artful Living: St. Louis Area Fine Arts, Crafts & Performing Arts

Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky, Arts Editor

Fresh Art… Spring Has Sprung

Although the winter has been less harsh than some years, we still welcome daylight savings time, daffodils, and fresh art. Spring has sprung!!

Laumeier Sculpture Park presents Gigi Scaria: Time, April 16-August 14. Aptly named, the multimedia exhibition encompasses photographs, films and sculpture inside the Whitaker Foundation Gallery at the Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center, plus an outdoor commission in Laumeier’s Museum Circle.

Gigi Scaria, born in 1973 in Kothanalloor, Kerala, India, was trained at College of Fine Arts in Thiruvananthapuram and Jamia Millia University, New Delhi. His list of exhibitions is lengthy and worldwide.

This exhibiton focuses on territorial, cultural, and environmental “social mapping,” exploring hierarchies and systems in the world’s communities. Scaria investigates time, migration, community collapse: “the beauty in labor and collaboration” as he layers ancient cultures into the modern. He explained, “This show is an attempt to observe the intricacies of the phenomenon called ‘time.’ Memories and histories of our ‘time’ are slipping into the whirlpool of change… Invoking the Mounds at Cahokia to the present-day crisis of widespread migrant populations, Time tries to grab our time… I am really excited for this opportunity at Laumeier and… the interaction of the park’s visitors with my work.” Laumeier Sculpture Park is located at 12580 Rott Road and a perfect place to take a springtime ARTful stroll.

After leading Dance St. Louis for a decade, we bid adieu and best wishes to Executive and Artistic Director Michael Uthoff. Although Uthoff remains as artistic director through the end of the 2015-2016 season, and continues in an advisory capacity, he has officially retired. Uthoff’s engaging approach to dance has allowed St. Louisans to experience a variety of dance during his ten-year tenure at Dance St. Louis.

“Michael’s innovation brought great creative energy to Dance St. Louis during the past 10 years, and helped generate a new awareness and passion for high quality dance with both local companies and audiences who have enjoyed Dance St. Louis presentations from around the world,” said Jennifer Davis, Dance St. Louis board president. As an internationally renowned choreographer, teacher and dancer himself, Uthoff understood all aspects of dance and audience engagement. His legacy included the creation of the acclaimed Spring to Dance Festival, a showcase of 30 professional dance companies from across the country for three unique nights, and New Dance Horizons, the annual pairing of local dance companies with nationally recognized choreographers commissioned to create new works. He created the Dance Education Residency Program to encourage participation by underserved urban youth in St. Louis. Janet Brown serves as interim executive director during the search for a permanent director begins.

A wonderful water-ful exhibition opens at St. Louis Artists’ Guild on Earth Day, April 22: WATERSHED CAIRNS AND RIVERWORK PROJECT presents collaborative images by glass artist Libby Reuter and photographer Josh Rowan, with fiber work by Sun Smith-Foret (see more details in related feature article in this issue). A free opening reception 5 – 8 p.m. includes a gallery talk at 6:30 p.m. This exhibit remains through May 12, proudly sponsored by The Healthy Planet.

Next month honors mothers, so get ready now: your mother (or whomever you will celebrate on Mother’s Day) is special, so find a gift to highlight that “specialness.” The Gallery of Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design presents a special trunk show of new handmade collections by ceramicist Susan Bostwick and jeweler Vivian Gaston, April 26-May 8.

Susan Bostwick is a local ceramics treasure. Her works emphasize a relationship with the Earth. Said Bostwick, “From a simple arrangement to the drama of transformation, I am captivated by the universe that lies beneath my feet.” Wall hangings of garden trowels, teapots and cups team with sculptural birds, bugs and plant life. She recommends the collection as “an excellent alternative to flowers for the nature loving mom.”

Recycled silver gives Vivian Gaston’s jewelry an impeccable sense of wearable style. She explained, “The bulk of my work features forged dots recycled from sterling scrap: bits of wire, shavings, neglected jewelry are torched to form molten balls of possibility. They are then quenched and forged to support and accent a variety of gemstones… a philosophy of casual luxury and effortless chic.”