ArtFul Living – St. Louis Area Fine Arts, Crafts & Performing Arts

Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky, Arts Editor

Be In The Know This November!

Art has always spoken out on the tough topics. Throughout history, art in all its forms has served as a voice, as a catalyst, as an inspiration, as an empowerment. From stirring musical works to emotion-evoking paintings, art has never shied away from taking a stand to motivate people.

As this month opens with mid-term elections, I urge all our readers to please vote. Voting is a privilege and a right, a duty and a most serious responsibility. And every vote does matter.

St. Louis Classical Guitar, founded in 1963, is third oldest organization in the nation centered around classical guitar. Formerly known as the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society, the nonprofit organization treats St. Louis to innovative, high-quality performances by musicians from around the globe. On November 8, St. Louis Classical Guitar welcomes the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) to the Sheldon Concert Hall at 3648 Washington. This group is comprised of four uniquely accomplished musicians: John Dearman, Matthew Greif, William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant. Their repertoire includes works from bluegrass to Bach, spanning 30 years as a group. Latin, African, Asian, Irish, folk and American music meld into their performances to give these Grammy Award-winners a truly inventive sound. Each of the guitarists have equally impressive solo careers but, as a group, their music is best described as simply magical.
The performance starts at 8 p.m. Ticket info can be found at www.thesheldon.org.

For over 35 years, Art St. Louis, located at 1223 Pine in downtown St. Louis, has promoted the work of contemporary visual artists in the area. While the organization hosts several exhibitions every year, one annual show is best known simply as “THE Exhibition.” From November 10 to December 20, Art St. Louis XXXIV, The Exhibition presents works in all media, all subjects, styles and techniques in this juried exhibition and competition.

This year, 573 works were submitted for competition by 135 regional artists from both sides of the river. From those, only 43 works by 35 artists were selected by Juror Debra Drexler for the exhibition. That was certainly no easy task for Ms. Drexler, who is an abstract painter herself, a professor and the drawing/painting chair at University of Hawai’i at Manoa. From this resulting field of selected pieces, a second expert chose the most outstanding works for further recognition. The awards judge, Robert Powell, is well-known in St. Louis as the founder and executive director of Portfolio Gallery and Education Center, as well as being an artist himself.

The juried exhibition features a reception, free and open to the public, on November 17, 5-7 p.m. A brief gallery talk by Mr. Powell will be followed by the awards presentation at 6 p.m. The list of this year’s artists can be viewed at www.artstl.org.

How’s this for an ARTful twist on the usual gallery visit? On November 13, the Contemporary Art Museum presents a Feast for the Eyes with Chef Mike Randolph. A gallery tour at the Contemporary begins at 6:30 p.m., followed at 7 p.m. by a four-course dinner inspired by the art on view. Chef Randolph is a restaurateur and James Beard Award semi-finalist who transformed the local culinary scene with such destination restaurants as Half & Half, Privado, and Público. Tickets sell out quickly, so make reservations early at www.camstl.org.

Unique Boutique, held at John Burroughs School on November 17-18, is a very special art and fine craft show featuring an impressive diversity of quality, one-of-a-kind works by over four dozen locally and nationally known artisans. Located at 755 South Price Road in Ladue, the event is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a $5 admission at the door.

Nothing compares with original art. Whether music, dance, or visual art, there is absolutely no substitute for the real thing. Please consider supporting local artists when you think about purchasing gifts for the upcoming holiday season. Tickets to a live performance or a beautiful item made by an artist’s hand are treasures that last. Skip the ‘Black Friday’ craziness this year (do you really want to go shopping at 6 a.m.??) and give a gift that will remain cherished. Give the gift of ART.