ARTful Living

In Search of Home by Mee Jay

By Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky,
Healthy Planet Arts Editor

Happy Father’s Day to those great dads!

Instead of a necktie this year, try these ARTful suggestions to make the holiday unique:

On June 8, the National Museum of Transportation, 2933 Barrett Station Road, begins its 2023 Speaker Series (who knew?!) with The Mystique of Route 66 in Missouri, by Doug Schneider. The lectures (9-10 a.m. in the Carl Lindburg Automobile Center/Mezzanine) are free, but reservations are required. www.tnmot.org

June 2-July 2, Stages St. Louis brings Elton John’s and Tim Rice’s version of Aida! to the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center. www.stagesstlouis.org

June 8-24, Stray Dog Theatre presents one of the longest running comedies in Off-Broadway history: Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. The saga tells of two fatally seductive vampiresses whose mortal paths continually cross, from the ancient city of Sodom through modern Las Vegas. Performances are at Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee, 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on June 18. www.straydogtheatre.org

The Muny season kicks off with Beautiful (June 12-18), followed by Beauty and the Beast (June 22-30). It’s a St. Louis tradition! www.muny.org

Through June 25, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival serves up the 23rd year of free performances in Forest Park with Twelfth Night. Tuesdays-Sundays, 8 p.m., in “the glen.” www.stlshakes.org

Head to the Delmar Loop on June 10 for art, music and food at the Juneteenth Celebration, noon-5 p.m. Festivities run from 5800-5900 blocks of Delmar, with plenty of family-art activities at St. Louis Artworks, 5959 Delmar. Starting with Drum Call by Baba Kunma, performances include African Dance by Spirit Angel of African Dance, and Red Black & Brass Band. DJ KP keeps the music going. www.thedelmarloop.com/

Picnics on the Plaza are back! Presented by The Sheldon in Steward Family Plaza, the events offer guests a casual but classy concert at reserved tables for two ($20) or four ($40). A slight extra charge provides a boxed picnic dinner and drinks, too! June 2 features Feyza Eren & Ptah Williams (jazz, pop, Turkish traditional music) and June 11 is The Gaslight Squares (authentic jazz of the ‘20’s-30’s); both concerts at 7:30 p.m. www.thesheldon.org

If Dad loves music, take him to the Touhill for one (or both!) of these great concerts: The Jazz Edge Orchestra performs A Tribute to Jazz Bassists, June 10, 5 p.m. St. Louis’ favorite singer Brian Owens performs with his father, Thomas Owens, for a Father’s Day special Duets with Dad, June 18, 6 p.m. www.touhilltix@umsl.edu

Missouri Chamber Music Festival celebrates love, intrigue, death and diversion, (musically, that is) June 12-17 at First Congregational Church of Webster Groves, 10 Lockwood. www.mochambermusic.org

Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ fabulous Festival Season continues through June 25. www.opera-stl.org

Natalie Merchant, former lead vocalist of the folk-rock band 10,000 Maniacs, brings her Keep Your Courage tour to St. Louis in a one-night-only collaboration with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The concert is June 22, 7:30 p.m. at Stifel Theatre, 1400 Market. Tickets at www.slso.org

The Webster Art Fair runs June 2-4 with 93 exhibiting artists and 40 musical performances. There’s food and family-art activities, too, all at the intersection of Bompart and Lockwood in Webster Groves. www.websterartsfair.com

The Sheldon Art Galleries, 3648 Washington, presents Artists First: Connection, Cohesion & Changeability, June 2-August 6 in the Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Gallery. Works by 20 neurodiverse artists are featured, all part of Artists First, a nonprofit studio that fosters independence through creative self-expression for adults with pervasive mental illness, developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injury. The opening-night reception is 5-8 p.m.


Through June 17, Bruno David Gallery, 7413 Forsyth, presents an exhibition of works by five artists: Yvette Drury Dubinsky: Travelling; Antonio Ainscough: Drawn Together; Carlos Salazar-Lermont: Esperando A Dios v.01; and Mee-Jay: In Search of Home.

Of particular interest are new works by Mee-Jay, Indian-born and now St. Louis-based. Her series focuses on the arduous journeys undertaken by millions of immigrants. Mee Jay draws upon her biographical and ecological interests, using repurposed materials. “When you have less resources, you become more resourceful,” she stated. www.brunodavidgallery.com

Webster Arts, 2 Summit Avenue, hosts Tails of Love, a juried exhibition, June 16-July 21. The opening reception, 6:30 p.m., is “tail-friendly, in celebration of our love for our pets and animals.” www.webster-arts.org

Crossroads Arts Council offers an opening reception June 4, 2-4 p.m. for Oh, Snap!, a photography exhibition in the West Gallery, 310 W. Pearce Blvd. in Wentzville. The show runs through June 26. www.crossroadsartscouncil.org