ARTful Living: Indoor Events Heat Up a Cold February 

By Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky,
Healthy Planet Arts Editor

Photo: Aso Oke: Prestige Cloth by Nigerian weavers, at St. Louis Art Museum through March 10.

February might be cold but there is plenty to celebrate this month: Black History Month, Lunar New Year and, of course, Valentine’s Day, a day that celebrates love. So, check out these suggestions to celebrate all that, but especially, your love of ART.

Flowers have long been symbols of love. There is no better place to enjoy a fragrant garden of les fleurs than Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw. The annual Orchid Show presents nature’s artistry with more than 5,000 blooming plants through February 25 (included in garden admission). Make a date night for February 8 or 22, 6-8 p.m., when Orchid Nights offers the display with special lighting, live music and drinks (by advance-reserved ticket). www.mobot.org

Cool jazz can warm a cold winter night and Jazz St. Louis offers the hottest cool jazz in town. Every weekend, the country’s best bring their sounds to 3536 Washington. But reserve a ticket now for February 21 (at Jazz St. Louis) or 22 (at the Chase-Park Plaza) when Wynton and Bradford Marsalis come to town for the Swing for Tomorrow’s Stars gala, benefitting the educational programs at Jazz St. Louis. This is a remarkable and sure-to-be-memorable reunion of these famous brothers, and you won’t want to miss it! www.jazzstl.org

Chants of Africa: A Singsation featuring Togolese-French singer Prisca Agbo celebrates Africa and the roots of African American song traditions, February 24-25. Take the entire family to Pilgrim Congregational Church, 826 N. Union, in observance of Black History month with this special concert presented by Intercultural Music Initiative. www.imusici.org

Does classical guitar stir your heart? British classical guitarist and conductor Michael Poll makes his St. Louis debut at the 560 Music Center in University City on February 17. The evening, hosted by St. Louis Classical Guitar, includes a special concert of Bach performed on the 7-string guitar, as well as Spanish and contemporary pieces. www.stlclassicalguitar.org

Welcome Year of the Dragon with St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on February 10, 7:30 p.m. at the J. Scheidegger Center for Performing Arts, on Lindenwood University’s campus. The performance features guest erhu soloist Rulin Olivia Zhang plus an exciting appearance by the Chinese Education and Culture Center dragon dance team and the Thunder Drum team.

Or catch the SLSO’s Lift Every Voice, celebrating Black History Month, February 23, 7:30 p.m. at Stifel Theatre, 1400 Market, featuring vocalist BeBe Winans. On February 28, SLSO and Chorus perform at the Cathedral Basilica, 4144 Lindell, at 8 p.m. All great music! www.slso.org

Legends,12th century mystics, and visionaries set the mix for a program featuring voice, strings, and harp, 4 p.m., February 25, at The Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust. This concert, hosted by Chamber Project St. Louis, is not to be missed! www.chamberprojectstl.org

The legendary vocalist Marilyn Maye returns to dazzle St. Louis at The Sheldon Ballroom, 3648 Washington, February 22-23. www.thecabaretproject.org

Needs some laughs? Menopause The Musical 2: Cruisin’ Through the Change docks at The Touhill for a single performance on February 21, 7:90’s30 p.m. With a soundtrack from the ‘70’s, ‘80’s and ‘90’s, this fresh version of the beloved musical is set on a crazy high seas cruise. www.umsl.edu/touhill

Bruno David Gallery, 7513 Forsyth, opens five solo exhibitions by Quinn Antonio Briceño (Sonar), Frank Schwaiger (X-Series), Christina Schmigel – Nianci Li (Little Pink), William Griffin (Horses) and Bill Christman (Cities of Tomorrow) with a reception on February 9, 6-8 p.m. The works remain on view through March 30. www.brunodavidgallery.com

Crossroads Arts Council, 310 W. Pearce Blvd. in Wentzville, presents its 9th annual Spanning the Generations show of visual works, February 1-26. www.crossroadsartscouncil.org

Opening on February 23 with a 6:30 p.m. reception is Emerald: Celebrating 20 Years in the Arts, at Webster Arts gallery, 2 Summit Avenue, through March 29. www.webster-arts.org

See Hugh Hayden: Brier Patch, an outdoor installation in The Way Field at Laumeier Sculpture Park, Rott Road, on view February 10-May 12. The artist transforms familiar objects into an unexpected scene. Other works comprising Hayden’s American Vernacular are also on view in the Aronson Fine Art Center at the park. www.laumeier.org

Support The Sheldon’s educational program and put those tiny bits of info to use at Curious and Curiouser, the 16th annual Sheldon Trivia Night, February 16, 6 p.m. at 3648 Washington. It’s sure to be great fun so reserve a full table, or individual tickets are available, too. www.thesheldon.org/Trivia .

Mark your calendar now for March 1-3 when the St. Louis Art Museum hosts its annual Art in Bloom. Floral designers from throughout the region interpret selected works in flowers. www.slam.org Ah, spring is just around the corner…..