Art in Bloom

Spring is in the air at the St. Louis Art Museum until Sunday, March 13th.  It’s Art In Bloom, an annual collection of 35 floral arrangements done by area florists and garden clubs that mimic the works in the gallery. The 35 pieces are scattered about the museum, depicting everything from vases to rugs to furniture to classic paintings. Seeing how florists choose to interpret the work is fascinating. Some literal (see photo of Enforcer by Alice Gibson below), some not so much (a floral depiction of George Washington by Rembrandt Peale was a stretch to say the least).

How does the art/floral paring come to be? Well, the museum determines which pieces they want in the show. Then in January, the florists meet and draw their assigned artwork out of a hat. The only stipulation is that you can’t use big vases filled with water or include food in your arrangement – basically anything that might harm the art if spilled. Otherwise, everything else is free game.

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Charing Cross Bridge by Claude Monet, Flowers by Melinda Roeleveld

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A Miami Must-See

This is the first time I’ve written since the new year so a very happy 2016 to you all! My fingers are a little cold, as it’s freezing in St. Louis, but hoping they’ll warm up with the subject matter at hand.

We were in Miami for the holidays visiting family and explored the coolest area… the Wynwood Art District, just north of downtown Miami and a stones throw from the much-hyped Design District. It’s park meets art gallery meets town square, the center of which are the Wynwood Walls- huge walls painted in colorful, crazy ways that surround a faux grass green. There’s a cafe in the center, The Wynwood Kitchen and Bar and a ton of people taking in the sights. The walls were erected in 2009, in a then-downtrodden warehouse district of Miami, where many artists had studios because rents were cheap. Graffiti littered the buildings, many were vacant…not a place you’d want to be found alone at night. You get the idea.

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A Studio Tour

I was wandering through Lafayette Square recently, when I stumbled upon the unexpected. Blocks from the Square, there is an ivy covered pergola that leads to the studio and gallery of artist Daven Anderson. Originally from Chicago, Daven and his wife have lived in St. Louis for almost 10 years. Now retired, he focuses on his art full time. He describes his work as “urban realism” — painting scenes from city streets and urban environments. He’s done commissioned pieces for the US Coast Guard, The Sheldon Concert Hall and the Missouri Athletic Club, to name a few.  The gallery is a little more Miss Havisham than Gagosian, but I’m not complaining. My personal favorite is a work he painted of City Garden at night. And, if you aren’t in the market for a piece of art, but still want to experience the studio, Daven offers day and evening watercolor classes. Below are some pictures from my visit, but check out his website for more info and better photos of his work.

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Fashion as art

We were invited to a wedding in Chicago last month and used it as an excuse for a getaway sans kids. What a treat. The weather was fabulous and we explored parts of the city that I hadn’t seen in years. Joe grew up in Chicago, so seems every time we go to “Chicago” we spend the time in the suburb where he grew up. While the suburbs are pretty in their own right, there’s nothing like a weekend downtown. Below are pictures from the wedding that was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown. What a setting to say “I do.” The ceremony took place on the back patio overlooking the sculpture garden, cocktails on yet another patio, then dinner and dancing in the main exhibit hall. An added bonus… guests could explore the galleries between courses. I’ll drink to that!

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Graffiti Gallery Now Open

Did you know that one of the largest graffiti festivals takes place in St. Louis every year? Well it does- along the roughly 1.5 miles of flood wall lining the Mississippi, just south of downtown. It began back in 1995 as “The Paint Louis Jam” – started by a group of friends who wanted to see graffiti-as-art get the attention it deserved. Since then it’s evolved into what it is today… bands and artists from all over the country gather to celebrate street culture in a weekend long soiree. This year over 100 artists made the pilgrimage to St. Louis to claim their stake on the wall and showcase their skills. One San Diego artist I talked to called Paint Louis, “The biggest graffiti fest and best graffiti wall in the country”… which might actually be true, since the wall was named the Largest Graffiti Mural by the Guinness Book of World Records back in 1998. Images ranged from the occult to almost whimsical and will last for a few weeks or months until other, non-sanctioned, graffiti is painted over it. Then the whole process will begin again next year.

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