define art

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A vintage desk littered with a sticker book and keys- what looks random and haphazard is really carefully thought out art in Fort Gondo.

On the Westernmost section of Cherokee Street, between Michigan and Compton, sits a very tiny and very unassuming gallery called Fort Gondo. It’s right next to its sister space, Beverly Gallery. Open since the early 2000’s, both are original fixtures on the street and somewhat responsible for the movement of the art scene to Cherokee, as we know it today. When I stopped in last Thursday (you have to plan your visit strategically, as they are only open Thursdays and Saturdays from 12-4) I found the most unusual exhibit that is most definitely worth sharing.

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The space reads very much like a residence: exposed brick, small rooms, a bathroom visible from the entry.  The exhibit is called Time and Fragments and is on display until October 1st. It showcases new sculptures by Chris Thorson surrounded by the handwritten poems of Joanna Mc Clure.  Inspired by McClure’s poetry, Thorson created a space full of common place objects, strategically arranged and organized. I think the gallery brochure says it best, in describing the exhibit as “poetic jottings and uncanny replicas of ordinary stuff.”

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a little dabble do ya

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Last Tuesday night me and 8 other people met in a small record shop on Cherokee Street with a common mission: to learn how to cross-stitch. And we were brought together by Dabble. Dabble, founded in 2011, is an online marketplace for DIY classes that teaches everything from soap making, to beer brewing, to how to install wainscoting. Classes are a few hours in length and cost about 40 dollars, with the idea that you get everything you need to know in just one class. One and done. Sign me up.

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The inside of Kismet Records – a record store and gallery space that also hosts concerts (and is it me or does it look like the set of High Fidelity?)

And so that’s just what I did. I learned the basics of cross-stitching in person by Sonia, creative director of Kismet Creative Center and also an avid cross-stitcher. Sure I could have gone about learning this skill via You Tube video or found a book at the library, but there was something about trekking to this new space and meeting these new folks to simultaneously learn this new skill that was cool and communal. It’s also part of Dabble’s mission: to help raise awareness of local vendors and venues while creating community involvement. Sonia feels it too, saying a huge reason she teaches these classes is to see the community come together for the sake of art. It was a real kumbaya moment.

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Stop the presses

This is going to read much like a paid advertisement, but I promise you it is not. It’s just the story of a girl falling in love with a tiny print shop near the corner of Oregon and Cherokee Street in St. Louis. There stands the Firecracker Press, a studio that’s damn good at making new, hip art that kinda looks old. They design and print everything from posters, to invitations, to stationary, to business cards.

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