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| @KranzbergArts | @TheMarcelle

1820 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103 314-421-6655 ALIVE Volume 15 Issue 2_IFC IBC.indd 1

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Introducing Augmented Reality

A Brand-New Way to Experience This Magazine and Get Bonus Content

“I go wherever my creativity takes me.” -Lil Wayne

Try me to experience bonus content!

First, visit Google Play or the App Store to download the Layar app for free. Then, continue reading the magazine as usual. << When you come upon this smartphone symbol, use the app to scan the page. The app then reveals the next layer of content we want you to see—behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive interviews and more, all in the palm of your hand.

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Publisher’s Note ONE OF MY FRIENDS told me that there was a point in history when the human race was almost extinct and it was the artists who figured out how to save us. I haven’t fact-checked this because I’m too attached to the image of people dressed in SKIF-like clothing, gathering in secret rooms and conspiring to save the world. Throughout history, artists have transformed communities, revitalized neighborhoods and inspired people to think, to act, to look outward, and to look inward.

innovation, risk-taking and openness is critical to our region’s growth. The author of “The Rise of the Creative Class,” Richard Florida, said, “Beneath the surface, unnoticed by many, an even deeper force was at work—the rise of creativity as a fundamental economic driver, and the rise of a new social class, the Creative Class.” Florida makes a case for cities like St. Louis to reimagine themselves by focusing resources on members of the creative class such as entrepreneurs, makers and artisanal food purveyors.

For me, artists serve as a spirit guide on how to live, approach business and take part in the community. When I first learned about the events in Ferguson, I wasn’t sure what to do. I remember receiving an email from an art organization about artists getting together to talk about what to do, and I signed up immediately. More than 60 artists showed up that night. It was an emotional discussion; people were screaming at each other, while others quietly sobbed. At one point, the organizer tried to pivot the conversation, and one of the artists said, “It’s too soon for solutions. We need to be sad. We need to mourn. We need to just be willing to sit together in this mess.” We sat there in silence for a few minutes, holding space for emotions that have been ignored for far too long. Afterward, several people exchanged emails and phone numbers to keep the conversations going. I walked away that evening reminded of the importance of staying present and showing up for the messiness in the middle.

The other night, someone said that they were embarrassed that St. Louis is known for three things: “Floods, Ferguson and the Rams leaving.” This brought up three questions for me: Why are we embarrassed by natural disasters beyond our control? Why are we embarrassed about an awakening that happened right here in America’s heartland? And, the Rams left? Later that night, a woman gave me a children’s book that shows how art has played a significant role in bringing together the community in Ferguson. It has pictures of people who came together and the art that was created to support dialogue, understanding and change. One of the murals portrays a quote from Jonathan Larson: “The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation.”

Though we have long recognized the creativity inherently required in fields such as architecture, graphic design and science, we are now beginning to better understand its value in engineering, business, education, law and health care. I believe the creative economy centered on

This city has incredible makers, artists, writers, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, creative agencies, architects, activists and world-renowned art institutions. As our region wrestles with who we are going to be over the next twenty years­—where the economic growth will come from, how we can attract and retain talent and how we can set an example for the rest of the country on what social change should look like—let’s consider investing in the creatives, and show the world that there is magic in the messiness of the middle.


Elizabeth Tucker @eliz_tucker

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meet the team ALIVE Media Group Co-founders Elizabeth Tucker Kelly Hamilton Attilio D’Agostino Editor Rachel Brandt Managing Editor Kelsey Waananen

Co-founder/Director of Content Jennifer Dulin Wiley

Contact 2200 Gravois Ave., #201 St. Louis, MO 63104-2848 Tel: 314.446.4059 Fax: 314.446.4052 Sales: 314.446.4056

Account Strategist Savannah Davis

General Inquiries

A Dangerous Profession: Brand + Content Studio

Entrepreneur Quarterly

Fashion Editor Sarah Stallmann

Co-founder/Managing Partner Kelly Hamilton

Community Manager Mackenzie Taylor

Editor & Community Manager Mary Mack

Editorial Advisor Jennifer Dulin Wiley Copy Editor Brendan Beirne Creative Director Amanda Dampf Art Assistant Lexi Sesti Senior Account Executive Susie Jensen

ALIVE Influencer Network

Subscriptions Subscribe to ALIVE Magazine, view our free digital issue and purchase reprints on, or call us at 314.446.4059 to order a subscription.

Co-founder/Director of Business Development Lindsay Pattan

Contribute ALIVE accepts freelance art, photo and story submissions. For more information please email

Senior Accounts/Project Manager Alicia Underwood Marketing Manager Laura Heying Marketing Associate Aramide Esubi

Account Executive Devon Crouse Account Manager Micaela Hasenmueller Sales Consultants Molly Fontana, Brigid Pritchard Office Manager Laura Runde Executive Assistant Jennifer Elliott

Advertising Content in ALIVE labeled “featured partners or vendors” denotes sponsored and paid-for content. Thank you for supporting the businesses that keep ALIVE growing. For advertising rates and information, email

Interns Summer Albarcha, Natalie Boesch, Taylor Conran, Kathryn Croney, Nia Darden, Daniel Darkside, Chelsey Farris, Ashley Ferguson, Jennifer Fetcho, Bryant Finerson, Jeremy Gatzert, Brandon Halley, Alex Isbell, Courtney Kluge, Klara Kobylinski, Nolan Manning, Paige Whitehead

Printed in Canada by Hemlock Printers at their Carbon Neutral printing facility using vegetable-based inks and FSC®-approved paper containing recycled fibers. ALIVE, Volume 15, Issue 2 (Periodical #025092) is published by ALIVE Media Group, L.L.C., 2200 Gravois Ave., #201 St. Louis, MO 63104-2848. Periodicals Postage paid at St. Louis, MO, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ALIVE, 2200 Gravois Ave. #201 St. Louis, MO 63104-2848. © 2016 ALIVE Media Group, LLC.

Color me!

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Keep your fashion forward. DMSALON.COM

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Letter from the Editor WE ARE ALL BORN CREATIVES. In October of 1976, TIME Magazine quoted Pablo

Picasso saying, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” We believe art begins as a spark in our mind and the fire is stoked in our hearts as it burns into the creations we produce throughout our lifetime. Perhaps for some, those creations are a lasting and impactful touch that is left with a loved one. For others, artistic legacies may include an award-winning piece of music or a painting hanging in SLAM. A person’s gifts can create opportunity, and as Sarah Hermes Griesbach demonstrates (page 44), with the proper resources and support, those gifts can mold a career and build community. Often the process of creative pursuit and artistic expression is what bring the most satisfaction. James McAnally’s reflection on the creative process (page 24) takes you deep into the mind of several local artists and what impact culture may have had on their vision and artistic promulgation. In our first Creativity Issue, we focus on juxtaposing the stories of local creators with moving imagery to spark inspiration. From the refugees crafting beautiful work at Narrative Furniture to the traditional barbering of Megan Nichols at Union Barbershop, our region is rich with artists producing in a multitude of media. Get lost in the literary works of poet Eileen G’Sell (page 22) and playwright Nancy Bell (page 18). Pull out your colored pencils and doodle on the masthead. Flip through the stunning photo essays filled with fine art (page 66) and Pantoneinspired fashion (page 54). With this issue we’re also taking a bold step and introducing an interactive new way to experience bonus digital content using the pages of this magazine. Download the Layar App from Google Play or the App Store for free and enter a world of altered reality by scanning the pages with your smartphone. Every time you see the smartphone icon on a page, the app will reveal a world of fresh content that you can experience immediately upon scanning. We hope this addition will inspire you in real time, St. Louis, as you inspire us daily. To the Picassos of our time, we see you. It takes balls of steel to keep showing up and saying “yes” to a creative life. But, as so many of us know, the choice of whether or not to continue making art is not our own. The feeling lives deep within us and presents itself in every detail of our lives, from what we wear to how we eat. Creatives of our region, we see you. We hear you. We are you.


Rachel Brandt @TheRachelBrandt

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Philip Slein Gallery 4735 McPherson Avenue Saint Louis, Missouri 63108 p 314.361.2617 f 314.361.8051

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44 66

In This Issue 12 People | Union Barbershop 14 Trends | Pantone 2016 16 Makers | Narrative Furniture 18 Theater | Modern Romance


20 Food | Ben Poremba 22 Poetry | “Closure” 24 Civic | Supporting Artists


30 Partners | Community Leaders 44 Art | Culture + Process 54 Fashion | Only Hue 66 Photo Essay | “Haute Hip-Hop” 72 Guide | Spring Arts Events 74 Calendar | Find Us Here


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76 Guide | Summer Camps 80 Interview | Jarrel Lawrence

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8825 LADUE ROAD • BYRDSTYLE.COM • 314.721.0766

Photo by Attilio D’Agostino.

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contributors Creativity is … Nancy Bell

Rikki Byrd

Attilio D’Agostino

Eileen G’Sell





“ ... vigilant doubt management! Doubt must be boxed and stacked and scheduled and shuffled and argued with and sent to its room without supper. This is basically what creativity consists of.”

“ ... self-liberation. It is a way to make sense of a complicated world through innovation and storytelling. Creativity is driven by inspiration and how a person’s ideas impact a larger community. It is a projection of who we have been, who we are, and who are we becoming.”

“I frequently ponder the mysteriousness of creativity. I am fascinated by the way ideas bubble up from my subconscious fully formed and I’m entirely unable to trace their genesis. I don’t have a specific creative process. I follow my curiosity and devour the stories and information that fascinate me. I know this reservoir of moods and tales inspires and drives me to create, but I don’t know how or why all the words become pictures.”

“ ... to swim the waters of thought and expression that others have bequeathed to arrive at your own unusual shore.” Twitter: @Reckless_Edit

Sarah Hermes Griesbach

Kat Hinkle

Matt Kile

Raphael Maurice


Hair + Makeup Artist



“... fearless. Try to control it and we get a parody of something real. Give humans room to create from their own places of understanding and they hit universal truths.”

“ … taking a small piece of yourself and adding it to the world.”

“Creativity, for me, is about curiosity. My work relies on the ability to solve a problem so it is important to remain open and curious enough to see a solution which wasn’t there before.”

“ ... a force to be used well, with regularity. It requires nurturing and encouragement, not just from others but from the self. Creativity and discipline complement each other, like husband and wife, a frame around a painting, an olive in a martini.”

James McAnally

Amber Perry

Ben Poremba

Kat Reynolds


Hair + Makeup Artist



“ ... a way to see the world differently; to create is to make it different, in varying degrees.”

“I see creativity as self-expression and individuality, using personal thoughts and feelings to create your own form of art.”

Jennifer Silverberg

Michelle Volansky

Photographer “ ... an invitation to explore, devour, reflect, and move. It is an insatiable curiosity. It is a compulsion and an inspiration. It is a deep breath on a crisp day. It is the warm sun streaming through the slightly parted curtains of my bedroom. It is letting the bad ideas go in order to make room for the good ones, and recognizing the difference. It is everything.”

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“Creativity doesn’t necessarily “ ... the innate response your mind mean doing something new, composes to express what you can unfamiliar, and without reference; not always place in a tupperware in its most poignant form, container of mundane. It takes creativity means elevating the over your senses and allows you old, the familiar, to heights the pleasure of relaxed skill, which heretofore unexperienced.” in turn reciprocates a gift that no mathematic equation can achieve. It is not learned, but fed; for it is living”

Illustrator “To me, creativity means you feel the need to express yourself by creating something. Making a statement by writing a song, releasing some anger by penning a poem, or just drawing because you can’t imagine life without it.”

Interested in contributing?

ALIVE accepts freelance art, photo and story submissions. For more information, please email

2/19/16 9:37 AM

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Cut/Classic A look inside Union Barbershop’s classic approach and the woman at its helm.


One of the newest additions to the budding St. Louis small business community, Union Barbershop, comes by way of seasoned St. Louis barber Megan Nichols, entrepreneur Sean Baltzell (Tower Classic Tattoo, Knife & Flag), Adam Taylor and Frank Uible. With Nichols’ 8 years of experience in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, the shop has been built from the ground up to highlight the art of classic barbering—without frills or extras. The partnership between Baltzell and Nichols began organically. Knife & Flag—Baltzell, Taylor and Uible’s widely favored line of workwear aprons—cites the barbering community as one of its biggest fans; and Nichols—whose husband, Evan, is a tattooer at Baltzell’s main shop, Tower Classic Tattoo—is an eight-year barbering veteran who has an impressive repertoire of some of the coolest clients in the city. The obvious connection and ‘family business’ appeal is one of the reasons Union Barbershop is already a standout in the city’s community of locally owned businesses.


Keeping the classic barbering tradition alive, Union celebrates the simplicity of men’s grooming by focusing on the basics: clean cuts, fades, hot shaves and beard and mustache trims. A line of STL-based men’s grooming products (including beard oils, waxes and pomades) also enhances the personal touch, created in collaboration with Knife & Flag and the local, environmentally conscious brand Better Life. A perfect complement to the talented crew of barbers—five and counting—is the unique decor and layout of the space. The two-story building houses the Knife & Flag studio upstairs, and Union Barbershop on the ground floor. The main barber’s room is located in front, featuring four chairs and a retail station stocked with the latest men’s grooming products from Knife & Flag. A refreshment area, manned by one of three shopkeeps—often features the latest locally crafted brews, adding to the casual feel of the space. Union Billiards is the main feature of the second half of the first floor. There, you’ll find a relaxing area that

features leather furniture, vintage Playboys, pinup decor, taxidermy and more (thanks to Nichols’ and husband Evan’s personal collection), making it a comfortable place to wait for a cut or just hang out. A shampoo room, complete with a foosball table, provides the finishing touch to a space that’s vibey to the max. Cool decor aside, Nichols’ personality and skill set have a common theme: razor sharp and straight to the point—making it obvious why her loyal client list keeps growing. “We have a great crew here that’s really passionate about the art of barbering and we are so lucky to have crafted a team that we feel complements our ultimate mission. We like to keep things simple. Everyone should feel comfy and at home. Take the time to come in and take it easy. There’s no such thing as a quick 10-minute haircut here.” Visit Union Barbershop for a cut or just pop in and say hello six days a week. Read more about Union Barbershop at


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The Progressive Palette Spring collections take a cue from Pantone’s top fashion shades, with a range of hues that are calm, cool and politically connected.


Rose Quartz

Peach Echo


Snorkel Blue


Taking the fashion industry’s lead, Pantone has combined its typical male/female color theories into one 10-color unisex palette that mirrors the progressive lack of gender separation in fashion and beyond. Pantone’s choice to take a stand on the gender equality front comes as no surprise. The company has long been a respected entity in the world of fashion and design, pinpointing what consumers can expect to see each year based on the most current societal and runway trends. Designers and artists alike are encapsulating their creativity in new ways this year, pushing the boundaries of seasonal norms and taking a slower,

Limpet Shell

Lilac Gray


Iced Coffee

Green Flash

more intentional approach to their collections. The art and fashion worlds have rarely been as simpatico as they are today, showcasing work that mirrors the conflicts (war, refugees and politics) and the needs (relaxation, tranquility and peace) of humanity as a whole. The world of fast fashion has also affected the flow, inspiring some designers (most notably Rebecca Minkoff and Burberry) to literally hit the brakes on releasing collections seasons in advance. Whatever the reason, fashion has always reflected the social and political climate and can be a valuable driver of change and progress. Not to mention, slowing down is oh, so chic.

Stuart Weitzman “Aqua” heel, Manolo Blahnik “Carolyne” heel, Jimmy Choo lace-up heel, Givenchy satchel, Tory Burch cross-body bag and Elizabeth + James “Scott” mini moon bag available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9200. Prada “Calzature Donna” heel, Prada satchel and Rebecca Minkoff mini “Love” cross-body bag available at Neiman Marcus, Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9811.


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The Sound of Work Narrative Furniture makes its mark and gives a chance to the deserving. BY RAPHAEL MAURICE + PHOTOS BY MATT KILE

In a modest studio space along Jefferson Avenue, Narrative Furniture holds the sweet smell of wood, the sound of work and a story. The company, founded in 2014, began with the dream of making better lives. By hiring refugees from war-torn countries, Founder/ CEO Andy Kim sees to it that, having made the difficult journey to America, these workers have a chance to put their skills to use.

distinct roles that are aligned with our gifts. Auday, for example, who’s from Iraq, has more than 17 years of professional training and experience in civil engineering and management. He naturally thinks in terms of efficiency, systems, processes and protocols. He’s a real asset to the company because he is able to translate that skill set to our operations.

The employees behind each dining table, desk, cutting board and flower box inspect every load of lumber that comes to them, “because the natural beauty of the raw materials is paramount to the finished product, and so we source only the most premium and scrutinized materials,” Kim explains. The work of many yields something exquisite and unique, and the men behind the saws and sanders bring their previous experiences to the table.

“Bruce comes with more than 40 years of professional experience. He’s our resident expert: We rely on him for his technical capabilities. He’s a perfectionist by nature, which helps,” Kim continues.

According to Kim, “As a startup brand, everyone does everything. But we do have

“Qais, who came from Afghanistan, has an eye for detail. We call him our ‘finish guy’—he often sees things that others miss, which is crucial to achieving the quality of the finished product. He has really good hands. “Umer, from Eritrea, is fearless. He has a real

gift for woodworking and, if he wants, can have a thriving career in the field. He’s precise and can mill wood like no other. He’s strong, hardworking and always eager to learn.” These men are helping Narrative embark on a journey of its own in STL: bringing quality, handmade furniture bearing the signature bowtie that was once used by furniture makers to cover blemishes or seams in their work. In Narrative’s hands, it serves as a tribute to the craft and as a mark of their own work. In the basement at Narrative, saws kick up and belt-sanders whir. This is the area that seems to be Kim’s favorite, where design and diligence come together in a type of song that tells Narrative’s story, a tale of craftsmanship, beauty and hope. Learn more about Narrative Furniture at


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2/19/16 9:46 AM

Modern Romance A local writer is making a splash on the national theater scene with this sexy 10-minute production. BY RACHEL BRANDT + ILLUSTRATED BY MICHELLE VOLANSKY

In “Present Tense,” a frenetic and innovative short play that recently premiered in New York City as part of the LaBute New Theatre Festival, St. Louis-based playwright Nancy Bell asks us to consider what effect technology has on a 21st-century relationship. In our favorite scene (published right), Debra and Walter—both married to other people—have been building a technologically tangled affair and meet in a hotel room to consummate the relationship. When they meet in person, however, they realize that it’s much harder to carry on the tryst without their respective devices and what results is a captivating 10-minute piece of performance art. We caught up with Bell between rehearsals for her current production in California to discuss “Present Tense.” What makes a 10-minute play impactful? A 10-minute play has to move at the speed of life. It has to start out immediately, set up a conflict and images and conventions instantly, and develop those things exponentially with each line. They are like theatrical poems, and are actually very difficult to write. I like it when 10-minute plays are like a flash or a burst, with too much happening to quite keep up or fully 18

understand until later. I wrote the first five pages and sent them to my writing partner, Peter Grandbois, without any explanation or preamble. He picked up where I left off and sent it back to me. We wrote 10 short plays this way, and they comprise a full-length work called “Mutual Consent,” which I happen to be rehearsing in California as we speak. It’s being produced at California Repertory Company, a professional company that is attached to the MFA program at California State University Long Beach. What was your inspiration and what effect does technology have on 21st-century relationships? I think that I’m really lucky to be in the generation I’m in. We are the generation of wonder and we got to take this ride. We remember when phones were attached to walls in buildings and the only way you could call someone is if you were standing near one of those walls. Technology has profoundly, permanently altered how we perceive love objects. It is all happening so fast, no one really understands it all. We lived a long time in the pre-personal tech device world and then, poof! That world was gone seemingly overnight. It fills me with wonder and

it also makes me cry. That’s what the characters [in “Present Tense”] are up against. How did you connect with St. Louisan William Roth of the LaBute New Theatre Festival? I auditioned for “The Goat” at St. Louis Actors’ Studio shortly after I moved to St. Louis. I wanted that role so badly, I felt like I had destiny with that role. Fortunately, I was right and I got to do it. William was in it and the rest is history. He is a true theater impresario who manages to dream big, think big and make things happen. His theater is the only small theater in town that is working hard to make St. Louis voices heard on a national scale, and I feel lucky to be along for that ride. What effect do you think this play will have on a millennial audience? Beats me, but I hope it’s sexy, absurd, fun and also inspires the audience to reach beyond the screens to really touch each other in person and in real time. That’s what theater and sex are about. Read more about Modern Romance at


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Excerpt from Nancy Bell’s “Present Tense”

MARTIN: (reading aloud from the laptop on her face) Dearest Martin, Today I am finally going to meet you. Really meet you. I have carefully bathed and curled my hair. I have tried out three different outfits until I’ve found the one that is perfectly me. I have brushed my teeth four times and checked my watch at least a dozen times an hour since I awoke this morning. I am like the rubber bands my son launches through the air and gets in trouble with at school, just at the moment before he lets them fly. Stretched taut, expectant, utterly focused on home. Home. You have become a home for me. You are the only one who sees me, who can really hear me, hear what my heart is crying out, has always been crying out. I can’t sleep at night until I conjure you: your hair, your eyes, your face, all of which I’ve never seen, except that one night so long ago it feels like another lifetime. In these moments, you are only a memory of a voice on the phone, of words in an email. “I’m kissing you, I’m touching you, I’m fucking you. I love you.” I have a terrible fear that when we do finally meet, I’ll discover that you have no body after all, that you are only a voice or an idea, echoing in the empty hotel room. (He stops reading and rolls off of her, turning his back to her. She sits up, takes his computer, and continues reading.) Worse, I sometimes know that I am only an idea, not even a voice, but just breath. Breath in an empty room.

(She stops reading, closes her computer and turns away from him. He gathers his clothes and prepares to leave. As he crosses to the door, she grabs her cell phone and texts him.)

MARTIN: (Reading his cell phone) Please. (He stands before the door, his back to her. He texts her.)

DEBRA: (Reading from her cell phone) Please what?

(She texts him again.)

MARTIN: (Reading his cell phone) Please love me when I meet you. Please prove that I am real.

(He texts her back.)

DEBRA: (Reading from her cell phone) I’m sorry. I don’t know how.

(She texts him again.)

MARTIN: (Reading from his cell phone) Goodbye. (He starts to text her but stops. He lays his cell phone on the table. He opens the door, then hesitates. Slowly, he turns to her.) MARTIN: Saudade.

(She starts to type in her answer on her cell phone.)

MARTIN: Saudade.

(She raises her head. They stare at each other for a long moment, the longest moment in the play.)

DEBRA: Touch me. (He steps toward her and hesitates.) DEBRA: Touch me. (He touches her, pulls her to him.) MARTIN: Kiss me. DEBRA: Please. BOTH: Kiss me.

(They kiss. She drops her cell phone. Lights fade.)

Nancy Bell is an award-winning playwright and Assistant Professor of Theater at Saint Louis University. She also serves as the Playwright-in-Residence for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, where she created contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare, “The New World,” “Old Hearts Fresh,” “Good in Everything” and “The World Begun.”

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The Humble Potato One chef’s reflection on simple dining done extraordinarily well. BY BEN POREMBA + PHOTOS BY JENNIFER SILVERBERG

Recently, my niece asked me an unlikely question. She was curious to find out if I had a favorite dish that I equally like to both cook and eat. Her answer was— without a hint of reflection—mac and cheese. I didn’t have to think about mine much longer either: definitely mashed potatoes. The potato, the silent public servant. There to do a job. Taken for granted. Overlooked. Understated, and yet so prolific and ubiquitous. Comforting, like a generous rich uncle, and easy to get along with: Salt is his best friend, and butter’s his lover. He is in bed with beef, swims with the fishes and is frequently seen with the egg. When done well—fries, hash browns, latkes, fondant, dauphinois, Anna, rösti—potatoes are sublime. As a young cook, I had heard of this demigod chef named Joël Robuchon, who, despite a lifetime of creating the most intricately composed dishes, became known for his pommes puree—aka mashed potatoes. The fame was so wide that epicures from around the world traveled continents to go to Jamin in 20

Paris and paid upwards of $50 a bowl for the most velvety, silky, rich, buttery, nutty mashed potatoes. I was fortunate enough to taste this delicacy when Robuchon opened a slightly more affordable eatery called L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in the early 2000s. The dish was every bit as transcendent as I expected it to be. This taught me an invaluable lesson in my journey to becoming a better cook and a better craftsman: Creativity doesn’t necessarily mean doing something new, unfamiliar and without reference. In its most poignant form, creativity means elevating the old, the familiar, to heights heretofore not experienced. So without further ado:  Joël Robuchon’s mashed potatoes. The key to this rich and velvety pommes puree is to use the right potato (a buttery variety like Yukon Gold) and to dry them out after running them through a ricer. Read on for his amazing mashed potatoes recipe.


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Now Open Six new restaurants feeding St. Louisans now. Melo’s Pizza Benton Park

STL’s newest Neapolitan pizza spot boasts a beautiful wood-burning oven that boldly bears the words “St. Louis The King.” The pizzas produced from that powerful oven are simple but mighty. Most begin with the same ingredients—tomato sauce and herbs—and are followed by Italian cheeses and a few select toppings.

Midtown Sushi and Ramen Midtown

Joël Robuchon’s Pommes Puree (Mashed Potatoes) Serves: 6 | Preparation: 15 Minutes | Cooking: 35 Minutes

Ingredients: 2 lbs. potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn, Ratte, or BF15, scrubbed and unpeeled Coarse salt 2 cups whole milk 2 sticks butter, diced and kept well chilled until used Salt Pepper

Preparation: Put the potatoes in a saucepan with 2 quarts cold water and one tablespoon of coarse salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until a knife slips in and out of the potatoes easily and cleanly, about 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes and peel them. Put them through a potato ricer (or a food mill fitted with its finest disk) into a large saucepan. Turn the heat under the saucepan to medium and dry the potato flesh out a bit by turning it vigorously with a spatula for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, rinse a small saucepan, pour out the excess water, but do not wipe it dry. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Turn the heat under the potatoes to low and incorporate the wellchilled butter bit by bit, stirring it in energetically for a smooth, creamy finish. Pour in the very hot milk in a ring until all the milk has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and taste for salt and pepper.

In the former Flying Rolls space, Conan Sutton is bringing two decades of experience in sushi and his mom’s history with ramen to Midtown. The menu is a blend of old school and new school, from specialty rolls and a kimchi ramen, to a selection of simple nigiri and a more traditional pork ramen.


Delmar Loop With an emphasis on convenience, this Ethiopian menu is like a condensed version of the owners’ other shop, Meskerem. The casual setting allows diners a few easy options—Wot (stew) or Tibs (grilled protein)—and three plating styles—Classic (on flatbread), Fit-Fit (tossed with flatbread, eaten with your fingers or a fork) or Ba-Rooz (with rice).

Olive & Oak

Webster Groves A fine dining establishment sporting oysters and shareable prime cowboy ribeye, Olive & Oak has been well received since its opening this winter. Even the casual sandwiches are elevated takes on their inspirations. A French Dip is taken to the next level with the addition of roasted lamb and Marcoot Jersey Creamery’s Ewe’s Special.


Clayton In mid-February, Ben Poremba opened his first restaurant outside of the Botanical Heights neighborhood. Parigi—the Italian word for Paris—serves what Poremba describes as Italian food made with the precision of French preparation. Enjoy the housemade pastas, antipasti and shareable sides.


Downtown This highly anticipated restaurant from Gerard Craft opened in late January to much fanfare and genius social media marketing (hello Uber-delivered pasta and Instagram contests for free pasta). The fast-casual Italian joint serves up customizable dishes—base, protein, sauce and toppings—that cover most specialized diets: glutenfree, vegan, paleo. And the true treats are frozen: Look for the Negroni slushy and the gelato pops.

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While moving out of the yellow house, I found your soul in the basement. It was dusty, in a suitcase, but perfectly functional. My dog looked over. I showed it to him. He sniffed it out, then hid in the laundry. I thought about whether I’d use it or not. My own was old, but in pretty good shape. In the right kind of light, it could even look beautiful. Could a brand new room have the right kind of light? Can a brand-clean blue bring the best type of clouds? Dream on, little duck, little billfold of ache. Wax on, and then off, about patterns of breaking. You know how to scar, how to star the whole city; you lower your face to the pool that consumes. Wipe out the sun from your eyes, indeed. Rip off that tie you were wearing to please him. And if, in the end, we are not indifferent, smooth out the seams that scheme from below. You wanna get a piece of it? Marry the wary. You wanna go home? God bless you for wanting.

Eileen G’Sell’s cultural criticism and poetry have been featured in Salon, Flavorpill, Belt Magazine, DIAGRAM, the Boston Review, and Conduit, among other publications. She is Film & Media editor at The Rumpus and she teaches writing, film and poetry at Washington University in St. Louis. You can follow her on Twitter at @Reckless_Edit.

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Missouri History Museum




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From Mourning to Night

60+ dresses from the Museum’s world-renowned textile collection Open April 2–September 5 |

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Basil Kincaid’s “Reclamation Project” courtesy of the artist.

Under the Paving Stones, the Beach

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Uncovering the creative process with leaders in local art.


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“Under the paving stones, the beach.”

The phrase has lasted not just for its charged context, but also out of some poetic impulse to see things differently, to peer through a fixed material into another world. In other words, the phrase suggests something essential about the way we artists view the world. While penning this meditation on the creative process—that inexplicable flickering of an idea into a material—I found myself looking for bricks to pick up in search of some sand. The emphasis on social-driven art—a broader trend in the art of the last decade—has taken on particular resonance in St. Louis as artists have increasingly merged their creative practices with public processes. Take artist Mallory Nezam and architectural historian Michael Allen’s program, “Building as Body,” which aimed to connect yoga practices with abandoned sites throughout the city. Nezam describes the project as considering “the connection between the body, the self, the brick and the buildings it has built.” With sites ranging from the decaying Clemens mansion within the North side to Big Mound (the remnants of a cluster of Mississippian mounds that gave St. Louis its “Mound City” nickname), the project attempted to consider how we might imagine our relationship to ruin, to waste and to the potential futures of our built environment. The pair, along with a group of participants over multiple weekends, intervened in this material history, planning, as Nezam put it, “a chakra-based yoga as if each site or each building were a body.” Nezam and Allen asked, “What chakra center needed cultivation? What type of healing practice would this body need?” The performances inserted an ethos of healing and restoration into spaces that were at best abandoned, at worst ignored. The concept of transformation of brick, waste 26

and human error also informs area artists Basil Kincaid, Damon Davis and Eric “Prospect” White’s “Reclamation Project.” For this ongoing collaboration, the collective makes work from “the debris of our past as a way to forge a new future,” in which the “transformation and glorification of these abandoned materials comes to exemplify the potential for our transformation as humans evolving toward greater liberation.” In the project’s most recent incarnation, Kincaid collaged prepaid cellular and Wi-Fi scratch cards, found while the artist lived in Ghana, into intricate wall works and an array of human forms. If this material can be transformed into these interconnected patterns, Kincaid asks, how might we be transformed? On a mass scale, artists of the moment are exploring the borders of the meaning of art while attempting to craft a clear vision of what it means to be alive today. An art of our time may be unrecognizable to many viewers—the materials and sites have shifted—but the underlying meaning remains: art proposes the unlikely, the ineffable, the previously nonexistent. We are presently living in the midst of perhaps the most radical expansion of art into the indescribable forms of the everyday in history. Art greets us everywhere, more often than is even noticed or understood, on billboards and bus stops, in biennials and rehabilitated buildings, in protest movements and in unannounced interventions into the landscape. We are again seeing the beach beneath the bricks. If anything defines St. Louis’ art community and the creative process of its artists, it is these wideranging, difficult-to-distill initiatives that are often collaborative in nature, working around the traditional gallery system and proposing a social role for art. One of the most public forms of these practices is the “I-70 Sign Show,” a series of commissions that feature an artist’s text skywritten over the University of Missouri’s Faurot Field and interventions on billboards along the interstate, from St. Louis to Kansas City. Curator Anne Thompson recently described the motivations behind the project. “The interstate, or maybe the billboard generally, is one of the last places we see information or opinions that don’t conform to our tastes or values,” she says. “Online everything is tailored for us via algorithms; we just get more and more of what we ‘like.’ But on I-70, I see all kinds of things I don’t like at all, and there’s something wonderful in that.” This interruption enables us to confront the contradictions present in our literal landscape, our political disagreements and our unspoken social codes, shifting the billboard from a space of consumption to one of conversation.

Basil Kincaid’s “Reclamation Project” courtesy of the artist.

This translated phrase first appeared on the streets of Paris in the midst of the now iconic student protests in May of 1968. It has beauty, but also a kind of violence. Meant as a reimagining of the material world, it also referenced the cobblestones that the protestors of May ’68 picked up to throw through windows during street rallies. It is an unexpected vision in one version of the story, a planned shattering in the other. This civil unrest has parallels in our time, but is also a potential perspective on how one might understand creativity. At times, the artist has an idea and pursues a process of open-ended experimentation to arrive at something novel; at others, one breaks apart the process in order to understand something better, whether it be marble falling under a chisel or social systems twisted into new forms.


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(left + right) Artist Ilene Berman’s mobile studio, “Room13Delmar.” Photos by Jennifer Silverberg.

Other artists are working largely out of view, proposing new structures rather than public works. Groups like Yeyo Arts Collective, the Cowry Collective and Roots CoOp have experimented widely with alternative currencies, cooperative housing and time banking, using artistic practices to rethink the structures of our institutions and explore ways to take better care of one another. In these intersectional projects, the daily grain of life— down to a seeming scarcity of time—is redirected into a collective project of reciprocity, sustainability and sociality. In that vein, artist Ilene Berman’s mobile studio, “Room13Delmar,” creates a roving space for creativity on the sidewalks just north of Delmar. The project critiques the lack of artistic infrastructure north of the ‘Delmar divide,’ but also practically inserts itself as a diminutive institution celebrating and serving the creativity of the residents within its footprint. Berman takes her custom ‘vending tricycle’ to schools, senior centers and other community locations each week as a way “to reject as inevitable the reality of long-standing divides,” in particular as they relate to art access in lower income communities. Among the most visible, visceral and directly effective works over the past few years are the performative protests of systemic inequality by many St. Louis-based ‘artivists,’ including a mirrored casket by St. Louis artist De Andrea Nichols—created during the Ferguson protests—that has made

it to the Smithsonian Museum’s collections. Art as a tangible expression of a particular historical moment was never more immersively embodied than in the streets of St. Louis over the past few years, in an outpouring of sculpture, performance, public interventions, sound and new structures and institutions. Why is this how artists are working, where the studio goes mobile, the site shifts from the gallery to the billboard or abandoned building, and the creative process becomes part of larger social systems? When we start to view these things as the art of our time saying something of our community, of ourselves, we get closer to the root of what we collectively mean when we say ‘art.’ Art takes material, whether paint, politics, marble, movement, vacant lots or language, and redirects it as a means of remaking the world. This is a simple act in itself—you take a thing and change it—with unending interest. An art of the present always suggests another world, where the material that surrounds us has been remade in ever more thoughtful arrangements. To freeze that process, to see inside, is to see the world itself as changeable and as transparent as a paving stone. James McAnally is the founder, co-director and curator of The Luminary, an STL-based incubator for new ideas in the arts. He also works as the executive editor and co-founder of Temporary Art Review. VOLUME 15 // ISSUE 2

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The Public Media Commons in Grand Center is a dynamic, award-winning outdoor environment, perfect for unique, one-of-a-kind events, weddings, receptions and much more. A 9,000 square-foot space flanked on two sides by two-story screens, the Public Media Commons provides a digital canvas that can enhance the urban feel of the venue or transform the space into an exotic “destination.”

Go to for a visual experience, or email Angie Carr at to schedule a site visit.

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[cre•a•tivity] noun Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is formed. ALIVE has hand-selected this group of people, brands and organizations who are inspiring creativity in every corner of our lives. In the next several pages, you’ll find the stories and artful images that represent these partners’ unique missions and impact on the community.

Photography by Attilio D’Agostino, Matt Kile, Kat Reynolds and Jennifer Silverberg unless noted otherwise. After reading through the inspiring stories in this section, head to to engage with more of our partners’ compelling narratives.


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Top photo of Nomad Studio: Green Varnish, installation view, by David Johnson. Bottom left photo of Mel Chin: Rematch, installation view, by David Johnson. Bottom right photo of Arcangelo Sassolino: Not Human, installation view, by Carly Faye. Photos courtesy of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Offering new perspectives on the world through art. At CAM, a courtyard once filled with the luscious greenery of Nomad Studio’s “Green Varnish” now holds massive rocks bearing images of life-like flames, created for the museum by New York artist Peter Sutherland. Inside, where a wall of Lisa Yuskavage’s paintings of curvaceous female forms once stood, a half-court basketball installation by St. Louis artist Lyndon Barrois, Jr. takes its place. The constant transformation demonstrates CAM’s dedication to showcasing art that reflects the world around us and its own mission. But this change, growth and reflection goes deeper than the physical space. The museum’s curators take special care to bring in diversity in all forms—curating emerging and internationally known artists. CAM presents interactive instal-

lations, like “Sanatorium”—where volunteers and visitors activate an art-based psychotherapy experience—as well as more “traditional” exhibitions such as Arlene Shechet’s “Urgent Matter”—ceramic works that contemplate beauty and what sculptures should be. With a mix of installations, paintings, multimedia and multi-sensory experiences, CAM gives St. Louis a new museum in every room, every season. These experiences and learning opportunities aren’t lost on the city. “St. Louis is fortunate to have created and be able to support an institution like this,” says Unitey Kull, CAM Director of Marketing and Audience Development. “Contemporary art museums aren’t in every city, and CAM is putting our city on the map.”

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Photo by Jennifer Silverberg.


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Photos by Attilio D’Agostino.

Urban Matter Connecting, inspiring and showcasing local makers. What began with Amy Schafer and Mary Hennesy hosting pop-up sales in their 1904 Dutchtown storefront, has turned into a warm and inviting shopping destination that features home furnishings, custom lighting and unique gifts that appeal to both men and women. Urban Matter is a modern-day general store that offers a thoughtful, well-curated collection of hand-crafted and independently produced goods. Seventy percent of those items are from local and regional makers they respect and wholeheartedly believe in. “The shopping experience is what also stands out,” says Patrick Dolan from MANMADE. “Mary has the gift of making people feel comfortable in the store and there is a story behind every item, which makes me more interested in having that item.”

It continues to be the community connections, unique collaborations and friendships with the artists, customers and people in their neighborhood that are the most rewarding for these two owners. Neighbormaker-friend, Angela Malchionno from Enamel sums it up perfectly: “Stores like UM give us a rare opportunity to shop uniquely, slowly and very personally, which is special and makes you feel connected.” This mission to serve their community will continue as Urban Matter grows. The future holds a lot for the storefront/workshop/gathering place as they invite customers to slow down, relax and experience the best of St. Louis.

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Photo by Attilio Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Agostino.

A gathering place that nurtures women through fashion and inspired events. THEVAULTBYWCE.COM

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Photos by Matt Kile.

Nathalie’s Where farm-to-table creativity is served daily. When you’ve made a staunch commitment to serve the healthiest, freshest food possible, you find yourself innovating and creating every day. Owner Nathalie Pettus, her chefs and her farmers are living out that promise year after year, and have created an inspiring approach to food. It all starts with the famers at Pettus’ Overlook Farm, who must plan for a menu at least a year in advance. With cold temperatures, unpredictable growing patterns or unexpected demand of a product, they innovate heating solutions, work around crop failures and keep in mind what can realistically grow in Missouri. Once the fruits, vegetables and meat are delivered to the restaurant, the baton

is then passed to the chefs, who never have the same day—or menu really. Pettus compares her kitchen to the ones seen on “Chopped,” where the chefs must be innovative in the way they create new dishes. Pettus herself spends much of her time researching unique ways to bring St. Louisans the tastes and foods they want, prepared and presented in a responsible way. That means soy is off the menu, but coconut aminos takes its place for a satisfying, salty seasoning. It’s not the easiest approach to food, but Pettus firmly believes St. Louis is what it eats, and she’s more than willing to stay on her toes to serve the city what it deserves.

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Resurrected India Pale Ale has been reincarnated as Incarnation India Pale Ale. 4HANDSBREWERY.COM

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Top photo of Bad Jews at the New Jewish Theatre. Bottom left photo of the St. Louis Jewish Film Festival. Bottom right photo of the Jewish Arts & Soul Project. Photos courtesy of The J.

The J Fostering community growth through cultural arts and experience. The Jewish Community Center (The J) is known for excellence in fitness, and also for its award-winning cultural arts programming—author events, films, music, theater and more. In difficult times of cultural misunderstandings, sadness and fear, the arts present unique opportunities to explore our common human experiences and the differences that make our community stronger, more accepting and vibrant. The J’s mainstay programs—The New Jewish Theatre, Youth Theatre, St. Louis Jewish Book Festival, St. Louis Jewish Film Festival, Gesher Music Festival and the Jewish Arts & Soul Project—present diverse perspectives and hands-on experiences that are intellectually stimulating, thought-

provoking and, many times, life-shaping. Everyone is welcome at The J, and all are invited to explore its programs. Each theme and topic is universal, though presented through a Jewish lens. This spring, the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival invites you to meet author and creator of the “Hungry Girl” empire, Lisa Lillien. Experience “Old Wicked Songs” and “Yentl” (a play with music) at The New Jewish Theatre. Learn to belly dance with the Jewish Arts & Soul Project. Or, attend an amazing screening of the musical documentary “Rock in the Red Zone,” presented by the St. Louis Jewish Film Festival.

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Photo by Dan Donovan, courtesy of the CWE North CID.

Shop, dine and explore in the historic Central West End, named one of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top 10 neighborhoods. CWESCENE.COM

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Coming full-circle, COCA alumnus Antonio Douthit-Boyd and his husband, Kirven Douthit-Boyd (pictured in the top photo), returned to COCA in 2015 as COCA’s Co-Artistic Directors of Dance, after they had spent 11 years with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Photos courtesy of COCA.

COCA Stoking the creativity of St. Louisans—from artists to entrepreneurs. When meeting a successful person, one doesn’t have to dig very deep to find an artistic influence. Organizations nationwide have poured resources into studying exactly why and how this is true. One fact is constant: If children have access to the arts at a young age, they will be more successful in all aspects of life.

This year, COCA honors six of these impressive former students with the COCA Distinguished Alumni Award. Joanna Dee Das, PhD; Cornithea “Rio” Henderson; Kelly Marsh; Lauren Morrow; Christina Ramirez and Kameron N. Saunders will take their place on COCA’s Wall of Fame along with becoming recognizable role models and mentors for current COCA students.

COCA-Center of Creative Arts believes that’s true and has seen the results in their accomplished COCA alumni. Now adults, their careers deal with the arts in different areas—from arts administration, to contemporary ballet, to the history of dance—but with the confidence they gained while studying at COCA, they’ve all gone on to reach big goals.

Beyond just preparing St. Louisans for careers as artists, COCA also believes that the creativity inherent in the arts can create better entrepreneurs, managers and employees, and offers these opportunities through its innovative COCAbiz program and other classes. Art isn’t just for artists, it’s meant to be appreciated and harnessed by everyone.

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Photo by Kat Reynolds.

Giving back with pride. JUSTJOHNCLUB.COM

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Top photo of Hideki Seo’s On My Way exhibition. Bottom left photo of Marilyn Minter’s Swell, 2010. Bottom right photo of Marilyn Minter’s Nail Biter, 2010. Photos courtesy of projects+gallery.

projects+gallery Uniquely elevating art and fashion in an unexpected space. projects+gallery, an arm of parent company and art consulting firm Barrett Barrera, is bringing an uncommon artistic process to the city. The gallery is an experimental space, where director Dorte Probstein and owner Susan Barrett welcome artists whose innovative work is both art and fashion. This daring project—collecting pieces that may not have a defined space in other galleries—has been rewarded with “insanely positive feedback,” according to Probstein. Part of that praise is for the way p+g allows artists to create their own environments. For instance, when the gallery transformed itself from its lush, salon-like incarnation for the debut of Fantich & Young’s “Apex Predator” into an industrial, youth-oriented space for “Haute Hip-

Hop.” All the artists who exhibit there enjoy the rarest of rarities—the ideal arena for their art. But the European artists represented by Barrett Barrera aren’t the only ones who benefit from this new approach to curation. Probstein says locals will always have a home at p+g—whether featuring STL-based artists like Erica Dunk to collaborating with Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis’ New Art in the Neighborhood program for young artists. For the future, Barrett and Probstein have no plans of slowing down. As they pivot from international traveling shows to hyperlocal initiatives, projects+gallery creatively inserts a little more unpredictability into our art scene.

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Photo by Attilio Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Agostino.

More than just a boutique, BLUSH invites St. Louisans in to find their most beautiful, inspired life.


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Raising Our Own Supporting local talent tells the world we care about art.



t isn’t just the big silver welcome sign rising over the St. Louis skyline that makes this city prime real estate for creatives. Neighborhoods on both sides of the Mississippi are witnessing the rise of their own artists while new art galleries, more public museum programs and accessible studio spaces lift the areas where they sit. In short, St. Louis seems at the cusp of a golden age for artists, and so deserves a moment of reflection on what we value as a city, on the opportunities ahead of us, on who we want to be. St. Louis artists are pushing us to be more than we think we can be. It’s our artists’ job to express visually what they gather from life here in our Gateway City. We should claim them. They are our “philosopher kings” and their role here is serious business. Their street corner sculptures, cafeteria murals and vivid canvases take our stories across state lines, communicating our essence to the world and reflecting the world back to us. On an old brick wall facing a small grassy lot in the Old North business district that runs along St. Louis Avenue and North 14th Street just north of Downtown, a mural of Olympic hero Jesse Owens is splashed across the bricks. Surrounded by white stars in a field of blue, this black son of Alabama sharecroppers—running against all the odds, against every kind of hate and prejudice—is a figure of transcendence. He is perfectly aligned with the history of this area, a neighborhood that over the past decade has fought for revitalization after years of deterioration and abandonment. Jesse Owens’ story merges with our own of resilience and triumph. It has been a year since William Burton Jr. and Robert A. Ketchens began imagining the project that led to the Jesse Owens mural. It was natural for them to turn their attention toward young, emerging artists to complete the mural as part of the Raw Canvas arts education program they

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Cbabi Bayoc painting in his studio.

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Cbabi Bayoc makes his studio in the window light of Sweet Art in the Shaw neighborhood. He and his wife, Reine, opened the vegan cafe and art studio in 2008.

facilitate. Their excitement to celebrate the Olympic track star quickly spread to young artists in the neighborhood as the art duo began to recruit interns for the piece. What Raw Canvas has become is a St. Louis story of artists passing on their talents for generations. Burton Jr. and Ketchens are St. Louis’ artists. When they designed murals for the Metro art bus (as they did last spring) or they open the eyes of audiences to AfricanAmerican musical roots through their recent “A Song From the Field” exhibit at the Regional Arts Commission, all St. Louisans win. Their art gifts don’t just decorate our city, they explain our time and what we value—the perseverance and transcendence of an athlete who succeeded despite every obstacle and the network of community teachers and young artists that formed to complete this art project. Theirs are two names we ought to wear on jerseys, representing our St. Louis Art home team.

Another hometown art hero is painter Cbabi Bayoc. Bayoc’s current series of school murals, which can be found all over the city and county, and his public performance canvas paintings in those same schools are proof that there is a demand for supported art in St. Louis. Bayoc’s name hit every local news source during the “365 Days with Dad” project he began in 2012. Bayoc’s depictions of laughing, playing and hugging children paired with loving parents are taken from life, St. Louis life. We read these now-iconic, painted tableaux as scenes from our time. They are a record and a reminder of what is important. Ketchens, Burton Jr. and Bayoc are all independent artists working hard to make a living without the benefit of gallery representation. But even with gallery support and art-related day jobs, St. Louis artists work tirelessly to be seen, recognized and (most importantly) collected.


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William Burton Jr. and Robert A. Ketchens at Burton Jr.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home and studio in Shaw.

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Rosaries in Nancy Newman Riceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home.

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Nancy Newman Rice in the attic studio of her Victorian home in the Central West End.

Take artist Nancy Newman Rice, who is represented by Duane Reed Gallery, for example. After more than three decades of teaching art at Maryville University, Newman Rice took on a position as board member of Artists First, an open studio for artists with disabilities. Artists involved in the program see their work exhibited regularly in public places. This work outside of her studio enables Newman Rice to build community as she promotes creativity.

track. A few years back, the Center for the Study of Art & Community organized the “Artists Count” study to measure which areas of the city and county have the greatest density of professional artists. The results of this study found that Downtown, Midtown, Maplewood, Tower Grove East, Benton Park and Cherokee Street neighborhoods have particularly high concentrations of artists. So we know for sure that our growing pool of artists are establishing galleries and studios all over.

Newman Rice paints intricate, yet airy, interiors of otherworldly, cathedral-like spaces that appear to emanate light. Her paintings are not of St. Louis or St. Louisans, but she is a product of St. Louis and paints from within its context. Her paintings are our paintings because she is our artist. She’s a part of the group of St. Louisans who choose the colors, patterns, shapes and visual codes that mean St. Louis, Missouri 2016.

These locally dense artist communities are powerful assets for community development. As beloved St. Louis artists become popular local figures they raise the profile of the St. Louisans they identify with. The outcome of that cultural exposure is an increase in value, a rise in the social capital of the population that can claim its own successful artist.

So what is St. Louis, Missouri 2016? There’s no denying that we are experiencing a productive era for the visual arts. The Saint Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park and Pulitzer Arts Foundation have recently undergone major renovations while new galleries are popping up in Old North, Central West End, Grand Center, Cherokee Street, Downtown and the Metro East at a rate that makes growth difficult to

Art projects tend to draw attention to areas of our region that have formerly been disregarded by residents, investors and businesses. The Jesse Owens mural tells neighborhood kids that their home is fun, shows outsiders coming in to shop at the Old North Farmers Market that this place is friendly and opens up the possibility in more people’s minds that Old North is beloved. But Old North is not the only corner of our region where artists are making life lovely. The places where artists VOLUME 15 // ISSUE 2

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Nancy Newman Rice prepares the frame and canvas of a painting she recently sold to a collector in London.

work are nodes from which connective lines form links across imaginary borders like Delmar, 270 and the Mississippi River. We can bank on art to create a robust, integrated network of these cherished communities. Somewhere in the St. Louis region lives a young Nancy Newman Rice and a Cbabi Bayoc, not yet connected to the art resources that allow potential to become expertise. We will know that our region has fully developed its art home team when each community has its own anchor visual art center where sleeper cells of neighborhood art stars naturally rise up to reach their full potential. When we survey the inequities that exist in St. Louisans’ access to schools, parks, grocery stores and transit, we should also consider art. Within the dense map of our region’s sharp economic disparity sit art deserts. Art deserts aren’t places without artists. There are no such places. They are places where potential artists have no facilities in which to meet, no

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paid instructors and few examples to motivate them. Inclusion is key for cultivating our own team of successful St. Louis artists. Artists can’t make it without access to basic career tools and structures—such as grant awards, commissions, networking opportunities, access to exhibit space, entrepreneurial training. St. Louis benefits exponentially when we cultivate our own artists. When one of our own is included in a biennial, is mentioned in a major publication or breaks into the ranks of recognized artists, the region wins. And we owe it to these artists to promote their great work. Because artists foster pride, they strengthen communities and they enlighten us with what their art reveals. The artists we raise up to be OUR artists reflect back upon us. They enhance our importance as they tell the stories of our time and place. Sarah Hermes Griesbach is the Executive Editor and Cofounder of ALL THE ART, a St. Louis-based visual art quarterly magazine.

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Only Hue Pantone’s official colors of 2016—“Serenity” and “Rose Quartz”— create a fresh spring wardrobe palette.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ATTILIO D’AGOSTINO Stylist: Fashion Editor Sarah Stallmann Model: Nina Dapper for NY Model Management Hair: Amber Perry Makeup: Kat Hinkle Assistants: Jeremy Gatzert, Bryant Finerson & Brandon Halley

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Rag & Bone blue cropped sweater available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 314.567.9200. Choker stylistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own.

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Viva Aviva long top available at Alice + Olivia “Eloise” wide-leg pants available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9200. Dr. Scholl’s sandals available at Choker, stylist’s own.

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Left: Rag & Bone blue cropped sweater available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 314.567.9200. Choker stylist’s own. Right: Theory “Malkan” dress available at Neiman Marcus, Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9811. Michael Kors silver knit top available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9200. Stuart Weitzman heels available at The Vault, Brentwood, 314.736.6511. Choker and socks, stylist’s own.

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Left: Todd Lynn silk dress available at Byrd Designer Consignment Boutique, Ladue, 314.721.0766. Beret, choker, socks and Zara loafers, stylist’s own.

Right: Merle wool jacket available at Byrd Designer Consignment Boutique, Ladue, 314.721.0766. Choker, stylist’s own.

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Left: Merle wool jacket available at Byrd Designer Consignment Boutique, Ladue, 314.721.0766. Choker, stylist’s own. Right: Rebecca Minkoff “Atmosphere” top available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9200. J Brand baby blue bell-bottoms available at Neiman Marcus, Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9811. Choker, stylist’s own.

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Left: Max Mara “Saul Doppio” coat and Theory “Awenna” tunic available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9200. Choker, socks and Zara loafers, stylist’s own.

Right: Rag & Bone blue cropped sweater and Elizabeth and James “Dania” feather dress available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 314.567.9200. Choker, socks and Zara loafers, stylist’s own.

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Top left: NINE OF COINS by Kehinde Wiley, 2010, 2 of 3 AP, Archival inkjet print. Bottom Left: Portrait de Priscilla Petit Chien by Mickalene Thomas, 2012, 36 of 150, 16 x 8 x 2 in, Collage (archival pigment print). Top Middle: THE HIGH PRIESTESS by Mickalene Thomas, 2010, 2 of 3 AP, 20.19 x 16.25 x 1 in, Archival inkjet print. Top Right: You Have the Right by Toyin Ojih Odutola, 2015, Graphite on paper, 11 x 9 in. Bottom Right: Black Power by Hank Willis Thomas, 2006, Digital c-print, 20 x 16 in. Right: Kendrick Lamar by Jermaine Clark, 24 x 24 in, Acrylic & mixed media on panel. Page 8: Drake by Jermaine Clark, 24 x 24 in, Acrylic & mixed media on panel.

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When Worlds Collide projects+gallery debuts “Haute Hip-Hop,” an ode to the movement that has shaped generations across the globe.


“There’s no way to ignore the influence and power of hip-hop anywhere in the world,” says Susan Barrett. “Every culture has adopted hip-hop, creating a universal language and art.” Barrett is the owner of projects+gallery and curator of the innovative space’s current exhibit. “Haute Hip-Hop,” which aims to prove Barrett’s very point, showcases the works of several internationally renowned artists, photographers and fashion designers to create a visual timeline of hip-hop’s evolution. One such artist is STL native Jermaine Clark, whose work was discovered by Barrett at Miami’s Art Basel. Clark says his own artistic identity draws on the influence of hip-hop, societal changes and other African-American artists who have made hip-hop one of the most significant cultural movements of the new century. Clark stands out as the only St. Louis native featured alongside an impressive list of fellow creatives. Of those, perhaps the most notable is New York-based Kehinde Wiley, whose visually stunning and easily identifiable pieces feature black men and women in classic heroic poses—creating, in his words, “a global conversation around who deserves to be seen in great museums throughout the world.” Wiley notes that as a young child who was interested in art, he rarely saw black artists represented as classic “greats.” Among the many pieces featured, “Gypsy Fortune Teller” is a work that easily takes the helm, evoking feelings of wealth, status and identity and referencing François Boucher’s “The Fêtes Italiennes.” Atlanta native Fahamu Pecou, the breakout star of the exhibit’s opening night, took the spotlight with his large-scale piece “Black Boy Fly.” His reoccurring character and subject “Fahamu Pecou is The Shit!” embodies the traits typically associated with black men in hip-hop and juxtaposes them within a fine art context. The character “[becomes] a stand-in to represent the ideals and ideas of black masculinity and both the realities and fantasies projected from and onto black male bodies,” says the artist in his official statement. The acrylic pieces—often accented with vibrant gold leaf—are visually powerful, focusing on relatable themes from fashion to lifestyle. Rounding out the exhibit’s featured artists are photographers (including Michael Miller, Hank Willis Thomas and Lisa Leone), multi-media artists (Charlie Le Mindu and Fantich & Young to name a few), fashion designers (Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Moschino) and rad females (Marilyn Minter, Mickalene Thomas). “Hip-hop has redefined what success looks like and how to attain it—artists and designers have always taken notice,” says Barrett. “This exhibit exemplifies the influence of this powerful art form, even in the ‘elitist’ worlds of art and fashion.” Read more about “Haute Hip-Hop” online at

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Left: Defiance by Fahamu Pecou, 2015, 48 x 36 in, Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas Right: Cheick, 2007, 46 x 34 in, Oil on Canvas

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JMJ Chain (Jam Master Jayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gold Rope Chain and Adidas Pendant) by Jonathan Mannion, 1999, 1 of 10, Chromogenic print, 40 x 30 in

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Headphones: FRENDS x Dolce & Gabbana

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Spring Arts Guide Discover inspiration in all its forms.



Some may find jazz a bit intimidating, but everyone loves when “Thriller” or “Billie Jean” hits the airwaves. Enter “SFJAZZ Collective: Originals & the Music of Michael Jackson,” reinventing both music styles in an exciting, never-heard-before way on the Jazz at the Bistro stage March 30-April 2. 

The Pulitzer invites you to listen, look, touch, taste and pause with its exhibition “Ellipsis,” on view from April 15 to July 2. This multi-sensory group show spans artistic media and time periods, featuring works by Janet Cardiff, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Roman Ondák, among others.

Kurdish Offset-Knotted Medallion Carpet with White-Ground Border, 17th–mid-18th century; Ottoman period (1281–1924); wool; 96 x 65 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of James F. Ballard 116:1929



The Carpet and the Connoisseur: The James F. Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs, on view at Saint Louis Art Museum from March 6 to May 8, highlights the extraordinary range of carpets assembled by a St. Louis businessman whose efforts are still advancing the field.

Saint Louis Ballet, the professional ballet company of St. Louis, presents the best-loved ballet of all time. “Swan Lake,” featuring splendid dancing and Tchaikovsky’s classic score, is a magnificent production on the vast Touhill stage. Catch one of only four performances April 1-3.

Pink Martini fea. China Thomas



Enjoy your favorite artists in the perfect acoustics of The Sheldon. From jazz and folk, to classical and bluegrass, the season features Pink Martini, Dave Rawlings Machine, soprano Julia Bullock, James McMurtry, Taj Mahal, Cyrus Chestnut and much more. Call MetroTix at 314.534.1111.

This spring, The Touhill Performing Arts Center will keep your calendar full. The diverse lineup includes Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, “Hooking Up with the Second City,” Saint Louis Ballet in “Swan Lake” and the Ninth Annual Spring to Dance Festival. FEATURED PARTNERS

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IN AFRICAN ART On view through Mar 19, 2016 Wed–Sat, 10am–5pm; open until 8pm on Thu & Fri | @pulitzerarts

“Take a vacation with God”


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Photo of Jennifer Steinkampâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Orbit, courtesy of Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.


Ballroom meeting rates start at $500 including in-house AV. For more info, contact Stephanie Sadler at Photo by Todd Morgan

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March 11 • T-REX TreeHouse Networkshop’s Wesley Hoffman and Strange Donut’s Corey Smale host this conference on how to best represent your brand through social media. The daylong discussion of telling stories will feature Mike Herrera of MxPx, and lunch from Porano Pasta.


March 11 • The Luminary All proceeds from this contemporary art party will go to support the artists as well as The Luminary’s initiatives, including exhibitions, residency and studio programs and new residency housing. The event will feature works from more than 40 artists, two DJ sets and more.

Photo of Craft Alliance’s Makers Ball, by Ashley Lear.


April 2 • National Blues Museum The highly anticipated museum will officially open its doors in early April. Come out to celebrate blues icons in the 23,0000-square-foot space that includes the ability to create your own blues riff and navigate the evolution of blues music.

This film investigates how men define themselves while navigating the definition of masculinity. Stick around after the film for a panel discussion.

the arts. This year;s honorees include Priscilla Block, Sabina England, De Andrea Nichols, Denise Thimes, Phoebe Dent Weil and Stacy West.



April 13 • The Pageant The twice-monthly podcast arrives in STL for a live taping of the fictional sci-fi story unfolding in Night Vale. Musical guests Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin will also share the stage for an evening.


April 15 • Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis CAM’s 2016 formal gala is an evening dedicated to celebrating the museum’s groundbreaking exhibitions, arts education and support of local artists. Proceeds from the gala and auction will benefit the museum’s programs and exhibitions.


April 25 • The Sun Theatre Each year the St. Louis Visionary Awards celebrate the contributions of women who work in or support

April 25 • The Ready Room To honor the life and musical stylings of David Bowie, The Ready Room will gather bands including 7 Shot Screamers, Lonely Mountain String Band and Tory Z Starbuck for this all-ages show.


April 30 • Palladium St. Louis Craft Alliance’s celebration of makers and the power of craft returns this year to help raise money for the organization’s exhibition and education programs, including the group’s artists in residence and its teen mentoring program.

Discover other events we’ve got on our radar at


April 9 • Cherokee Street In its fifth year, Lo-Fi Saint Louis will shoot 14-18 local bands’ music videos in one day around the city of St. Louis. A cross between a music festival and a massive video shoot, the free event showcases the city and its music each year.


April 12 • Schlafly Bottleworks This free screening, hosted by Raintree School, follows young men and boys growing up in America.

FEB. 12-14





MARCH 19-20


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Peabody Opera House Ad Alive Magazine, FEB. 2016 Issue, 1/3 pg. spread 12:28 PM 16.5 in x 3.4167 in with bleeds (.125 on sides and2/19/16 bottom)

Summer Camps & Classes Local programs with creativity and heart.



For nearly 50 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) has been providing after-school, teen, summer and sports programs for youth ages 6-18. This summer, register your child for all day camp at one of six locations in St. Louis city and county.

Campers ages 9-18 typically lose 10-20 percent of their body weight during Camp Jump Start’s 4-week and 8-week medically designed and accredited programs. Just as importantly, they get the tools to maintain their efforts back home. Learn about what could be the most important camp of all for your child.



Chesterfield Montessori School offers a fun-filled summer program for children ages 2.5-12 years old. Located on a five-acre campus with a large swimming pool and tennis courts, the summer program incorporates an authentic, AMI-recognized Montessori experience with sports and art activities.

COCA Summer Arts Camps, for ages 3-18, feature a multitude of options for exploring theater, dance, music, visual arts, culinary arts and more. Camps are  available in one-week sessions, with morning, afternoon and fullday options. Before and after care available; additional fees apply.



Explore, play, discover, learn, innovate, experience, and laugh with us this summer at The College School. Campers, ages 4-14, will enjoy hands-on fun through playful themed learning experiences, makerspace, robotics/ coding, field trips and swimming led by experienced and caring counselors.

Register your kids for one of Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design’s many Staenberg summer camps for ages 4-18, June 6-Aug. 12. Explore hot glass, pottery wheel, jewelry making, a digital darkroom, textiles, 3-D printing and cartooning. Tuition assistance is available. FEATURED PARTNERS

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Summer Camps & Classes Local programs with creativity and heart.



Unplug this summer. At Forsyth Summer Discovery, kids ride bikes, climb higher, blast off rockets, create, play sports, act, make iMovies, get in touch with nature and use their imaginations. For ages 3-12, from June 13-Aug. 12. Pre-primary camps & extended day. Summer begins here.

Your summer adventure awaits at MICDS. Kids of every age, any school and any interest come together to create lasting summertime memories. Choose from our four camps: Pegasus day camp, ¡Aventureros! Spanish Immersion Camp, Rams Sports Camp or Elliot Summer Academy.



New City “MI” (Multiple Intelligences) Summer Camp is serious about helping kids experience creative summer fun and new experiences. In a joyful, school-based setting, summer is a time of exploration and learning. Campers can choose from more than 19 camps, and early & extended care are available.

This summer kids can enjoy 8 weeks of hands-on fun at Saint Louis Science Center’s Summer Science Blast Camps. Perfect for pre-K through 10th grade students, the days will be filled activities like flying a real plane, building a robot and developing your own video game.

Fill your child’s summer in the city with adventure, education and fun with these programs.

THE WILSON SCHOOL SUMMER CAMP At The Wilson School Summer Camp, campers enjoy themed activities, swimming at Shaw Park and field trips in eight weeklong sessions beginning June 13. From movie-making and game design, to fun with Dr. Seuss and ocean life, there ’s something for every child at this day camp. 

Is your camp missing? Email for more information. FEATURED PARTNERS

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We specialize in making science fun! Investigate and explore over 700 interactive exhibits and take in a film on one of the world’s largest domed screens in our OMNIMAX® Theater. Come, play and exercise your brain! General admission is always free. Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch 314.259.3200 • 315 Chestnut St.

Clayton 314.783.9900 • Brentwood & Forsyth Reservations Recommended - Visit us online at:

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Jarrel Lawrence INTERVIEW

One artist’s vision for creatives in our city. BY RIKKI BYRD + PHOTO BY KAT REYNOLDS

Since 2013, 24-year-old artist Jarrel Lawrence has been shaking things up in STL’s art community. Lawrence, best known as “Rell,” is one of the minds behind a series of art parties and events—combining hip-hop and art—where members of the “hidden black creative scene” have a chance to be showcased and connect with other creators. Most recently, his “Nostalgia” event at The Luminary featured work by artists who paid homage to their favorite cartoons, celebrities and pop culture moments. At the close of that event, he sent the crowd into the night with this farewell: “I love y’all. I love St. Louis”—a reminder of just how committed he is to creating opportunity for young artists in the city. When were you introduced to art? I was young. I think the first thing that made me want to draw was Pokémon. When I went to high school—I went to North Tech—they had a graphic illustration class and my teacher taught me how to use Adobe Illustrator. From there, I kind of kept going—finding out different things on my own, finding my niche, my style and subject matter. Let’s talk about the art events you’ve been throwing. The first was at Blank Space and the events have gotten bigger each time. I had never

been a part of an art show before, but a friend was like, “Hey, we can do it.” It’s been great building them for the city. The events have become much deeper than just me. They are providing a platform for people who have never had a chance to showcase. For most people that were a part of the first Vibes event, that was their first show. It’s dope to say that I did something like that. Who are your favorite artists in St. Louis and beyond? In St. Louis, Brock Seals, Rell Finesse, Tyler Harris. My favorite artists that are not from St. Louis: Gangster Doodles, PaperFrank, Distorted. I like what everybody is doing. I don’t think you can really hate on art. Do you think the art community in St. Louis is unique? I do. I think the art scene is going to be the future of St. Louis. When it all comes together perfectly and we all use what we have to build what we really need, St. Louis will be a hub for art. There are a lot of people doing stuff for the city. Once we come together, it’s going to be beautiful. I can see it. View more of Rell’s work at

Volume 15 // Issue 2

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| @KranzbergArts | @TheMarcelle

1820 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103 314-421-6655 ALIVE Volume 15 Issue 2_IFC IBC.indd 1

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Volume 15 Issue 2  

The Creativity Issue

Volume 15 Issue 2  

The Creativity Issue