THE VISUAL ART QUARTERLY OF ST. LOUIS
Raina Chao, Darian Wigfall, Stephanie Kirkland, Biran McCulloch, Xena Cobly, Ethan Goller, Patricia Thurman (photo credits: Richard Reilly)
CONTENTS IN REVIEW (PGS. 01-12)
EXECUTIVE EDITOR AND CO-FOUNDER SARAH HERMES GRIESBACH
CREATIVE EDITOR AND CO-FOUNDER AMY REIDEL
DIRECTOR OF LAYOUT AND DESIGN MAXINE WARD
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHER RICHARD REILLY
WEB DESIGN AND ADMINISTRATION AMY MILLER
SOCIAL MEDIA AND OUTREACH MANAGER SEMILLA BLAND
CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS KELLEY ATHERTON ROMAN BEUC JOHN BLAIR DAVID COBLITZ PAUL FERNANDES SARAH HERMES GRIESBACH AMELIA HIMEBAUGH MACKENZIE LEEK SETH LEWIS LAURYN MARSHALL
MOLLY MOOG RUTH REESE AMY REIDEL CHRISTOPHER SEEP RICH VAGEN PAULNA VALBRUN JASON VASSER SARAH WEINMAN DARIAN WIGFALL OSCAR REED WRIGHT
PRINT AND PROOF CONTRIBUTOR PAT CUSUMANO
Our exhibition reviews cover art events that took place in regional museums and galleries in recent months. Again in this issue, John Blair provides a read of a thickly layered video installation at Bruno David Gallery, this time documenting Yvonne Osei’s Africa Clothe Me Bare. Amelia Himebaugh gives us the low-down on a year-long project at an abandoned Taco Bell building in Cahokia. Seth Lewis surveys a Philip Slein survey exhibition. April Morrison provides glimpses of the last 20 years of Stephen Ingraham’s art making. Oscar Reed Wright breaks down the meeting of chess and visual art in Tom Hackney’s paintings at the World Chess Hall of Fame. Christopher Seep describes the Brightest Corner at the Sheldon’s Bellwether Gallery. Rich Vagen talks prints at the Atrium Gallery. Jason Vasser encounters the paintings of Daven Anderson in his pursuit of poetry. And Paulna Valbrun bonds over architectural observations from a bike’s eye-view with our cover artist, Rebecca Eilering.
ARTIST INTERVIEWS (PGS. 13-16) Opening up the “People Behind the Artists” theme of this Fall 2016 issue, we have interviews with members of the welcome and watch teams at the Contemporary Art Museum and the World Chess Hall of Fame. We also learn a bit about the art of curating from Stefanie Jacobson Kirkland at Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design and the science of art conservation from Raina Chao at the Saint Louis Art Museum.
COMMUNITY VOICES (PGS. 17-19) Roman Beuc scoured the books to tell us the stories behind Harriet Hosmer’s marble sculpture of the tragic Beatrice Cenci. Patricia Thurman describes her life as a love and work partner with her husband, artist Solomon Thurman. The hopes and dreams that birthed a corner art supply shop are told and St. Louis artists in need of legal and accounting help find it in the Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts organization.
COMMENTARY (PGS. 20-22) David Coblitz tells us about a photography project that he hopes will help create a more enjoyable and, therefore, healing environment for patients and health care workers. Kelley Atherton gives a shout out for the Art Saint Louis ArtLoupe app benefiting artists in search of a market. And Darian Wigfall gives a play-by-play, how-it-happened account of the conversations that led to his collaboration with artist Basil Kincaid, Eric Prospect White, Audrey Simes, Shea Brown
Front and back covers: Rebecca Eilering, Academy, (courtesy of the artist)
South City Art Supply (photo credit: Amy Reidel)
When visiting an art museum or gallery, have you ever wondered what the guards are thinking? How do they stand quietly for SO long? And how does delicate artwork hold up over years or even centuries? Perhaps you ask yourself such riveting questions as - how do self-employed artists find a way to file their taxes or get health insurance? This issue’s theme, the “People Behind the Artists”, pulls personal stories from museum and gallery staff, tales from art subjects’ lives and all kinds of accounts of those who help make art happen in and around St. Louis. We know that you will look at our regional art world’s support team with increased affection after reading what your art-neighbors have to say about their motivation, daily experiences and the rewards of their work. With this great collection of seasonal reviews and thematic responses, we are already excited about the next topic for All the Art: “Art, Artists and Identity”. As always, you are welcome to participate in our magazine production. Is there an art object that speaks to you in very specific ways
because of its depiction of gender? class? race? sexuality? Do you follow a local artist whose practice is particularly powerful because it is rooted in personal or cultural experience? These are the stories we will bring together for our Winter 2016-2017 issue. Reviews in this Fall 2016 issue are as varied as the materials at South City Art Supply. From exhibits at Third Degree Glass Factory and Philip Slein Gallery to a new endeavor at a former Cahokia Taco Bell, our contributors have provided a great selection of regional art documentation. As a reminder, our review section is not aligned with our general themes, so please feel free to pitch coverage of a St. Louis-based art exhibition or art event. We will happily work with you to find a spot for it in this magazine. Additionally, if you feel that some places or people are missing from our pages, we ask you to bring your awareness to us so that we can meet our mission to bring ALL the art to ALL the people. All the Best from All the Art,
Executive Editor and Co-Founder
Creative Editor and Co-Founder
ERIC WESLEY/ST. LOUIS THE BELL, BORTOLAMI GALLERY
Off a long, flat stretch of Camp Jackson Rd. is the abandoned Taco Bell building that houses Eric Wesley’s year long exhibition under the title of Eric Wesley/St. Louis. Wesley is a Los Angeles-based artist with an international portfolio, the latest of which is his show through the Artist/City series, set in a Taco Bell-turned-gallery space. The inaugural exhibition of Eric Wesley/ St. Louis opened May 21st with five new paintings from the artist. Wesley riffs off of Renaissance tondo paintings for his five new pieces. Traditional tondo paintings often
feature Renaissance figures huddled together within a circular frame several feet in diameter. Wesley repurposes this form as variations on a cross section of a burrito in his new pieces. One, Burrito Painting #4 (Sesos), looks vaguely like brain matter; one half green and one half red mirrors meat and lettuce in a burrito. Another, Burrito Painting #3, is a red and grey mix, almost metallic, with two lonely halves of a green pea and three bits of chopped red onion floating in the void. Burrito Painting #1 (Early Bite) is maybe the least burrito-ish, with multi-colored splatters of paint across a grey background. A black and white section in the
middle of the painting resembles a line drawing of bits of burrito ingredients like beans, or chopped vegetables. The inaugural exhibit also functions as an introduction to the space, which is an integral part of the exhibit, and arguably the most interesting. The exterior of the building features signature Taco Bell structure, “replete with ersatz Spanish Colonial architecture.” From the outside, the gallery looks just like a Taco Bell situated at the front of a huge, nearly-empty parking lot, neighbored by a Dollar Tree and Subway. Once inside, the space feels like any gallery. Wesley re-did the interior so that half of the building is a workspace while the front end is a small, white-walled room with smooth wood flooring where the paintings hang. I had admittedly hoped that the interior would still contain the typical Taco Bell layout and furniture. I would have loved to see Wesley’s burrito tondos nestled between purple plastic benches and a soda machine. The setting of this yearlong project is my favorite part of it: a gallery inside of a Taco Bell building in a parking lot off of a four-lane freeway. The Bortolami Gallery created the Artist/City series to provide “a new, experimental alternative for artists to show their work in American cities outside the standard five-week gallery show.” In the location of Wesley’s show, they have succeeded in that goal. Eric Wesley/ St. Louis is not only outside of the typical structural setting of an art show in a gallery or museum, but also outside of the typical geographical space of a St. Louis show. St. Louis galleries tend to be clustered in Grand Center, the Central West End,
Eric Wesley, Burrito Painting #5 (Con Rábano) (photo credit: Richard Reilly)
Eric Wesley, Burrito Painting #4 (Sesos) (photo credit: Richard Reilly) 01 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2016
Old North, and South City. A show in Cahokia, especially a year-long one, certainly provides an alternative to that standard. I look forward to what programming Wesley will debut in the space for the rest of his year there. The unorthodox location already opens many doors, but some of Wesley’s plans, like “orchestrating a series of ‘happenings’ with local amateur thespians,” and “planting of a vegetable patch or a maize maze,” seems like particularly good fits for the space, and especially for bringing the art to the community and the community into the art. Wesley’s yearlong spot creates an opportunity to directly connect with the Cahokia and St. Louis communities, fulfilling the title of the show as Eric Wesley/St. Louis.
The Bell Exterior, Cahokia (photo credit: Richard Reilly)
Eric Wesley, Eric Wesley/St. Louis installation view (photo credit: Richard Reily) IN REVIEW
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WATERCOLORS AND PASTELS CREATE SPACE
I was the first to arrive at Create Space for a poetry reading in support of past mentors, now friends, whom I hold in high regard. I strolled the gallery and found myself studying paintings that felt like captured moments in time connected to the experiences of life in the city. It was quiet and as I looked at these paintings, stories in my head began to develop. Viewing Surprise on St. Phillips, I expected a bird to fly by and waited for the wind to carry someone’s scarf. This was my introduction to Anderson’s work and the more of his paintings I saw, the further I felt myself tune in to his
intricate details of city life that are missed in the hustle and bustle of the day. I appreciate an artist whose focus is juxtaposed between the eyes of a photographer and an artist, where the voice of the subject speaks to the observer of the painting, seeing the world from many different angles. Moving from the Surprise on St. Phillips I encountered Celebration and thought about my youngest sister, a modern dancer. This painting seemed to move with the dancers’ fingertips, each one leaving a different mark, their toes correcting in place.
Much like the bird I expected to fly across the painting in the Surprise on St. Phillips, I stood there in the Create Space Gallery watching a recital until someone opened the door and it was again a painting. It’s the implication of movement in Anderson’s paintings that makes them come alive in the imagination. Anderson spent time on the water in the United States Navy, and later with the United States Coast Guard (thank you for your service). I wonder if his use of watercolor channels travel to distant lands, or serving his country. Regardless of the muse, I am drawn to the moments in time left on the canvas. In Early Morning Cleanup I feel appreciation for the old man sweeping the street, while at the same time I feel pride in my city. As Anderson explained, “the scene here is of Laclede's Landing early the Saturday morning of the All-Star Weekend in St. Louis. I was up before sunrise with my camera and drove all over town looking for interesting subject matter. On the Landing as the sun appeared over the eastern horizon the man here was cleaning up from the previous night's revelries. The garage at the end of the street, 2nd Avenue, is no longer there. The restoration and redevelopment of the Arch grounds eliminated the garage.” A spirit of reflection moves throughout Daven Anderson’s work, summoned by the depiction of little things in life that evoke beauty.
www.CreateSpacestl.com www.davenanderson.com Daven Anderson, Early Morning Cleanup, (image courtesy of the artist) 03 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2016
AFRICA CLOTHE ME BARE
BRUNO DAVID GALLERY
Yvonne Osei's Africa Clothe Me Bare is an ambitious project. Through a series of video vignettes, Osei attempts to re-examine the role of the female nude in the trajectory of Western art. She undertakes this colossal task utilizing imitation African fabrics to both clothe and unclothe public female nude sculptures in various Western countries including the United States. According to the artist, the act of clothing, and later removing it, evokes a larger question of the difference between being nude and being naked.
significance of the culture with her awareness that the expression of culture was derived through the female form.
The vignettes themselves are without narrative introduction and with limited, accidental sound such as the wind hitting the microphone, the chirping of the birds, and the few passersby in one of the scenes. Most notable is the laughter of the children enthralled with Osei dressing and undressing the sculptures. Without overt direction from the artist, viewers are left to confront their own reactions to Osei’s interactions with the sculptures. It can be a bit awkward watching Osei engage the nude female sculptures through this performative series.
Osei’s work is more than a critique; it is also an imaginative step in reconciling the legacy of colonial abuse as a restorative act of genuine empathy and goodwill.
The implication, for her, in clothing public sculptures in the pseudo African cloth became a question of power. "The power dynamics is what is interesting to me. The work talks a lot about gender inequality and colonialism.” Osei continues, “ The art is born in the clothing and the unclothing, and the realization and perception of the sculpture has changed."
Osei asserts that her work is meant, in part, to stimulate a discussion around the meaning of nudity in art. "I am basically saying what is nude today can be naked tomorrow. What is nude now can be naked in the next five minutes just by the act of clothing and unclothing. Nude is the legitimized view of nakedness. In the Western art trajectory, nude is legitimized as beautiful. I am not here to affirm or debunk that." In the context of her work, nude becomes a metaphor for being bare, both physically and culturally. For Osei, bareness is an issue of the female body. It is also a cultural critique of the legacy of Western colonialism on the African continent. She explains, "I am borrowing the accepted language of nudity to talk about the nakedness in exploiting a culture or a person...but to borrow the Western language of nudity is to use it to talk about exploitation."
The objectified sculptures become more tangible in the act of clothing and unclothing them. Simultaneously, the personhood of the objectified other, be it women or African people, is made bare by confronting and dismantling the exploitative practices that objectified them. Thus by implication, the caring for one human being through this series is representative of the act of caring for all of humanity.
Yvonne Osei, video still from Africa Clothe Me Bare (courtesy of Bruno David Gallery and the artist)
The idea of adorning outdoor female sculptures occurred to her while visiting Geneva, Switzerland in 2015. Osei was struck by the importance of public monuments and memorials within Western culture. She found herself interested in the juxtaposition of these sculptures as a commentary on the historical Yvonne Osei, video still from Africa Clothe Me Bare (courtesy of Bruno David Gallery and the artist) IN REVIEW
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THE BRIGHTEST CORNER
THE SHELDON CONCERT HALL & ART GALLERIES
Aptly named, the Brightest Corner exhibit in the Sheldon’s Bellwether Gallery was a celebration of color. For the most part, vivid, saturated, primary color. Color that grabs the lapels. Having first studied the black and white photos in the downstairs Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg gallery by the late Bob Reuter, wonderful, gritty, compelling images of the local music demimonde, walking into the upstairs gallery was akin to emerging from a darkened movie theater into bright sunlight. This was also a celebration of the human spirit. Ten members of the Living Arts Studio in Maplewood, each with disability, were responsible for the works within the exhibition. Showing complexity both in content and media, this group exhibition comes together well.
scraps, paper, thread and sequins. These are impressionistic works and, when viewed at some distance, are indeed evocative of their titles: Violets, Daisy, Dandelion, Rose, and Sunflower. In contrast to these visual pieces, Tom Allen composed four poems, intensely personal, exploring universal themes of the human condition, courageously poignant and autobiographical. James Douglas’s prose/ poem, The Raindrop is a whimsical imagining of what the various implications of being a raindrop entail. His others, An Ode to the One I've Yet to Know, Old man time (sic), and The Hope, touch on weighty and personal themes.
The Living Arts Studio is a collaboration between VSA (Vision, Strength, Access) Missouri, Bridges Community Support Services and Spirited Hands Art, offering classes to those with and without disability in a creative and nurturing environment.
Victoria Shaffer’s collection of 16 small, square gouache pieces, titled God's Creatures, are whimsical animal paintings in a pleasing naive style, again in pure, vivid hues. Arranged on my wall as they were in the gallery, four by four, I would never tire of these images. Gus McClean’s four abstract, mixed media works allow color and form to dominate. Circular forms leap exuberantly from the colorful backgrounds, open to a multitude of interpretations. Shape Color Map, Object Explore, Watermark, and Sunslide/Flowers by Chip Beers are acrylic works on paper, another festival of contrasting color and abstract form applied to wrinkled paper, giving texture and depth. Amy Barmann employs a background of more subdued hues applied to canvas with bare black sketches of smiling people and buildings, depictions of joyful community. Michael Weidle utilizes Sharpie and paint pen on paper to create cartoonish fantasy works, alien- or monster-like creatures inviting speculation as to their meaning. Attached to the wall so that their openings face the viewer, Melelani Perry's decorated, lidless boxes are a delight. The interiors of the boxes are each a busy collage of glitter and found objects serving as an attractive 3D artwork. One of my favorite displays was the work of Sara Charles. Framed eccentrically on white paper, her small (12” or less in diameter), delicate collages are comprised of fabric 05 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2016
Sara Charles, Rose (photo credit: Richard Reilly) IN REVIEW
IN REVIEW Michael Weidle, Intergalactic Comic series, 2 of 3 (photo credit: Richard Reilly) IN REVIEW
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SUMMER SHOW PHILIP SLEIN GALLERY The Summer 2016 exhibition at Philip Slein Gallery presented a broad array of painting bridging multiple genres and decades. The exhibit surveyed multiple artists, some working diligently within traditional methods of landscape representation, while a smaller portion, more representative of work typically on view at the Slein Gallery, was dedicated towards contemporary abstraction. The inclusion of St. Louis-based landscape painters Jeff Aeling and Dan Barton in the main gallery space provided an interesting foil for viewing the abstract work of artists Erik Spehn, Robert Swain, Thomas Nozkowski and Robert Sagerman, on view in the gallery library. The exhibit also featured abstract and modernist works by the deceased artist couple Arthur Osver and Ernestine Betsberg. Osver, a longtime friend and colleague of Phillip Guston, moved from New York to St. Louis to serve as Professor of Art at Washington University from 1960 until his retirement in 1981. Osver was the third high-profile artist attracted to the university by Dean Kenneth
Hudson, along with Max Beckmann and Guston. His wife, Ernestine Betsberg, often overlooked considering the time period, produced many paintings as well, each displaying masterful use of color and evoking atmospheric qualities. Both artists’ works were exhibited together in the back portion of the gallery space. In the library, abstract works by Erik Spehn, Robert Swain, Robert Sagerman and the notable Thomas Nozkowski constituted a selection of represented artists. Erik Spehn’s two monochromatic artworks, both Untitled, are composed of vertical and horizontal stripes, noticeable only upon close inspection. The works are constructed by the laborious weaving of paint and tape. The intentionally slightly irregular pattern that is formed as a result provides visual play as distance between the viewer and the work changes. New York-based Robert Swain’s piece, 9’x9’-3AA Painting, a dazzling grid formation of blues, purples, pinks, oranges and grays is
composed of 36 individual squares, each a distinct hue or shade of color. Swain, a brilliant colorist and color theorist, has explored color as a perceptual and phenomenological experience for decades. Known for devising a variety of these grid-based paintings, he constructs columns and rows that chart transitional states between hues, values and chroma. Not only are these chromatic studies pleasing to look at, but they also inform upon the viewer a particular kind of visual science, encouraging attention to detail and a shared active role in viewing the work. Robert Sagerman’s large sculptural painting, 27,452, is comprised of exactly that number of individually applied dollops of chrome-colored paint. Up close, each individual thickly applied dollop seems to drip off the surface of the canvas. From a distance, the individual dollops form a sea of swirling silver shards that shimmer and glisten. Sagerman consistently references Jewish Mysticism in his artistic practice. According to ancient Kabbalistic tradition, the meditative practice of counting was seen as a route to the divine. Each dollop applied is painstakingly counted and total time spent on each individual painting recorded. This summer exhibition also happened to include a small oil on panel work by internationally renowned artist Thomas Nozkowski. Known for his contributions to furthering the field of abstraction, Nozkowski’s works are often intimately sized and employ inventive uses of color and form. The work that was on view, Untitled (9-46), displays a pattern of outlined irregular geometric shapes, each composed of muted greens, yellows, reds and blues. A vertical band of shapes down the center of the composition are emphasized with more saturated versions of these colors, creating the illusion of depth and separation of background. Overall, the exhibit featured several artists of historical relevance, particularly within the field of abstraction. The inclusion of landscape work in the main gallery space added an element of diversity offering a treat for those who still have a fondness for more traditional landscape representation.
Robert Swain, 9’ x 9’ – 3AA Painting (courtesy of Philip Slein Gallery and the artist) 07 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2016
A hot, humid July evening gave host to Kirkwood native Stephen Ingraham’s exhibition at SOHA Studio & Gallery in South St. Louis. The assemblage of sculptures was a welcome respite to the chaos and craziness of the outside world. The Greatness of Little Things was a mini retrospective of two diverse series Ingraham developed over the last five or six years. The Protector series consists of pieces of wood, mostly found dunnage and remnants of old buildings, carved out to encase and protect precious items. Ingraham says the outside wood represents us as people – aged, weathered, odd sizes, lots of patina, and imperfections. Those imperfections make us who we are. The small items tucked inside are “little pieces of beautiful.” “These are the things I really love about myself that I hold precious; not necessarily your heart or soul, just something you like about yourself. What’s precious can change or evolve on a daily basis.” One precious protected item, a seed from a Kentucky coffee tree, is thought to have been eaten by mastodons hundreds of years ago. The hard shell of the seed is a further layer of protection. A single father of two, Ingraham noticed that many of his sculptures had created “accidental pairs,” complementary pieces that serendipitously coupled. The sculptures stood side by side in this show, silently supporting each other. He says “Like in life, sometimes things are better with a partner.”
Stephen Ingraham, The Protector Series (image credit: Shana Norton, courtesy of the artist)
The found objects in Ingraham’s art works are a collection of rusty parts donated by friends, pieces of wood and seeds found during his 20 plus years in the horticulture field, and bits discovered while simply looking down. Ingraham spends a lot of time looking down. “I remember as a child I would always look for things in parking lots. The best stuff was found downhill, at the end of the lot, up against the curb. The rain would wash up these really cool rusty pieces. I would put them in my pocket and take them home.” These tiny bits of rust and sparkle can be seen encased in some of his current pieces. The Days, They Run Together Unless You Do Something with Each One series consists of woven metals, wood and various found objects hung in somewhat asymmetrical grid-like patterns. Ingraham says that this series started as a sketchbook of sorts, not meant to be viewed by the public. He wove metal pieces together to signify the little, special things that a person does every day. These little things help mark events so that the days don’t blur together. His original art works were tiny, some measuring only a few inches. These newer sculptures are larger, and include a six foot tall wood installation created live at Artica, the outdoor, multi-disciplinary, participatory St. Louis Arts Festival.
initially to force this oxidation by using vinegar or water. It worked, but it’s never the same as natural, aged patina. The coloring was there, but it was shallow, only on the surface. True weathered patinas are deep within the material. They have a deeper story.” On first inspection, the coherence of these two series’ into one show may not seem obvious. But Ingraham explains that the title The Greatness of Little Things speaks of all the parts as a whole. “In the Protector series, the little things are the things that are protected. In the Days series, the little things are the special things you do every day. There is importance and greatness in each of these little things.”
-April Morrison www.sohastudioandgallery.com
The metal in Ingraham’s work has been a long-term experiment in patinas. Ingraham loves the weathering of metals and juxtaposition of new and old metals together. “I tried
Stephen Ingraham, The Protector Series (image credit: Shana Norton, courtesy of the artist) IN REVIEW
Stephen Ingraham, The Days, They Run Together Unless You Do Something with Each One Series (image credit: Shana Norton, courtesy of the artist) FALL 2016 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM 08
THE GREATNESS OF LITTLE THINGS
The Central West End’s Atrium Gallery exhibited works by six artists in The Print. Showing how contemporary artists use, interpret and update the traditional technique for creating works on paper, The Print exhibited works produced through etching, photography and digital printing. The photographs of Colombian artist Blanca Botero’s four black-and-white prints, titled Acuafactoría, highlight environmental debates concerning mineral rights and exploitation. An absence of color in Botero’s compositions and the scale in which she shoots create an ambiguity of subject matter. However, it still shows that, without a doubt, this is organic. She shows close-up views of moss and rock that could also be taken from a distant perspective looking down on forests and plains. It is hard to know if we are deep in an ocean or climbing around stones by a stream. Her photography creates a connection to nature that puts the viewer directly in the middle, showing that we are, at the same time, a small part of it and a force upon it. Suzanne Caporael showed a diverse body of work on three walls, including a large scale digital and intaglio print of a drop shadow and a fantastic 34 x 27” etching. New Ulm, Minne-
sota plays with line, color, space, and depth by showing a partial, white, equal-armed cross, surrounded by red, and peeled away from the top by black and gray. The third wall featuring Caporael’s work hung below three high windows framing the tops of trees outside the gallery. It displayed a series of ten smaller relief prints, each the same size and with musical titles such as Melody, Timbre, and Beat. These smaller pictures continue her exploration in how color, shape, and line interact. Harmony shows black lines creating a box with a single corner line extending down the paper with a partial box of gray-green lines overlapping, working together. Dynamics, referring to the musical concept of soft and loud notes, shows gray color planes, defined by black lines on top and negative space on the bottom. Both show depth and dimensionality, but in two different and perhaps opposite ways. Two works by painter David Klamen, both titled Untitled, are graphical eye catchers. Based on a series of large-scale paintings from his Striped series, these aquatint prints show Jacques-Louis David paintings disrupted by vertical and jagged lines, blocks of black and white or yellow that hide the original image. From a distance, the viewer sees an image, but it is not immediately discernable. Even with a
The Print installation view (photo credit: Rich Vagen) 09 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2016
familiarity of Neoclassical paintings, it can take a moment to recognize the arches and swords of Oath of the Horatii or the upward pointed finger of the shirtless Socrates in The Death of Socrates. Klamen has a history of exploring reproduction, perception, and public ownership. With these Untitled prints we are shown, but not told of, masterpieces of Western art, distorted by a barcode-like image of strong, contrasting stripes. Jim Nickel’s six 18x12” etchings, in black and gray, are all studies or lessons in opposites, contradictions and contrasts. Sharp, manufactured edges float in undefined space. Soft, organic curves twist and twirl, holding on to themselves but nothing else in Close the Loop. James Kuiper’s two screenprints of architectural details with organic elements invite closer inspection, and two wonderful lithographs on mylar, V.E. and Untitled from 1994, feel as modern and contemporary as anything created yesterday. Both have the same base shape; an abstract dark mountainous form or an architectural silhouette, overlaid with green or yellow stripes, respectively. At the heart of printmaking is tradition tradition of materials, tradition of process. Karen Kunc’s woodblock prints on natural edged Japanese paper celebrate this. They are created in a manner virtually unchanged for centuries. Kunc’s prints are full of color that can be surreal or natural, often both within the same picture. Jagged yellows and blues in Elusive Matter evoke mountains, or rows of
IN REVIEW -Piece Author David Klamen, Untitled, (image courtesy of Atrium Gallery and the artist)
coniferous trees, while those same colors in organic circular forms also turn into surreal biological cells. In the work of these six artists there are vast stylistic, methodological and subject differences, but the tradition of printmaking- of making art that is transferred to paper, not created on paper- ties them together. There is an unknown in printmaking, a mysterious magical moment before the image is first seen on paper that has motivated artists for 500 years, and will continue to bring delight for many more.
David Klamen, Untitled, (image courtesy of Atrium Gallery and the artist) IN REVIEW
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INTERLOCKING DIVIDE THE ARTWORK OF REBECCA EILERING
THIRD DEGREE GLASS FACTORY Rebecca Eilering’s Interlocking Divide captured and reminded viewers of the forgotten grandeur of St. Louis. The exhibit, held at the Third Degree Glass Factory on Delmar between the University City/St. Louis Loop and the Central West End business districts, showcased historic homes. Eilering’s charcoal and graphite drawings of the city’s historic architecture show evidence of another time and place that continues to exist within our own. The Third Degree Glass Factory was established in 2002 by Jim McKelvey and Doug Auer. McKelvey and Auer turned a dilapidated 1930s car dealership into an art center committed to glass art education and accessibility to the public. The studio's commitment to and admiration for St. Louis is reflected in their choice to host Eilering’s exhibit. Like the rebirth of the Third Degree Glass Factory building, Eilering’s drawings present a re-envisioning of often forgotten structures.
With a strong background in printmaking, Eilering brings printmaking precision to her drawings. Houses that Eilering became enamored with during her biking adventures in St. Louis led her to create a romantic vision of the city’s architectural bones, some of which are crumbling around us. Her use of graphite enhances light to showcase white stone and to provide contrasting texture. Many of Eilering’s drawings present the Gothic Revival characteristics of structures dotting our urban landscape. The Gothic Revival style was often reserved for churches and was part of the 19th century Romantic Movement in architecture. Eilering’s architectural portrait Washington has characteristics typical of houses from the Gothic Revival period including its cross gable roof, decorated bargeboards, a gable decorated with finial, and a steeply pitched roof. Eilering keeps a well-followed blog about her bike adventures. Her interest in architectural
Rebecca Eilering, Howard (courtesy of the artist) 11 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2016
details and her vision of these houses as dramatic is clear throughout the series of drawings included in Interlocking Divide: “Bicycling through a city is a sensory smorgasbord. Many of these elements may seem invisible in a car but they become much more apparent on a bicycle. These are the elements that give me a sense of being immersed in a place.” As a cyclist myself, I am particularly attracted to Eilering’s drawings of brick houses located on streets that I, too, frequent. Eilering gives us an opportunity to slow down and re-examine a city that we often reduce to our contemporary timeline.
CORRESPONDING SQUARES: PAINTING THE CHESS GAMES OF MARCEL DUCHAMP WORLD CHESS HALL OF FAME London artist Tom Hackney uses paint and sculpture to create an evocative geometry in two or three dimensions. Hackney’s latest exhibition, Corresponding Squares: Painting the Chess Games of Marcel Duchamp is mostly held within two physical dimensions, but the dimension of time can be seen clearly in every piece. In Corresponding Squares, Hackney explores further what French painter, Marcel Duchamp, became obsessed with in the early 1920’s: the art of playing chess. Duchamp’s work redefined art 100 years ago. He arranged common objects and replicas of the mundane to comment on the modern times. Duchamp is also known for paintings such as Nude Descending a Staircase, which brought motion and time to the canvas. At some point,
however, Duchamp felt the need to redefine himself. He left painting and sculpture for the game of chess. Chess is a game which involves no luck. The possible moves at any point in the game are so numerous, however, that each game acts out a unique sequence. The pieces each move in specific ways, but can produce together a variety of defensive or offensive configurations. The beauty of the game is in how quickly the landscape of the competition can change. Both players are given the same information, so the only way to win is through clever maneuvers planned several steps in advance. The seemingly infinite possibilities of chess games led Duchamp to say, famously, “All artists are not chess players, but all chess players are artists.”
Tom Hackney, Chess Painting 69 (Suren vs. Duchamp,Strasbourg, 1924) (photo credit: Richard Reilly)
Tom Hackney’s process involves tracing the moves of Duchamp’s chess games with paint. As the game progresses, chess pieces move over the paths of previously moved pieces, covering their trail of paint. Many of the paintings are black and white. In these, his brush follows the pieces from the beginning to the end of each game, and the top layer of paint depicts the final positions of the pieces, or the end game. The color paintings are traced in reverse, and the top layer of paint allows us to see the beginning of the game. Contained in each painting, one can see the game playing forward and backward in time. The geometric repercussions of each move are both visually pleasing, and enlightening to this previously hidden dimension of chess. Hackney’s latest exhibition can be found here in St. Louis at the World Chess Hall of Fame in the Central West End. For those unfamiliar with chess, videos of some of the games can be viewed on site. Hackney’s paintings are accompanied by photos and artifacts from Duchamp’s life. One can expect to leave the exhibit with a new definition of both art and chess.
-Oscar Reed Wright
Tom Hackney, Chess Painting No. 2 (Duchamp vs. Crepeaux, Nice, 1925) (photo credit: Richard Reilly) IN REVIEW
FALL 2016 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM 12
STEFANIE JACOBSON KIRKLAND AT
CRAFT ALLIANCE CENTER OF ART + DESIGN By Ruth Reese
Curating contemporary craft for over 10 years, Stefanie Jacobson Kirkland is Director of Exhibitions and Artist-in-Residence Programs at Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design, a taproot for the craft community in St. Louis. It’s through her vision that many interpret “craft culture” with its distinct approach to process and materials, as well as, its role in contemporary art. Edited for clarity, this interview was recorded at Electropolis Studio located above Reese Gallery, where Stefanie Jacobson Kirkland exhibited her work in 2015. Ruth Reese: Describe your curatorial methodology.
Stefanie Jacobson Kirkland: I see exhibitions as a platform, a root system, a way start to a conversation, or to help ignite it. It’s the voice of the studio that you're not seeing. I ask, “What is happening in the contemporary art world with craft materials? What hasn’t St. Louis seen? How does that serve the work in and out of our studio? A visiting artist? What method is new? What keeps coming up?” For example, text was really big for a while. Well, who's doing that, in fiber, in clay? Really, I never thought about it as curating. I just realized as I was doing it, but I've been in love with it all the time. RR: Is there an exhibition or curator most intriguing of late? SJK: Emily Zilber. I haven't yet seen the Crafted: Objects In Flux show in Boston, at the MFA. She's somebody I follow a lot because that institution has combined the historical with the contemporary, meshing situations that aren't set on traditional craft and aren’t set on contemporary art.
RR: Does curating affect your studio practice as an artist? SJK: It's interesting when you get to a point in your art-making where you don't have to make for anybody but yourself. You trust yourself and all these things that you were taught in formal education. What rises to the surface and what doesn’t? As I'm building, I'm not conscious of it - until I’ve pulled back. When I do show, I hope something resonates, but if it doesn't, I'm not upset by that. As someone who mentors young artists, I really see that being an artist is letting go. RR: Tell us a little about your work. SJK: After I left the textile industry in New York, I went back to get my Masters in Painting at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, which had a very strong figure painting school. It was during my time at graduate school that 9/11 happened and it sort of shook up my ideas about place, home and the figure. I stopped and re-evaluated. What came out of it was the figure as a sense of space or as a presence in there, but maybe not literally the figure. It became less about making a figure painting and more about a space in which someone can enter visually. RR: Do your roles as Director, Artist and Mother play well together? SJK: A full moon is not good! A new moon is fine. RR: How do you think artists today are defining craft?
By Lauryn Marshall
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SJK: We don't show historical works and that really keeps us open to possibilities of what's being made and why. People are breaking the rules, finding new ways to make. How are the materials shifting? I'm always pushing those questions. If you take a rock and you crochet it, is that considered a fiber piece? RR: Speaking of crochet rocks, I think of Megan Singleton, artist-in-residence at Craft Alliance. Tell me about the AIRs program. SJK: I became the director two years ago. It’s been wonderful. It’s always sort of a logical move for exhibitions to house the AIRs program because there is so much that we provide for these artists, like how to navigate professionally. RR: What’s next? SKJ: There's this new show I’m presenting called “MakeShift” about plastics. It’s not about recycling or up-cycling, but plastics taking the forefront as the main material. There will be 3D printing, wearables, architecture, plastic sculpture… It's all how plastic is the clay, or the metal or the quilt. I get really excited about how we introduce those new ideas. www.craftalliance.org
FRIENDLY FACES AT CAM Ethan Goller and Victoria Donaldson work at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) in jobs meant to protect the art on display and to ensure an enjoyable experience for visitors. Goller is a security guard. Donaldson is a visitor services manager. Lauryn Marshall met
Stefanie Jacobson Kirkland, (photo credit: Richard Reilley)
with them to inquire about the relationship between them, the visitors, and the art they experience everyday. Lauren Marshall: What interests you most about your work at CAM? ARTIST INTERVIEWS
Ethan Goller: The different personal experiences you get and some of the different insights and things you hear on the art that you may not have necessarily thought of yourself. Children, for example, have some excellent perspectives that you would have never thought of. Victoria Donaldson: The opportunity to meet different people. It's always good, you just have to know how to handle situations and [when interacting] with different people you just have to be able to maintain balance and handle it with grace.
EG: I would say both positively and negatively. Sometimes people feel like they’re being followed, but a lot don’t understand that from the second you walk through the door, you’re under surveillance. It’s an art museum; it’s not so much that we’re watching you in particular, but on a slower day, when you only have two or three people, you’re kinda going with them through the museum. But positively, as long as you take the time to learn about the art, you can talk to [the visitors], then it adds that extra tidbit in comparison to when they’re on the floor, just reading what it says on the wall with no further explanation. VD: My part is really making [the visitor] feel comfortable and welcome. For me, it's that initial contact, that, “Hi! Welcome to CAM!” that’s the most important part because it allows people to know [that this is] not one of those intimidating institutions. Overall, [people] are more than welcome to ask any questions and be open-minded. LM: What’s your favorite art work currently showing or of all time? EG: It would have to be Lyndon Barrois’ basketball court. It has an incredible amount of depth to it. It’s not only challenging aesthetic views, but [also] bringing light to the fact that none of the major parks in the St. Louis area have outdoor basketball courts. The city feels that they’ll bring in the wrong activities. By [Barrois] moving a typical basketball court indoors, it challenges the city of St. Louis and shows that things aren’t going unnoticed, so that others can notice it on a larger scale and [that] can facilitate change. VD: Since art is ever-changing, I honestly can't say my favorite artwork. But I have artists that I
love: Mark Bradford, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems… I love black artists. And that's why I love the CAM, since I've been here we've done a great job of representing all types of artists, [reaching] every point on the spectrum of an artist’s identity. LM: Have you had any particularly interesting interactions with museum visitors? EG: Unfortunately, no. Being in security is basically being an “adult babysitter.” When people come through and they’re well-behaved, it’s a nice smooth day. I have come to notice that it’s never the children you have to worry about as much as the adults. I’ve seen people tell their children, “Hey, don't touch!” and they go right ahead to try and touch it themselves. That’s probably the only odd thing. VD: I have a guest who is partially blind. It’s interesting that somebody who’s partially blind enjoys visual art. He came in a while ago when I first got into my position. He was very pleasant, [a] good guy, [an] older gentleman, very well-rounded, and very knowledgeable. I would help him get to the restroom, take him to his Call-A-Ride, and help him through the gallery. He came back recently to see the works by Mark Bradford and Lyndon Barrois Jr. He called us, made an appointment to have a tour, and that was it. LM: When things are slow or you’re having a particularly slow day, what do you do here? EG: When it’s slow I normally try to pitch in, whether it be organizing the gift shop or helping tidy things up. There’s a lot of time to think about the art, and we do have a library upstairs. So when it gets really slow, I just go upstairs and flip open a book. I was never one for art or had a huge interest in it, but since I’ve worked here, my interest has grown. I have more of an understanding of it besides, “that’s a
Ethan Goller and Victoria Donaldson with Tate Foley’s Post No Bills (photo credit: Richard Reilly)
pretty picture, cool.” I gain a little more insight that I can use for my job, and it comes full circle. VD: I think about how to improve the visitors’ experience. I learn and grow with [each encounter]. www.camstl.org
CONSERVATION CONVERSATION: AN INTERVIEW WITH RAINA CHAO
By Molly Moog It is often said that art is eternal. Artworks, however, like any other objects, are subject to damage and the ravages of time. The job of an art conservator is to preserve, protect, and restore our cultural and artistic heritage. Not only is the practice of conservation complex and multi-faceted, but it generally takes place out of public view in conservation laboratories.
In the following interview Raina Chao, Assistant Objects Conservator at the Saint Louis Art Museum, discusses her important role in the preservation and treatment of art objects. Molly Moog: What is art conservation? Raina Chao (photo credit: Richard Reilly) ARTIST INTERVIEWS
FALL 2016 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM 14
LM: Do you feel that you personally impact the viewer’s experience?
Raina Chao: Conservation encompasses a number of aspects. One is preservation, or working to ensure that the art stays for as long as possible in its current state. Preservation could be preventive, like controlling the climate, light levels, temperature, and relative humidity where an artwork is stored. There is also the treatment side, which involves a physical intervention with an object to stabilize, repair, or restore it. Not all treatments are restorations. Restoration means bringing the work back to a certain point in its life, whether that is right when it was made, or to a certain historically significant point in its life. Sometimes an interventive treatment will include restoration but it doesn’t always. Either way, as conservators, our goal with treatment, ethically speaking, is to ensure that every change that we make is reversible and well-documented. MM: You are an objects conservator. What kind of art objects might you see in your lab on an average day?
RC: You might see pretty much anything that is three-dimensional in my lab. That could be a silver urn, a marble sculpture, more modern materials like plastics, lighting, decorative arts, bronze sculptures, or ceramic vases. Some institutions employ more specialized conservators such as furniture, arms and armor, or clock conservators, but those are niche markets. MM: What other kinds of conservators are there beyond objects conservators? RC: There are also paintings, paper, or textile conservators, but there is always a lot of overlap between these areas. For example, as an objects conservator, I may encounter a painted object, and then I might consult with a paintings conservator. Especially with mixed-media
objects and modern art, there can be textiles, painting, and found objects all in one work.
MM: Was there a personal experience that made you decide to become a conservator?
MM: What would I have to do if I wanted to become a conservator?
RC: Yes and no. I read about conservation in a novel when I was in high school, and I remember thinking, “wow that would be such a great career if it were real.” This was before Google, so I could not “Google it.” Then, when I was in college, I took an art history class. The professor who taught it ran an archaeological dig that I participated in. Through working with archaeological conservators on site I found out “this is real. This is actually very cool!”
RC: Twenty years ago it was not uncommon to be apprentice-trained, meaning you would find a conservator and train with them. There are really great apprentice-trained conservators still practicing in the field. However, these days the majority of conservators in the US go through one of four graduate programs. I went to a four-year masters program at NYU. However, the prerequisites for entry to any program are extensive. Before starting graduate school, you must have several years of grounding in chemistry, art history, and fine arts practice. There is also a base requirement for 400 hours of pre-program experience as an intern with a conservator at a museum or in private practice. MM: I think the science element is interesting. Many people may not realize the amount of chemistry that goes into conservation. Can you speak to that? RC: I am particularly science-nerdy. I started out as a chemistry major, so I love the science aspect of conservation. I think it is interesting that we all do a little bit of science in our daily lives, although we just don’t necessarily think about it like that. For example, if you get an oil stain on your dress, you put dishwashing detergent on it. That is a kind of science that we just understand how to do from experience, and that is how we think about conservation. First you figure out what problem you are trying to solve and work backwards from there. A lot of chemistry or other sciences can go into that solution.
THE GALLERY ATTENDANTS OF WCHOF By Sarah Weinman Sarah Weinman: What are your titles and dduties at the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF)?
follow gallery rules, do research for exhibits, lead children’s programming, and assist the registrar with collection reports.
Eugenia Alexander: I started as a Gallery Attendant (GA) in October 2013 and am now a Senior Gallery Attendant (SGA). I make sure the galleries are in good condition and visitors are taken care of, and I supervise the GAs.
Brian McCulloch: I began working at WCHOF in early fall 2013 and my title is SGA/Blog Contributor. Usually I staff the front desk and greet guests. I also write blog posts and articles about current exhibits.
Desiree Dixon: Two years ago I was hired as a GA. I give educational tours, ensure visitors
SW: What interested you in the organization?
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PC: Tell me about one of the most interesting objects that you have conserved? RC: I really love very complicated objects. For example, I’ve worked on a lot of Buddhist art in which there is a religious, devotional component. Things that we might not think of as being important, like the dust trapped on an oil layer, become really important and that’s what you preserve. Normally you’d think “oh, of course we’ll dust it,” but in this case it is a culturally and religiously important part of the object. There are some Buddhist objects that include wood, metal, paint, and semi-precious stones all in one place and there is a meaning to each of these materials. A conservation treatment has to take all of those different materials and how they interact into account as well as their cultural and religious importance. As this discussion reveals, a thorough understanding of the history of an artwork transcends the circumstances of its creation to encompass the expert conservation efforts that preserve its rich cultural and historical heritage. www.slam.org
EA: I studied art history and design, and I’m an artist as well. The GAs and SGAs work with the registrar and WCHOF allows us to handle the artifacts. DD: I love research and the connection to the larger historical culture. BM: WCHOF’s creative energy drew me in. When I started here, we prepared to open A Queen Within and there was an almost tangible energy in the building. SW: What’s challenging and rewarding about working here? EA: Guests may not understand an exhibit even after you explain it. Sometimes visitors touch the art. The exhibit Ladies’ Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess featured chess
DD: It’s disheartening to read blatantly sexist articles in old chess magazines, but those were the times. I love when visitors feel engaged with an exhibit, or when I guide a tour or teach a little chess and someone lights up as they grasp a new concept. BM: It’s challenging to find an avenue of interest in every exhibit. We should be invested in the exhibits so we can be sincere and knowledgeable with visitors. SW: What surprised you about working here? EA: Many things can be connected with chess. Before I started, I thought WCHOF would have old chess sets and cater to older people. Then I saw the dresses for A Queen Within. I thought, “This job will be cool if they’re pairing fashion with chess!” DD: I got to kick through a wall as part of my job. BM: The depth, passion, and vibrancy in the chess community. SW: Any funny or inspiring stories about visitors?
must be open-minded about shows and willing to engage with guests. DD: Visitors may feel out of their element here. Some enjoy a one-on-one guided tour where I go into depth about artifacts or artworks, while others want a self-guided experience of reading the labels and looking at objects. BM: You need to be comfortable talking to people, and sharp enough to understand each exhibit. SW: What have you learned since you started here? EA: I learned a lot about how art and chess go hand in hand, and how a lot of artists use chess in their work. I know how to play chess, handle artifacts, and deal with situations involving guests. One visitor walked into a door and cut his nose open. DD: Marcel Duchamp is a key component in most chess-related artwork.
sets made by contemporary female artists. None of the objects were inside vitrines or behind rope barriers, and a lot of guests touched them. I enjoy meeting artists and asking about their artistic process.
BM: As an artist, I recently learned the intangibles of artmaking. Marcel Dzama’s exhibit Mischief Makes a Move helped me understand how to create a fully realized body of work. PC: Does your work as an artist influence your work at WCHOF?
EA: Every so often a woman in her 80’s comes in. She has the spirit of someone in her 20’s. She flirts with the male employees!
EA: I’m inspired by the artists and art. Before I started here, I rarely painted and didn’t take it seriously. Now I paint regularly. A lot of staff are painters, musicians, photographers, illustrators, or graphic designers. It’s a whole art community.
DD: One visitor moved to the U.S. 52 years ago. She met another immigrant whose English was rough but they were able to play chess, another way to “communicate.” They married.
BM: For me it’s the other way around: working here influenced my illustrating. Some illustrations I created for WCHOF’s blog are on my website: www.brian-mcculloch.com.
BM: It seems like every fifth visitor has a personal story about Bobby Fischer. His popularity, decades after winning the 1972 World Championship, is ridiculous.
DD: I appreciate certain types of art or artistic processes, like WCHOF’s exhibits on Tom Hackney’s chess paintings and the history of women in chess.
SW: What skills do you most often utilize for your position? EA: I had no museum experience before WCHOF but I loved talking to people. You
Desiree Dixon, Eugenia Alexander, and Brian McCulloch (photo credit: Richard Reilly)
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TWO WOMEN’S TALES BEHIND A STONE SLEEPING BEAUTY By Roman Beuc Of the many wonderful works in the Saint Louis pantheon of sculptural art, one of the jewels in the crown is the statue of Beatrice Cenci (chen-chi) by Harriet Hosmer (1830-1908), a skilled American artist who had strong personal ties to the city. The work is in the collection of the Saint Louis Mercantile Library located on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. It was commissioned by the Mercantile Library board of directors in 1856 upon the recommendation of Wayman Crow, a prominent board member and a friend of Hosmer. Crow supported Hosmer’s artistic career over many years, providing her financial aid and overseeing her personal finance. The statue traveled from Rome, via London’s Royal Academy, followed by showings in the big East Coast cities, and traveled up the Mississippi to arrive in our city in 1858.
head. Drapery encases her young body but leaves her left breast exposed. Her head rests on her right arm and her right knee is pulled up. Her left arm falls off the stone bed and a rosary is held in that hand. The wrap around her head mimics that shown in the (not Reni) Cenci Portrait.
Hosmer’s Carrara marble statue depicts Cenci (1577-1599) at age 22. Cenci’s story is dramatic and terrible: a tale of incestuous abuse by her monster of a father, Count Francisco Cenci. This abuse became so intolerable that Beatrice, her stepmother and her two brothers conspired to have him murdered. The murder took place at the Count’s country villa outside of Rome on September 9, 1598.
When Hosmer decided to become a sculptor and needed formal training in human anatomy, her applications were denied by the local Boston medical schools because she was a woman. Wayman Crow, hearing of her predicament from his daughter, made arrangements for Hosmer to take classes at the Missouri Medical School, located at Eighth and Gratiot, and operated by Dr. John Nash McDowell. McDowell had provided anatomy instruction to American sculptor Hiram Powers. Arriving in St. Louis in the fall of 1850, Harriet moved into the Crow family home at Eighth and Olive.
This 16th century story became popular in the 19th. It was the subject of The Cenci, A Tragedy, in Five Acts, by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1819), a short story by Stendhal in 1837, and an 1840 history of medieval Italy by Jean-Charles Sismondi. Another strong influence, acknowledged by Hosmer, was the so-called from life Portrait of Beatrice Cenci, attributed to the baroque painter Guido Reni. It is now no longer believed to be either a depiction of Cenci or painted by Reni. However, at the time the painting served as an inspiration for Hosmer and was a source for some of the statue’s figurative detail.
Besides the Cenci sculpture, Hosmer also had strong personal and enduring ties to St. Louis. While attending the Sedgwick Girl’s School in Massachusets, Hosmer initiated a life-long friendship with fellow student Cornelia Crow, daughter of the previously mentioned prominent businessman, Wayman Crow. His civic achievements included being a cofounder of the Saint Louis Mercantile Library, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and Washington University and a Missouri State Senator.
Hosmer finished her anatomy studies in mid 1851. Before leaving St. Louis and returning to
her Boston home that summer, she traveled. She went unaccompanied, by steamboat, first to New Orleans, up the Mississippi to St. Anthony’s Falls in Minnesota and back to St. Louis. She subsequently returned to Boston and started her sculpture career there but moved to Rome in November 1852 where she became a pupil of the famous Neoclassical British sculptor, John Gibson, and very quickly achieved international artistic success. For the rest of her life, Hosmer maintained a close relationship with Cornelia Crow Carr and her father. Crow Carr later collected Hosmer’s correspondence and published an account of her life. Hosmer visited St. Louis on occasion and not only the Beatrice Cenci, but other major works of Hosmer can be found in St. Louis. Her Onone (c. 1855) is in Washington University’s permanent collection, Zenobia ln Chains (c. 1859) is at the Saint Louis Art Museum and the recently refurbished, larger than life, Senator Thomas Hart Benton (1868) stands in Lafayette Park.
160 Years of Art at the St. Louis Mercantile Library A Handbook to the Collections, 2007, Julie DunnMorton, An Anniversary Publication 1846-2006, University of Missouri Press Harriet Hosmer: American Sculptor 1830-1908, Dolly Sherwood, University of Missouri Press,1991 Harriet Hosmer: A Cultural Biography, Kate Culkin, University of Massachusetts Press, 2010 Harriet Hosmer: Letters and Memories. Harriet Goodhue Hosmer (1830-1908), Cornelia Crow Carr, 1913
The actual murder was executed by two servants hired by Cenci. Sources differ on the methods used. The authorities were immediately suspicious. Torture performed on the killers exposed details of the conspiracy. The four family members were arrested and convicted after a scandalous show trial that pitted Pope Clement VIII against mobs calling for the release of the “Roman Virgin.” Cenci and her stepmother were sentenced to beheading by sword at the Castel Sant’Angelo on the right bank of the Tiber. The statue presents Cenci asleep in prison on the night before her execution, stretched prone on a stone slab, with a pillow under her 17 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2016
Harriet Hosmer, Beatrice Cenci (courtesy of the Saint Louis Mercantile Library) COMMUNITY VOICES
LIFE, LOVE AND ART PARTNER: PATRICIA THURMAN By Sarah Hermes Griesbach
Patricia works to maintain an aura of accessibility and approachability within the gallery. "People walk in here from all over because we are a living gallery that responds quickly to events happening around us." Organic relationships, such as those built through the Alliance of Black Artists, make it much easier to insert timely exhibitions into long-planned, packed schedules. Patricia's working relationship and friendship with Frieda Wheaton, director of the Urban League's Vaughn Cultural Center and strong St. Louis art advocate, allowed them to spearhead the Hands Up, Don't Shoot series of exhibitions following the street execution of Mike Brown in 2014. The Thurmans' 10th Street Gallery was host to art and music events celebrating the opening of our National Blues Museum. A calendar of exhibits tied to the efforts of the storefront gallery's neighbors helps to build momentum for the St. Louis downtown community.
Patricia's goals for the gallery include building an ever-wider appeal that can spark more activity and provide momentum for an increasingly vibrant downtown St. Louis. Patricia touts the gallery talks dedicated to artists participating in group exhibitions as ideal opportunities for artists to get together and talk about their work with little pressure, to inspire emerging artists and slip a bit of art education into the downtown community. 10th Street Gallery art classes that were provided to police officers working downtown resulted in a fundraiser to provide the 4th grade class of Jamyla Bolden, a victim of gun violence, with a field trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. The officers' art was sold to honor Jamyla and to provide an opportunity to her classmates at Koke Elementary School in Riverview Gardens School District. [frustrated author's note: coming-of-age middle school field trips to this wonderful museum are a regular feature of many majority white private and public schools in our region, but often impossible for schools without budgets for local, let alone distant, excursions] Solomon's personal history is rich with African American historical touchstones. Emmitt Till' s grandparents were related to Solomon's grandparents. His father kept a scrapbook of African Americans in the news, providing a personalized lens on history much more informative than the average history textbook. Much of Solomon's art subjects come out of his study of that ancestry. Travelers coming through Lambert Airport are met with the Black American in Flight mural painted by
Patricia Thurman with Solomon Thurman’s The First Rappers (photo credit: Richard Reilly)
Solomon and Spencer Taylor in 1990, honoring the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Throughout his career, Solomon has received accolades for his important role in documenting our African American history. Patricia notes that she is glad to see St. Louis moving in a direction where lines are blurred between contemporary artists and African American artists with both identities valued but neither barring inclusion in the other. Patricia seems aware that her relationship to Solomon's art career is a fundamental part of it. She talks about the symbiosis between his research and creative production and her vital role in creating a welcoming place, planning educational and celebratory events and doing the managerial work that keeps the lights on. Together they have developed friends who come in yearly for conventions, regulars with art on the walls of their homes and offices that reflects the years of exhibitions held in the gallery. 10th Street Gallery - 419 North 10th Street, 63101 www.SolomonThurman.com
SOUTH CITY PASSION FOR CREATIVE EXPRESSION AS SELF CARE By Paul Fernandes South City Art Supply opened last year on the quiet side of Cherokee Street. Owners Xena Colby and Carson Moneti, life partners hailing from Boston and Maine respectfully, arrived in St. Louis in 2015 with a dream and an action plan. The two fell in love with the building they purchased because of its historic iron storefront and very quirky three-story interior. They believed that if they stocked their shelves with quality materials and unique art books they could fill a niche market for seasoned and beginning artists. They planned monthly art
exhibitions that celebrate known and outsider artists and turned their dreams into a Southside staple. Both Colby and Moneti hold the belief that creative expression is a means of self-care that is not always taught or encouraged. “There are many implicit aspects in our society that discourage arts exploration and expression. Many people are intimidated to create anything from scratch. The blank page can be intimidating.” Their solution? “If we hand COMMUNITY VOICES
someone the right tools and materials, that alone can provide the inspiration. Everything in here should feel good in your hand. We stock quality products at each price point.” They are also always ready to talk someone through processes or pull an appropriate book off their shelves. “We are committed to ongoing research of multiple creative sourcing. We have relationships with more suppliers and smaller suppliers than most retailers our size. We order locally, FALL 2016 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM 18
An artist’s successes rarely come without support. Patricia Thurman stands side-by-side with her painter husband Solomon Thurman as co-founder of their downtown St. Louis 10th Street Gallery. Patricia puts her professional background in technology and entrepreneurship behind Solomon's storied art career and their shared commercial gallery. Twenty years of dreaming led to the strategic plan that has enabled the Thurmans to adjust to the ebbs and flows of our downtown district. Their decision to invest in the city has resulted in dividends for the surrounding businesses, growing numbers of residents and countless artists.
nationally, and internationally. Beyond brushes, paint tubes, pens, canvases, paper, pastes and clays, South City Art Supply offers specialized books and magazines, new fiction, poetry, small press publications and zines. They promote self-published chapbooks and are exploring selling print art.
In an ever-changing neighborhood where arts spaces have come and gone each year, Colby and Moneti say they are here to stay. “Buying the building was extremely important to taking the plunge into starting this business up.” We love this neighborhood for many reasons but perhaps most of all because it is full of passion
projects.” The building’s history also intrigues them. 1926 Cherokee was built in 1874. It was originally a saloon—Paul’s Place. There is a sign painted on the side of the building “The Neon Lady” recalling a time when the store was one of many antique stores in this district dubbed Cherokee Antique Row. “We have loyalty from local working artists who do all their shopping with us and we do a lot of business with the weekend tourists who come to this neighborhood to stroll, shop and enjoy the history that is abundant on this street. We love seeing new people walk in and explore our wares and the rotating art on display.” The 2nd floor of the business, the Atrium Gallery, is a unique exhibition space. Walking the perimeter of the open ceiling that looks down on the shop is like walking on a bridge. The art exhibitions rotate once a month, with free to the public opening receptions on first Fridays. Artist Jenna Bauer sings praises for the neighborhood art store: “What strikes me most is that they’ve shifted their hours and inventory since day one - listening to us and watching our strange patterns as artists. They are charming and their store is surely charmed.”
Xena Colby and Carson Moneti in South City Art Supply (photo credit: Amy Reidel)
GETTING SMART: VLAA
VOLUNTEER LAWYERS AND ACCOUNTANTS FOR THE ARTS By Amy Reidel The first three links at the top of the VLAA website say it all: “Get Help”, “Get Smart”, and “Get Involved.” It often seems that art is made in a vacuum. It manifests itself thanks to the sheer will of genius via the artist. Unfortunately/fortunately, this is not the case. As we learn in this issue of All the Art, at its various stages art requires supplies, conservators, guards, possibly education, money, and support of the artist as a human being and small business. When you remove the somehow idealized vision of the “starving artist,” you may begin to ask questions. Like, how do artists get health insurance? Who protects them when their images are taken advantage of by larger entities? Enter VLAA; An organization that provides quality assistance to artists, small 19 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2016
arts-related businesses and nonprofit cultural organizations. Across all career levels, VLAA will help arts professionals with direct legal and accounting services, advice and educational programming. They even offer FREE assistance to those that qualify. From acquiring affordable health insurance and finding a studio space, to providing expertise on how to read a contract or lease, over 300 volunteers from VLAA have your back, artists. So if you need help understanding copyright laws, agreeing to that exhibition contract, resolving a conflict, filing your taxes or finding a suitable live/work space, check out their website. We certainly have! www.vlaa.org COMMUNITY VOICES
Gus Valdez and Nicole Cooper (courtesy of VLAA)
ONE THEORY BEHIND “HEALING ART” By David Coblitz
After retiring from the Boeing Company as a developer of aircraft simulator visual systems, I took up photography as a second career and
creative outlet. At first I did any type of photographic work to gain experience, but soon learned that my creative interests were best served in the area of fine art photography. I was led to my current artistic focus completely accidentally through a business networking relationship. A few years ago, I created a business networking/co-marketing group of companies that address the needs of seniors. One member was a medical interior designer, Myra Katz. She introduced me to Evidence Based Design (EBD) & suggested I look into EBD art or as I call it, “healing art.” I became intrigued at the power of art to create a healing atmosphere and began creating photographs specifically for this purpose. It appealed to the engineer in me that my art would not simply look pretty, but would perform a useful function.
David Coblitz, Healing Art - Evidence Based Design, (image courtesy of the artist)
My main focus now is on EBD art, art produced with the purpose to heal and release stress for those exposed to it and, in a medical
space, to reduce staff stress and improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. Making the effort to reduce staff stress level through changes in the work environment is one way that management can show respect and care for their staff. I posit that EBD healing art could be used as an indirect way to reduce staff stress levels and hence turnover. This effort is an ongoing experiment taking place currently in a senior living facility and soon in a second medical care office as I look to collect supporting data to show the effects of living with artwork designed specifically to promote well-being.
AN APP FOR ST. LOUIS ARTISTS By Kelley Atherton
Art Saint Louis sought to create something from the mobile app revolution and discovered something useful for artists’ daily lives and for collectors looking for an easy way to buy fine art. The mobile app, ArtLoupe, already boasts more than 500 users and 1,600 artworks. “We’re a tiny non-profit trying to start something literally from nothing,” said Chandler Branch, executive director of Art Saint Louis. Powered by a $50,000 Innovation Grant from the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) in 2013,
the organization developed ArtLoupe with input from local artists, conducted a round of beta testing and then quietly released the app on iTunes and Google Play in March. It’s free to use. Artists create a portfolio of works that buyers can browse by medium, size, or price. They can post directly to their social media as well. Artists get secure payment through PayPal with no fees, and Art Saint Louis takes a nominal 10% commission. Art Saint Louis has been working on this idea for about 5 years. Branch said the idea of a mobile app came together while thinking about the emerging digital space for the visual art industry. Branch referenced the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report, which found that the global online art market has been rising steadily over the last several years, reaching $2.64 billion in 2014 as art buyers find buying art online convenient, and more than ever, people are finding art on social media. RAC’s 2013 Artists Count survey of 3,000 artists from all disciplines in the St. Louis region found they spend up to 50% of their COMMENTARY
time marketing their work and 79% rely on outside jobs to support themselves. This solidified in Branch’s mind that the app could be beneficial. FALL 2016 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM 20
There’s a man in a multicolored hoodie standing bold against a bright blue background. There’s a sienna sunset sky after a storm with the sun breaking through the clouds. There’s a rusted electrical box on a weathered gray church in the middle of the woods. All exist at the same time, yet these things have nothing to do with one another. At any given time on the new ArtLoupe app, someone seeking art could find this mixed media piece, acrylic painting and photograph, among other uploaded artworks.
Right at the same time, RAC was developing its Innovation Grants program. In deciding to award Art Saint Louis, RAC was looking to fund projects outside of a non-profit’s scope of work that could support artists. “This digital platform has the opportunity and ability to connect artists with a wider audience, and that’s pretty significant,” said Sherry Sissac, director of marketing and external affairs for RAC. There are a lot of different websites and apps selling art, but right now it’s easy for artists to be recognized on ArtLoupe as the dashboard is constantly pushing different works to the foreground. The Artists Count survey unearthed a need for local artists to have their work broadly exposed. “Sometimes that means creating something unique to the artist in order to generate that support,” said Sissac. Holly Essner is just getting a foothold into the local arts community. Essner sold a pop-art painting her first day on ArtLoupe. Her paintings often depict St. Louis icons and life in the city. She uses pointillism to create an
optical effect that looks “cartoon-esque” with a dry sense of humor. The exposure to her main audience — people who love St. Louis — attracted Essner to ArtLoupe. Art Saint Louis is interested in promoting artists while creating a successful venture, but there’s more risk for a small arts non-profit to delve into a startup project. The organization decided to make it free to use. “This motivates us to be really proactive to market artists’ work and not just provide a shelf,” Branch said. Many artists noted in the Artists Count survey that they need help developing business and technology skills, marketing themselves and connecting with other artists. Kathy Duffin, Art Saint Louis’ program coordinator, suggests that “They’re growing their audience, they’re reaching other people, they’re getting feedback, they’re part of the community, even when they’re not getting money for it.” ArtLoupe is not exclusive to St. Louis artists. There are a number all over the country. If you are only learning of our own local app now,
that is because Art Saint Louis chose to make a quiet debut to work out any bugs. “We’re trying to be strategic,” said Branch “because we have a project that eventually, if it really matures, should be relevant on a national level.”
Holly Essner (image credit: Richard Reilly)
By Darian Wigfall
The text came across the lock screen: 'I just got P [Eric Prospect White] headed back to the studio now' I wanted to meet Basil Kincaid at his studio to talk book illustration for a book we're collaborating on. It was late May and I needed seven pictures from him by the end of July and Basil is one of the most sought after artists in the world or at least my world. Time was of the essence. I finished up the work I was doing and was there within an hour.
I know Prospect well too. We all go back to the early Blank Space days when Basil was one of the first artists to display there. I was young in my music management career and Prospect was a young poet and rapper. I find this out during the interview Prospect has during my time in Basil's studio. A friend of ours from a local radio affiliate came to talk to Prospect about R3clamation. During this time, another old acquaintance and new friend Audrey [Simes] comes in to sew. We sit in this upstairs studio space that has been converted from some sort of warehouse space and now houses a storefront and studio space for artists like Peat Wolleager and Basil 21 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM FALL 2016
Kincaid. Sounds about right for the St. Louis/ Cherokee Street arts scene.
I check the calendar that I always bring to appointments. May 25. Open. Let's do this.
The walls are covered with gigantic quilts made for the new R3clamation Project. The floors are covered with partial quilts and scraps from the same. Audrey begins to sew and asks the interviewer if she is interrupting. He insists this is great background and she carries on as Basil and I listen quietly.
I verbally confirm with Prospect and Basil and it’s about two weeks before I see either of them again but when we see each other again, the program begins like it never ended. I had since downloaded the music from R3clamation but there were a lot of holes in the program on my end for music. I've been a DJ since I was a teenager so people tend to let me have my way with the music, just playing to the crowd present. This time I wanted it to be right on point for the installation/performance but I hadn't gotten all the details yet for a number of reasons, but we all like to fly by the seat of our pants for things like this so it was cool.
I knew about R3clamation from those early times at Blank Space and the first project that Basil, Prospect and LooseScrewz had made. I didn't know that that's when Basil and Prospect first met. This was amazing to me! Through the interview I find that the cloth all comes from reclaimed curtains, sheets and blankets from abandoned homes or donated for the project. We are reclaiming the city in a way that really hits home (yeah, I know) for all of us because we all have long standing relationships with the curtains, linens and blankets from our parents house or grandparents house that hold a special place in our hearts. Once the interview was over, Prospect turns to me and says, 'Hey would you DJ for the event on May 25?' COMMENTARY
When I arrive at Nebula, Basil and the squad from before, plus Shea [Brown] are in preparation for the show. There's an altar with what looks like a million red, white and yellow candles on the side of the building that houses Nebula. The quilts from the studio now hang inside the vestibule space next to the altar and Basil, Shea and Audrey have on these amazingly elaborate quilted outfits. I know I'm in for a treat. Up until this point, I really didn't know what to expect. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to be included.
Not that my DJ skills aren't up to the test at any time, but I'm always honored to be included in such innovative art as this. I set up my equipment on the sidewalk. No turntables today but I brought the big speakers in case the team needed the music to be quiet but heard for some distance. The buzz starts as soon as I take the first speaker out of the car. 'Y'all havin a party?' a passerby asks. 'Nah. It's actually an art show.' I say as I point to the quilts and the team busy getting things ready inside. A few people begin to crowd around as I'm getting things set up and asking Basil for a power source. Since this is R3clamation, I decide to take the crowd back to the origin as I give them a bit of atmosphere for what's to come. The final play list is handed to me abruptly and Basil and I run down the tracks. Ten minutes later, Prospect comes and says he wants to call an audible and freestyle where
there had been a repeated song in the queue before. I happily oblige but this is a new computer. None of my old instrumentals have been transferred yet. I go to my go to beat maker, and R3clamation collaborator, LooseScrewz. I quickly download 'Suede' from the Tesla album using the wifi from Nebula (thank the gods for modern tech!). That's as far as I can get before we're off and running. In a crowd of about 30 people, the music starts. I'm playing Damon Davis' new project, LOA Act I. The next 20-25 minutes is a blur of a quilted figure (Shea Brown) performing a ritual, burning all the candles at the altar, Basil transforming into the trapped LOA in slave rags and Prospect spitting some poetry and freestyle raps (over the Suede beat) that had the whole crowd enthralled - all the while another quilted figure (Audrey Simes) moved through the crowd, inviting them to be a part of the exhibit. It was a warm May evening and just after the golden hour, the city got just a little bit cooler because of the ideas this team of misfits put together. I was just glad to be in service to the operation.
The Vessel, R3clamation Prelude, in collaboration with Nebula Coworking, Basil Kincaid and Shea Brown performing (photo credit: Mackenzie Leek)
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