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Angad Arts Hotel


The 1st Issue Albert Yowshien Kuo, David Burke, Robert Cantu, Zlatko Ćosić, Audrey Simes, Reuben Reuel, The Saint Louis Story Stitchers

Angad Arts Hotel Storyteller

Edited and Designed by Visitor Assembly

Produced by and Created for Angad Arts Hotel




Address: 3550 Samuel Shepard Dr. Saint Louis, MO 63103

Team: Alyssa Knowling Marcus Stabenow

For inquiries, questions or future advertising, contact:

On The Cover: Albert Yowshien Kuo


Visit the Storyteller Online:

Phone: 314 561 0033

Printed in Saint Louis, MO 2018

All text and images created by Visitor Assembly unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

Table of Contents The Saint Louis Story Stitchers

Visual Arts


Reuben Reuel of Demestik




AAH Artist Lineup




Zlatko Ćosić + Audrey Simes



David Burke + Robert Cantu



Albert Yowshien Kuo

To Our Guests, I first met renowned architect and developer Steve Smith in the Fall of 2016 to discuss a new project he was spearheading to transform the historic Missouri Theater Building into a one-of-a-kind luxury boutique hotel. Steve was bringing to fruition a vision he shared with co-founder Angad Paul to design a venue that would reflect the theatricality and creativity of the more than 50 multifaceted arts experiences found within a few square blocks of the hotel in the heart of St. Louis’ flourishing Grand Center Arts District. Angad’s words became the mantra for all that followed: “What is art but seeing the world in a different way. What is life but a series of experiences connected together.” And so, the journey began with Steve and his Lawrence Group design team to create a hotel unlike any other with a foundation in experience and whimsicality. The ideas came to life one by one: the use of color to impact a guest’s emotional experience within their room; a giant, ever-changing Chameleon Lamp displaying the work of local video artists; an entrance lobby that would be an art gallery instead of a standard hotel lobby. The entrance to the hotel would also be at the back of the building, and the hotel lobby would be on the top floor, challenging all conventional norms and asking guests to “see the world in a different way.” We welcome you to Angad Arts Hotel and look forward to you exploring and experiencing its many unique spaces, nooks and crannies filled with surprise, delight and joy. We invite you to see the spectacular STL views from the rooftop Angad Rainbow Terrace (A.R.T.), to join us for nightly events in the Angad Playroom and Playhouse, to choose your favorite bar or lounge and to feast on a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner in Grand Tavern by Chef David Burke. We look forward to providing you with singular service that is both personalized and exceptional. Thank you for choosing AAH! Stay Colorful, David Miskit Executive Managing Director



The artist of the “Happiness” art piece created for Angad Arts Hotel




Albert Yowshien Kuo was the first in his family born in the United States. At a young age he showed a strong interest in the musical and visual arts, and was educated in both St. Louis and Taiwan. In 2014, he completed his MFA and has since been working as an exhibiting artist and professor of the arts in various institutions including Washington University, Fontbonne University and St. Louis Community College Meramec. Albert currently lives and works in St. Louis, and has studio space at The Intersect Arts Center. His piece “Happiness” is featured in the yellow rooms at Angad Arts Hotel.


Alber t Yowshien Kuo





What is it like making and teaching art in St. Louis?

Teaching art in St. Louis has really exposed the rawness of its community and the need for empathy in any situation. Communicating complex strategies and ideas while offering support and encouragement that include youths to retired adults in a wide spectrum of socioeconomic backgrounds has taught me how to listen and empathize. The arts community in St. Louis is very supportive of one another and has little competitive attitudes that circulate. Having the support of colleagues and peers within the non-visual and visual artistic community creates a tremendous sense of belonging.


What are your favorite places to see art in the city?

Some of my favorite places in the city to see art include The Pulitzer, St. Louis Art Museum and in the Grand Center Arts District. There are many others I would like to mention, but generally I have always had the most enjoyment from recent shows I’ve experienced at those three locations. This might be because I’m partial to the architectural and social structure of those spaces as well.




“ Happiness

should always come from within ”



In what ways can Angad Arts Hotel impact the arts in St. Louis?

The inclusion of local artists and institutions to be directly involved in the creation of Angad Arts Hotel helps to employ local artists and allows AAH to take on the role of becoming a pedestal for the arts in St. Louis for the rest of the nation to recognize. Hiring artists of all age groups and skills will serve as a strong reflection of St. Louis’ humanitarian and cultural embrace.


What does happiness mean to you?

Happiness is being able to connect with yourself and those around you. It is having the feeling that your own emotions and interests are justified with the support of those close to you in your life. I believe happiness should not be defined in opposition to unhappiness, rather that they exist as a package. Working hard for the things and people you have a deep care for can be difficult at times, and at other time bring happiness.


How do you hope your piece imparts happiness to guests who stay in the yellow rooms?

Happiness should always come from within. Being in touch with yourself by having a sense of comfort and confidence in your own identity spreads to those around you, and therefore your family, friends and community. I hope yellow can become a reflection of the best versions of yourself and give you a boost of confidence in your own wellbeing.


MIRROR RORRIM David Burke and Robert Cantu bring surprise, delight and joy to Grand Tavern

Photos Courtesy of Dillon Burke Instagram - @fohnyc




Throughout the course of his over thirty-year career, celebrity chef David Burke has become a renowned pioneer of the culinary industry. He has received critical acclaim including numerous recognitions from the James Beard Foundation, created revolutionary patented food techniques and products, has appeared on television shows such as Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters and has opened restaurants across the nation. Now, Chef Burke continues to innovate with the opening of Grand Tavern at Angad Arts Hotel, his first restaurant in St. Louis and first for an arts-centric, highly conceptual hotel. Taking on the role of Executive Chef is Robert Cantu, a Texas native who has worked in top restaurants throughout country and has worked as a Chef Instructor. The two chefs have a lot in common— they share the experience of running hotel and resort restaurants, of working in cities all over the United States and letting whimsicality and liveliness permeate their dishes. We spoke with David Burke and Robert Cantu about St. Louis and their shared vision for Grand Tavern.









What is most compelling about opening a new

What is most compelling about opening a new

restaurant in St. Louis?

restaurant in St. Louis?

One of the most compelling parts is bringing fresh

I love working on new and creative dishes, and I

ideas by learning about the culture and food, while at

think Grand Tavern will be a great platform to start

the same time bringing my signature dishes into

some new and interesting food trends in the St.

another city in America.

Louis area. It will be very exciting to bring something to St. Louis that has never been done before.

How do Surprise, Delight & Joy play into the menu concept?

How do Surprise, Delight & Joy play into the menu concept?

The menu has to first be about delicious food and great execution. Then we can play with the visual

We will Surprise guests with new and whimsical

delight, creativity and uniqueness. Good wine,

dishes, we will Delight the guests with the attention

company, food and ambiance will bring the joy.

to detail and impeccable service, and the guests will leave Joyful that they had a great experience.

What role does whimsicality play in your style of cooking?

What role does whimsicality play in your style of cooking?

My way of thinking is naturally whimsical. It’s throughout the menu without being over the top,

Chef Burke and I are so similar in the way we look at

and doesn’t dominate the menu. Food should be

food. I’m very fond of taking something familiar and

fuel for the body and be nurturing, while still

changing it into something fun and unique, or even

entertaining the person and the occasion.

interactive. For example, anybody can serve bacon, but what about bacon on a clothesline torched tableside?

Do other forms of art influence your cooking? Do other forms of art influence your cooking? Yes— art such blown glass (Dale Chihuly), paintings and other forms of arts and crafts influence my dishes .

I would say that my plating is that of a modern abstract style, using shapes and colors in a nontraditional way.

What will separate Grand Tavern from other hotels you’ve provided culinary experiences for?

What will separate Grand Tavern from other hotels you’ve provided culinary experiences for?

Grand Tavern is an opportunity because of the style and art of the hotel. With my style and imagination of

At Grand Tavern we will seek to provide a new

cooking, it will bring a unique experience. A flat chain

outlook on food, and we will provide guests with

like a steakhouse wouldn’t bring a forward way of

service that is second to none. Our goal is to bring a

thinking or creativity to the hotel.

true five-star experience to the St. Louis market.

[ Burke ]

[ Cantu ]








HARMONY A conversation with multidisciplinary ar tists Zlatko Ćosić and Audrey Simes Video Stills from “Chameleon Dance Series” Zlatko Ćosić and Audrey Simes



When Zlatko Ćosić was announced as the Director of Video Art for Angad Arts Hotel, he began working with local artists to curate and create special video works to give life to one of AAH’s focal points: The Chameleon Lamp in the hotel’s lobby. He joined forces with longtime collaborator Audrey Simes, dancer and codirector of artist collective FloSTL.

The two award-winning artists come from very different backgrounds; Zlatko is a native of the former Yugoslavia and Audrey grew up in Los Angeles, but they've both found home in St. Louis cross-collaborating with one another and local artists. Their collected pool of skillsets ranges from video direction and creation to dance and choreography to installation, performance art and beyond.



We invited Audrey and Zlatko to discuss collaboration, their love of movement and the impact they hope to achieve through their work. A: We met through Webster University in 2011. Z: I was already a professor at Webster and was invited to be a guest artist for a semester in the Webster dance department. I spent several months working with dancers and filming footage, and Audrey was selected to be in the work—that’s how we started creating together. A: I was already working on my self-designed interdisciplinary major, and was navigating and combining four different departments at Webster. I was engaged with and trying to find crossover between video, dance theater and the limitless

How did you two meet and what sparked your desire to create together?

possibilities of performance art. That we could combine all these different tools, elements and ideas to make worlds really sparked our continued collaboration.

Z: I love discipline, so when you’re collaborating with somebody, you don't want to give up on a project. There’s a certain responsibility when you work together. Audrey works similarly to me. She's focused, she's addicted to the work and she uses her time professionally. All of the multidisciplines we get into make for a great collaboration. A: I've been thinking about this concept a lot lately— about what collaboration is to me, and how it’s perceived, not just in the art world, but in general. There are dynamics between dancer and director, between the piece and the audience, and I feel like even that is a collaboration. I want to make full sensory experiences for audiences so that they're actively participating, and I think right now, that’s what people need and want. They want to feel like they're part of something. They want to feel connected. And to me, that is truly what collaboration is about. It's about, in a way, surrendering, being vulnerable, you know? And being able to share ownership of things and say, “We made this,” and not be afraid of that.

What makes collaboration so integral to your practices?



Z: The work Audrey and I are doing for the hotel highlights the beauty of the body altogether—the movement, the shapes, the colors. I always search for movement, whether it’s from nature or even artificial animation. I love experimentation, and the improvisation and surprises that come with a performance.

What does your collaboration for the Chameleon Lamp focus on?

Z: It's important to somehow reframe visuals and give our artistic approach to viewers. Hopefully they get inspired, take something from it, go and share with somebody else. Teach their kids to care about nature, humans, or maybe become artists themselves. Tell stories or bring other people to see the work. To wonder. To ask questions. A: Everything you said is very much how I feel as well, and I think creating experiences where people can view art in new ways that break down constructs is important too. I'm not as interested in making work that you can easily sit in your chair and watch on your television to view. I like inspiring people to move, get engaged and get involved through the work itself, and I think the thing the Chameleon Lamp offers is a new way of experiencing projection and filmmaking. It reframes how we think of shooting it. How you think of dancing it. How the viewer

What kind of overall impact do you want your work to have?

can be outside of it or inside of it, sitting and experiencing it almost in some sort of immersive landscape.

Z: To me, movement isn’t flat— it has dimension, space, narrative, it brings life. With the Chameleon Lamp being part of the space, it’s bringing movement, and it’s not on a schedule, so you're not there to watch it like a movie. It's almost like a life— what you take from it is really up to you. A: I also think viewers of art versus viewers of dance tend to be separate audiences sometimes. But I do think that when people see a human experiencing something onstage or on a screen, they're ultimately going to have more connection with it than a sculpture or a two-dimensional image. We are connected to humans more so than we are connected to objects, and I think that movement relates to the human experience more.

What can captured movement communicate, whether through video, performance or dance?



Z: I find that in an alternative gallery such as the Angad Arts Hotel people are under less pressure to get it, to understand, to talk about it, so I love this kind of sneaky way of giving people art and comfortably pulling them in. A: It's just a new way of framing performance and video, and it's exciting to see that the hotel will offer that more and more. There's so much that the hotel is going to offer to the community. I think the concept of a hotel, as an art hotel

How can viewing art in a hotel help viewers feel more connected with the experiential art?

particularly, makes it feel like you're immersed fully. For a period of time, you're in residence in an art space, and that's something unique, I think, in any city.

Z: I think the hotel is going to serve as a starting point in the Grand Center, like a hub where people have somewhere to stay which has been missing in the neighborhood. Grand Center is a great place to visit theaters and exhibitions, socialize and participate in many types of entertainment. Angad Arts Hotel will provide a unique living and art experience for guests and St. Louis residents. A: There's an intersection between artists and art lovers, and maybe, like you said, those people who consider themselves art lovers will feel they can engage and will want to take a risk and make something themselves. I think the hotel can be a very inspiring place for people. When you provide platforms, people really open up and want to share.

What can Angad Arts Hotel add to St. Louis, specifically to the Grand Center Arts District?



S ’ O H ? W DY A E R o t e p o h g s n r i l e l h e t c t y i r t o S t s y r h o g t u S o s r i u h t o s L e t i n t i i n a u S m e h m t o c w t o H pac im


Photo Courtesy of Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective Demil Johnson aka Superhood, Artist in Residence, 2018




In 2013, eight artists came together to form the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, a non-profit organization that connects professional artists with youth aged 16-24 to create social change through the arts. Susan Colangelo, the organization’s president, has worked hard to create a synergetic space where young people feel like their voices are heard. Now, Saint Louis Story Stitchers serves as an artistic hub and community center, allowing young artists to create and share through words, music, visual art and performance. On any given day at their Delmar Loop storefront space, one can find the group engaging in a world of activities ranging from producing music to participating in writing workshops to collaborating with a variety of working artists. The Saint Louis Story Stitchers explore crucial issues that impact not just St. Louis, but the entire country. Though they tackle challenging topics such as racial disparities, trauma and gun violence, the talented young artists and performers address these subjects with creative vigor and strength. Earlier this year, the group worked with Artists in Residence Britt Baker and Reggie McNichols to write a new song centered on preventing gun violence called “Who’s Ready?”, which was performed at the 2018 St. Louis March for Our Lives and has since been recorded and published.

High school student She’Kinah was especially impacted by the experience. “Since the two sessions spent with Britt, I found out that there is so much more to music, and that when you speak poetry, rap, sing or just do free writing, those are all things that express who you are and why you came to Saint Louis Story Stitchers in the first place,” she wrote. She’Kinah continued, “We have been living in an unsafe world and what Saint Louis Story Stitchers is trying to do is make the areas we live in today into safe places. So the people who are scared to go outside just to get their mail out of their mailbox can finally say, ‘Hey, I’m starting to feel a change that there is going to be a revolution,’…There are still good people in this world who are actually trying to create a safe, protected, loving, warm environment.” The members of Saint Louis Story Stitchers project a clear passion and belief that their words, songs and performances can make tangible differences in their community. To read She’Kinah’s full blog post, watch performances, donate and learn more about the organization, visit






I’ve been drownin’ In sorrow filled water fountains Not asking for pity parties, no pardon partners around And I’ve calculated the odds but what good is knowing the count When I count up, count it down I’ve already been counted out

It don’t matter, shown too much of my valor Give up in hard times? I haven’t, but from the data I’ve gathered, rumor has it The captured act like the captors, the captors act like they captured Ain’t never been down with moving unless the movement is backwards But I’m ready!

WHO’S READY? ( LY R I C S ) (Chorus)

We ready. We ready. We ready for violence to stop. Get ready. Get ready. Get ready for change to come. Whose ready? We ready. We ready for a revolution. Whose ready? We ready. We ready for the violence to stop. Whose ready?

We ready. Whose ready? We ready. We ready. We ready. We ready for the violence to stop. I said whose ready? We ready. Whose ready? We ready. We ready. We ready. We ready for the violence to stop.


Looking at my city and I see it is in trouble Instead of facing each other they out here facing muzzles People droppin left to right I'm seeing families crumble We gotta help each other cuz we're all part of this struggle

Why we hurting each other? I look and I see double There's so much hurt and hopelessness that lies beneath the rubble But if we set aside our differences we can make change We just gotta be humble and make our way through the rain

Cuz I don't know about you, but I'm tired of seeing pain The gang-banging is old, gun violence is beyond lame If we're not tryna save our city, then we're livin in vain People out here taking lives like it's a video game

What I'm saying isn't make-believe cuz anything is possible And if we work together we can obliterate these obstacles So put the gun down, get up and join the movement Cuz there's strength in numbers, so let's get to it (Chorus)

We ready. We ready. We ready for violence to stop. Get ready. Get ready. Get ready for change to come. Whose ready? We ready. We ready for a revolution. Whose ready? We ready. We ready for the violence to stop. Whose ready?

We ready. Whose ready? We ready. We ready. We ready. We ready for the violence to stop. I said whose ready? We ready. Whose ready? We ready. We ready. We ready. We ready for the violence to stop.




We are the R E V O lution The kids of the future The change to come

Put the guns down stop aiming at our heads Don’t put us in dirt

e k i l g n i l Fee

t r i h s s r e h c t i t S y r o t S a n o t e g r a t the

But we can talk it out We should talk it out Listen… Shh! Can you hear our voices now? Singing we shall overcome any stereotypes We are not the ones to conform but to give off light We have the power in our hands So we the people need to vote The biggest generation has the hardest time trying to cope with pain Seems like every other day it rains in my hood but somehow they still saying it’s all good It’s not Black on black crimes got our city in the prime of its worst time I’m hurting cause we flirting with a beast Instead of slaying Goliath they complain about the streets Don’t give up on us now this the start of something unique (Bridge)

No more violence, put down the gun, we will not be silent, It’s time for revolution. No more violence. No more violence, put down the gun, we will not be silent, It’s time for revolution. No more violence. (Chorus Reprise) Writers/Composers Stitchers Youth Council: Emeara Burns, Annalise Cason, Branden Lewis, Michaela Taylor, Shawn Taylor, She’Kinah Taylor Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. All rights reserved.

Artist in Residence: Britt Baker Producer: Reggie McNichols (Ntegrity) Publisher: Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective





Anything But Uniform

Reuben Reuel’s bold new staff apparel is breaking down barriers



Young designer Reuben Reuel has already had a colorful career. He’s moved from Virginia to Brooklyn to St. Louis, dressing celebrities, take Beyoncé for instance, and everyday women alike with a vibrant aesthetic and careful attention to silhouette. He recently moved back to New York, but not before joining forces with Angad Arts Hotel to create a bold new collection of staff apparel. Reuel has created looks for concierge, valet, bellhops and other guest service staff. The staff wear is composed of his personal styling choices alongside reworked garments and elements from his line Demestik that launched in 2012. You’ll see a reimagined Patricia Jacket from Demestik on women at the front desk and Ankara prints, another element stemming from Reuel’s collection, on neckties for some of the men on staff. “There’s a literal piece from Demestik and components from Demestik, which captures the whole idea of staying colorful. I’ve never done anything like this, so it’s really exciting to be affiliated with the hotel in such a way that people are going to associate my branding, my look, with the Angad Arts Hotel,” Reuel said. When he first began to conceive the new staff wear, he knew AAH wasn’t looking for standard staff apparel and wanted to avoid traditional modes of thought.

He continued, “I think that individuality and style are so important. A lot of different stores now have these systematic uniforms in a way, and they create the same things over and over every season, every year. I think what this is going to do is change the way people think of fashion for a hotel.” Reuel used the emotional expression of color and pattern, elements that have played a crucial role in his overall design aesthetic, as the jumping off points for creating more individualistic, personality-showcasing staff apparel. “I think color plays a huge part in everyone’s everyday life, but we don’t really see it that much in the world. Even being in New York City, I don’t see it here that often in the streets. I think the impact of color will make people feel more welcome. I think it will make people feel happier, and there will be an instant excitement coming into the space and seeing people actually looking brighter just because of color,” he said.

I think that individuality and style are so important.

We wanted fashion looks, not uniforms.

“We wanted fashion looks, not uniforms, so it gave me freedom to style things in a way that I would like— a little bit more casual versus the pinned-up, buttoned-up, suit-wearing valet you usually see. I wanted to make sure that the garments had an elegance but still had a modern chicness to them,” Reuel said.



Studio Visit



At Demestik With Reuben Reuel



Staying colorful is about being yourself— it’s not about putting on a persona to fit in.

Reuel hopes the positive energy of the apparel will extend beyond the hotel, and is excited by the prospect of the garments being worn by staff on their off-days.

He continued, “I think the staff at AAH will be able to be themselves. Staying colorful is about being yourself— it’s not about putting on a persona to fit in.”

“I like the fact that the garment, especially for the women, will feel fashionable and modern, and I could see them wearing the jacket outside of the hotel. The same thing with the looks for the guys working at the front desk and the valet and the bellhops. We want the staff to feel part of the environment but not make them feel like they are untouchable,” he said.

Reuel has proven that whether he is dressing everyday women, celebrities or bellhops, he keeps his design process true to his aesthetic and to his self-expression.

This notion of being “untouchable,” a barrier that many standard uniforms can create between guests and staff, is something Reuel hopes to start breaking down with the reinvented staff apparel. “The idea of what you think a concierge or bellhop should look like will give people a different perspective on fashion and a different perspective on how to approach someone and treat someone based on how they dress,” Reuel said.

“My whole goal for becoming a designer and doing what I do is to dress people, and I never really had a specific type of person to dress. I just want to make beautiful clothing that people can enjoy and wear, and I’ve accomplished that by trying, but not trying too hard. Fashion is so vast, and to limit myself would be boring. I’m really happy to have opportunities where I can be creative and whimsical outside my own brand, but can still incorporate my own elements within other spaces,” he said. Reuel hopes to continue exploring new avenues and has plans to work in home decor and menswear for future projects. To learn more about Demestik, visit







Room Within the Room Paintings

Giant Guest Room Art (commissioned)

(commissioned) Metra Mitchell Laura Schumpert Michael Anderson Marjorie Williamson

Albert Yowshien Kuo Megan Rieke Dail Chambers William LaChance

Yellow Red Green Blue

Yellow Happiness Blue Tranquility Green Rejuvenation Red Passion

1 Guest Room Numbers

Video Art

Zlatko Ćosić

Director of Video Art and video artist for Angad Arts Hotel

kozyndan (illustrations) Van McElwee William Morris Natalie Rainer Anna Minx Audrey Simes (choreographer/dancer)

(commissioned) Paula Haniszewski

Fine Art Curation

Installations (commissioned) Jason Ackman Behind Closed Doors + Whimsical Bell Cart Marina Peng Behind Closed Doors works

Jacob Elior Berkowitz

Eye Pillows

1 Art Saint Louis



Permanent Art Michael Albers Flip 2 Paula Haniszewski 6 artworks in the Chameleon Lounge Linda Horsley Evening Swim #2 Andrew Brandmeyer Postcard JB Nearsy Neighborhood 10c: Basilica Valerie Snyder My Red Chevy Adam West Forest of Discovery Deborah Douglas How to Be Laura Schumpert Keyhole



“Red Passion” William LaChance

“Keyhole” Laura Schumpert

“Punk -Ass For President” Paula Haniszewski

“How to Be” Deborah Douglas

“Postcard” Andrew Brandmeyer

“Blue Tranquility” Megan Rieke

Stay Colorful

The 1st Issue  

For the self-expressive, the provocative, the whimsical and the avant-garde.

The 1st Issue  

For the self-expressive, the provocative, the whimsical and the avant-garde.