September 2020

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September 2020 Issue




Kids' Play ~ Midwest Salute to the Arts September Fun Page ~ Sunday Morning Game Night September Submissions ~ Friends of Gesso

Sep 2020

Maxine Thirteen

Serving Up Art, Music, and Culture for the Metro Area’s Enjoyment 1 Gesso Magazine

Editor's Word

September 2020

Editor’s Word – September 2020 Straight Up Magazine is now Gesso Magazine and it is here with its 62nd edition ‘Serving Up Art, Music and Culture for the Metro Area’s Enjoyment’. The St. Louis Metro deserves its own arts and entertainment magazine. And here it is. It’s called Gesso!!!

latest issue of Gesso Magazine – issue #62 in the Str8 Up Magazine legacy!!!

Like Straight Up before it, the mission of Gesso Magazine is to support local arts and artists and the businesses and organizations that support local arts and artists. We invite you to contact us with ideas, comments, information, etc. that might assist us in our mission to serve you, the We are very pleased to have Maxine Thirteen as residents of the St. Louis Metro area. our featured cover artist. Maxine is a self-taught, WE WANT YOU! - All you artistic and creative figurative painter. Her creations often explore types out there! You should contact us. Show us bygone eras, the surreal and the macabre, your work. Tell us of your craft and brief personal/ portraying her subjects in vibrant, expressive artistic history. Submit any art form that you’d colors. See more of Maxine Thirteen on page 24. like. Perhaps, you can be one of our next published This month, Gesso welcomes Kim Vrooman and her new column, “Kids’ Play”. The wellknown educator, communications professional, researcher, advocate, nonprofit, and for-profit business founder, entertainer, and community builder is a welcome re-addition to Gesso Magazine, having been a contributing writer to Str8Up in years gone by. Her new feature can be found on page 6.

contributors or even a featured cover artist. Check out the Submissions Pages to see who’s featured this month. Next month, that could be you!!

Enjoy Gesso! Tell your friends. Send us your work. And visit our website at GessoMagazine. com. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook daily for new and additional events and content. For the time being, you will not see Gesso Magazine at hundreds of area distribution locations! We will And our Jacque Davis “Dreaming in Color” be online only till the brave new world returns. exhibition is still on display at Governor French Stay safe and be healthy. Gallery. Due to COVID, the Gallery is still closed to foot traffic. And the exhibition is still visible from the vast windows at 219 West Main Street in Belleville IL. We thank our writers for their poignant features P.O. Box 412 Belleville, IL 62222 (314) 266-9199 and all those who contribute to this project. We appreciate all of those individuals who have submitted their works for publication. And “Likes” to all you followers on Facebook!!! We are grateful to you, the reader, for reading this 2

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September 2020

September Credits


Editors: Jake Bishop, Dylan Seibert, Paul Seibert Layout Design Artists: Jake Bishop, Dylan Seibert, Mark Polege Sales: Jake Bishop, Jennifer Lynn Reida, William Schmitz, Paul Seibert, Dylan Seibert Ad Artists: Jake Bishop, Mark Polege, Dylan Seibert, Wil Sullivan Calendar: Dylan Seibert, Paul Seibert Website Design & Up-Keep: Mark Polege (, Jake Bishop Photography: Mark Polege (


Cover Artist: Maxine Thirteen Cover Logo: Jake Bishop Game Page: Dank By Design Fun Page: Jake Bishop Photography: Courtesy of: Kim Vrooman and Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation (pg.6-10), Paul Seibert (pg.16-17), Dylan Seibert (pg.28-29) All material in this publication and its affiiated on-line content are copyrighted to the individual contributors or Gesso Magazine and may not be reproduced without written consent. We are very grateful to those who have submitted material to be considered for publication. However, the opinions and views of those contributing content to Gesso do not necessarily reflect those of Gesso Magazine.

The Gesso Movement Relies on Your Support!! We are committed to supporting local artists, musicians, & businesses and providing this material FREE to readers month after month!! We invite you to reach out to us!! Together we can discover how we can best help you, your band, your business or organization, etc. and how you can best help us in our continuing mission. Hit us up on Facebook or Instagram or via

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Table of Contents


September 2020

Kids' Play by Kim Vrooman


Sunday Morning Game Night from Dank By Design


September Fun Page


Midwest Salute to the Arts (Before COVID) by Paul Seibert


Friends of Gesso


Cover Artist: Maxine Thirteen


September Submissions


Gesso Magazine

featuring: Tom Blood, Jamal C. Franklin

Governor French Gallery Exhibition Dreaming in Color Textile Arts by Jacque Davis

Opening Reception: Friday, March 13, 5-8pm Due to the Covid quarantine, the Gallery is closed. This exhibit is continued indefinitely. "You can't come in, but... you can see the exhibit through the windows." Sponsored and Curated by Gesso Magazine Governor French Gallery 219 West Main Street Belleville IL 62221

September 2020 A Vision for Talent: The St. Louis Teen Talent Competition by Kim Vrooman

Mary Strauss, owner and restoration director of the world renowned Fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis, and founder of the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, has always had a passion for the arts and a vision for improving access to the arts for all children in St. Louis and the surrounding communities. Back in the 1980s and long before the creation of American Idol, the Voice or any other number of talent competitions, Strauss cultivated the idea of a unique community based competition that would empower teens within a 50 mile radius of St. Louis to compete for scholarships and recognitions in order to lift up their lives, brighten their futures and catapult them into opportunities they may not otherwise encounter. From this vision, the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition was born. According to their website, The Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis was purchased in June, 1981 by Fox Associates, LLC, a private partnership. Robert J. Baudendistel, Harvey A. Harris, and the late Leon Strauss had a dream to restore the Fox Theatre to its original grandeur. Under their aegis, and with Mary Strauss directing the restoration, they made that dream a reality. Since then, the ownership has continued, through several additional restorations, to secure the Fox Theatre as one of the premier venues in the country. With the success of the Fox Theatre and Fox Theatricals, the producing arm of Fox Associates, LLC, the ownership took the next step in realizing the second part of their dream — the creation of Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation in 2002. Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation (FPACF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the mission of fostering, promoting, and encouraging young people in the St. Louis region to discover and participate in the joy and wonder of live performances. The foundation provides unique opportunities and develops educational performing arts programs focused on young artists. Their vision in action offers additional opportunities in the arts including St. Louis High School Musical Theater Awards, Kids’ Night at the Fabulous Fox, Next Stop Broadway, Broadway Master Classes, Educational Encores, and the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.


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According to the FPACF, in the spirit of fostering the emerging talent in the St. Louis performing arts community, the foundation is proud to underwrite and produce an adjudicated competition showcasing the talented teens of the St. Louis region through one of their most powerful programs, the FPACF St. Louis Teen Talent Competition. “Vying for a chance to perform on the Fox stage brings out a wide range of teen artists who have trained locally and make us so proud,” said Judy Cullen, FoxPACF Executive Director, who works closely with the Board of Directors and other community stakeholders, donors, and supporters while following Strauss’s lead in order to make the competition one of the best in the country. Students compete for college scholarships, cash awards, prizes, and public appearance opportunities. Students may compete in a talent category of their choice and will likely be forever impacted by the experience. To ensure success of the competition and other programs, Strauss continues to serve as President of the Board of Directors. From her original vision, through decades of building, Strauss has watched her dream of empowering students in the arts come true. She notes, “We are so pleased with the positive response to the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition from students, parents, arts organizations and the community. The Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation is delighted to provide this opportunity for students and we’re happy that we are able to give students the opportunity to shine.” On August 10, 2020, sixteen finalists of the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition from the St. Louis bi-state metro area competed in a special televised event broadcast on Nine PBS. These students and others from the preliminary rounds vied for nearly $50,000 in college scholarships, cash awards and special prizes. A full list of prizes and winners along with official event information can be found on the foundation’s website ( A distinguished panel of judges, performing arts professionals with careers spanning film, the recording industry, TV and Broadway, had the difficult job of judging the acts on interpretation, stage presence, technical ability, and originality. This year, the competition winners were revealed for the first time during the Nine PBS broadcast.

September 2020 First place was awarded to hip-hop dancer DemBari Taneh from Kirkwood High School who performed a selfchoreographed dance to “Got It Good”. DemBari received an $8,000 college scholarship, underwritten by Ameren Corporation Charitable Trust.

The $4,000 scholarship provided by Sally Johnston for third place was awarded to contemporary dancer Lexie Antolik from Columbia High School for her performance to “Half Light”. The $1,000 cash Audience Choice Award went to singer Kyle Rehme from Timberland High School. This year two acts tied for second place, Kelsey Carnes, from Francis Howell North High School, for her original contemporary dance performance; and tap dance group Barbapapa’s Groove, which included dancers Mackenzie Branson, Emma Bilzing, and Ja’La Stancil (Belleville East High School), Jenna Jelks (Belleville West High School) and Amariss Mueller (Freeburg Community High School). Each second place act will receive a $6,000 scholarship, one underwritten by John Russell and one by the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation.

These lucky seven weren’t the only winners. Many young artists from high schools around the region received scholarships and additional opportunities. One of those students was my son who won the “Missouri Audition College Prep Award” for his performance on piano and vocals of “Space Oddity” by David Bowie. You see, for me this article is personal. My father had a passion for musical theater. I was raised on Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. When my father transferred from the Chicago region to the St. Louis region in the early 1990s I was in my early twenties. I was taking classes at the local community college and working as a server and captain at the Fox Club in the Fabulous Fox Theater.

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September 2020 I had the good fortune to see many amazing shows including Phantom of the Opera, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, David Copperfield, Hair, Jesus Christ SuperStar, My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon, Cats, Rent, so many more and countless concerts and arts experiences. These experiences influenced my own musical path. I began life as an emerging entertainer myself in those days. Now, married to an artist, we cultivate a home where music and the arts are honored as something powerful and transformative in life. We instill this value within our family through important experiences in the arts. Our son and daughter are a part of the story having already spent a decade or more in piano lessons, drama camps, and watching all nature of live performances in venues across the region including the beloved Fabulous Fox Theater and most recently Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen. And there, in particular, they always have to listen to mom’s stories during intermission during our habitual walk through Peacock Alley about my adventures in the Fox Club. Before 2020, I was certainly aware of the FPACF, having written an article years ago for another publication. Still, I did not appreciate the first hand experience of how valuable the mission is and how much positive influence it has on young artists in our community until my son competed in the 2020 Fox Teen Talent Competition. I now see how noble the mission. My son plans to compete again this year, but things will be a little bit different in 2021. Although traditionally the three rounds of the competition are conducted in person, as the Teen Talent Competition moves into its 11th season, a season taking place during uncertain times, the organization will host the preliminary round via internet video submissions. The foundation made this decision because they believe this is the best way to keep the talented teens, volunteers, judges, and staff healthy and safe. They do note that this is a brand new process for them and they are excited to see what this new year brings as they move to this format. There were many winners in 2020, and there will be a brand new batch in 2021, made possible through the donors and do-ers who make up the FPACF family- a family I was lucky to see in action first hand. The FPACF team has an eye for talent. And they’ve been watching the magic play out through play it forward opportunities they have offered generations of students. Thanks to Mary Strauss and her support system, a decade of young dancers, magicians, bands, comedians, artists, poets, actors, and singers now soar. 8

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To find more information on and to sign up to participate in the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition and to learn more about all of the programs offered by the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, visit their website at

September Kids’ Play Calendar: Ongoing:

Go on a nature scavenger hunt with guidance from Doing Good Together:

Check out learning how to hula hoop:

Visit Laumeier Sculpture Park: They are also excited to announce that a limited selection of classes and workshops are available. Visit our calendar to learn more and register to participate!

September 2020 Camp Out at Camp Ondessonk: Hike and Camp in an outdoor unit or stay in the sanitized St. Noel Retreat Center with Your Small Group: September 18-20: OPEN for limited lodging only. Call for availability. All meals and programs are for Fall Family Camp; October 9-11: OPEN for limited lodging only. Call for availability. All meals and programs are for Mother-Daughter Weekend; October 23-25: OPEN for limited lodging, no meals or programs. Our annual Ondessonk Trail Run and Fall Family Fest will be Saturday. Check out for more info!

1020 Artworks Studio: Registration is now open online for Fall 2020 6-week sessions. First session will offer in-person homeschool, in-person evening, and Zoom evening art classes. Space is limited in our in-person classes so be sure to reserve your spot in advance. And Themed Painting Kits to go are Fun for All Ages! Painting kits are an excellent way to incorporate art in your at-home learning curriculum.

Go to the Skyview Drive-In: http://www.skyview-drive-in. com/Movie_Listing_00.htm

Note about the Columnist:

Kim Vrooman is a seasoned educator, communications professional, researcher, advocate, nonprofit, and for-profit business founder, entertainer, and community builder. In the early 2000s she was a guest columnist in St. Louis Sound Magazine where she created a column called “Kids’ Play” which focused on kids in the arts, and events for kids. We recently invited her to return to creating this column for Gesso Magazine. She shared that she is excited to continue a new chapter on her journalistic adventure, and invites the readers to reach out to her with kid-centric events and arts news, and she will be delighted to consider these items for the calendar and / or a feature. You may reach her at kimvrooman@gmail. com She is kicking off this journey with an article about The Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation’s Teen Talent Competition.

Ride a bike, build a fort, wash the car! Get outside and have some fun!

Gesso Magazine



September 2020

By: Danny Houk . See more at

By: JB


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September 2020

FUN PAGE Word Search: Fall Edition

apple autumn backtoschool chilly

harvest hayride leaves september

bountiful maze corn sweatshirt

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The Friends of Gesso membership program * Donate any amount to become a member * Donate $10 or more and receive a Gesso sticker as a thank you gift * Donate $100 or more and receive a Gesso sticker and a T-shirt as a thank you gift All Members will be thanked in print in the next issue (unless they wish to remain anonymous) All members who provide a valid email address will periodically receive invitations to access special bonus content on, as well as other perks! (No email addresses will be sold to any third party EVER) Gesso Magazine reaches THOUSANDS of people on both sides of the river & serves the local art & music scene by continuing to make this publication available to the public free of charge. This community project relies on the support of the community it serves. Help us keep LOCAL art and music ALIVE.

September 2020


To become a member, send us an email at Or send us a message on Facebook Or cut out this form and mail it to: Gesso Magazine P.O. Box 412 Belleville, IL 62222 Your name, or that of your business, band, group, or organization: Email (optional): Donation amount: Would you like to have your name excluded from print in the next issue?: (those who do not answer will have their name included)

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September 2020

Attention Gesso Readers: We are seeking to continue highlighting in our digital magazine, on our website, and on social media those local artists, bands, musicians, performers, and businesses that are continuing to do their thing during this Corona Shutdown time period. Please help us in that mission by sharing with us any such examples that you are aware of either via email at: or via our Facebook Page Thank you so much and please stay up with us via social media and

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September 2020 It’s the 32nd Annual Midwest Salute To The Arts Fine Arts Fair in Moody Park in Fairview Heights, August 28-30, 2020. Except COVID moved in and canceled this 3-day outdoor event. In tribute to this exceptional event, we offer a photo review of last year’s Midwest Salute with a reminder that the 33rd Annual Midwest Salute To The Arts will be back in Moody Park on the weekend before Labor Day, 2021. And, in the meantime, visit to tour the Online Virtual Gallery of artists and artworks that you would have seen in person sans COVID.


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September 2020

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September 2020

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(303) 524 5729

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September 2020


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September 2020

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September 2020


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September 2020

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September 2020 Cover Artist Maxine Thirteen

I’ve never really fit in with my own generation. My figurative oil paintings embrace the aesthetic appeal of glamorous, vintage expression while sometimes incorporating macabre or mysterious undertones. By portraying my subjects in vibrant, expressive colors, they stir emotions and encourage a certain mystique and individual presence to be felt by each piece. My paintings often introduce unknown figures and stories to newer generations, and explore shared interests with past generations. Maxine is a self-taught, figurative painter. Her creations often explore bygone eras, the surreal and the macabre. She has created and sold a variety of custom artwork online, and locally, for over ten years. Now, she has focused her creative efforts on oil painting and local exhibits. Maxine has exhibited her art in numerous spaces throughout St. Louis, Missouri, including The Angad Arts Hotel, 31art gallery, Art St. Louis, The Last Hotel, Green Door Art Gallery, Le Nu Figurative Art Salon, Soulard Art Gallery, The Jacoby Arts Center, Stone Soup Galleries, Artisans in the LOOP, The Koken Art Factory, Heartland Art Club Gallery, Gracie’s Shop at Laumeier Sculpture Park and the Let Them Eat Art Festival. She has provided a variety of artistic services to individuals and businesses in the St. Louis area, and worked with clients across the U.S. and beyond.

( Sherlock )

On the Web: 24

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( Anna May Wong )

( Whirlwind )


September 2020

( Sophia )


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September 2020

Tom Blood Tom is a writer who thinks visually. And an artist who paints pictures with words. If you like surrealism, modern art, or enjoy seeing thoughts expressed in the form of paintings that make you go “Hmmmm!”, you’re going to like what you see.

( Brave New World - 30” x 40” acrylic on canvas )


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( Higher - 30” x 40” acrylic on canvas )


September 2020

( Seeing Double - 36” x 48” acrylic on canvas )

( What A Heel - 40” x 30” acrylic on canvas )

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September 2020

A Warm Place by Jamal

C. Franklin

Unlikely, as well, that you can imagine

Since primitive man first took arms against each other to the present day with pistols and pillaging and reckless indifference abounding in the minds of the masses…

How it will be turned into magic…

But it is the human heart that teaches truth in the end,

But this plight ain’t nothin’ new, you see

We are all family whether we wear labels of ‘foe’ or ‘friend’

And there is a hauntingly familiar pattern throughout human history

This is not new, but the culmination of the past will, in time, come to a head

It is unlikely, That you fail now to see the tragic,

That will only upon the rubble And we will find ways to peacefully rise above and gravestones of the past disagreements instead deliver an ethos of unity… But that’s where all this shit is headed, y’all


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September 2020

There will likely always be bruising and blood, I’m sure, here and there in the drama of the global colony, families, tribes, and individuals But we can create a systemic shift towards a basic decency in the institutions of humanity

Let us each seek peace in our hearts and extend that peace unto as many as we can If not for you and me for the generations to come.

It ain’t really any ‘us against them’ at the core of it all It’s us against ourselves in the fight against our species’ downfall…

Thanks in advance :)

It was once asserted that the choice is ours and is simple enough: Peace… or Annihilation

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Visit the page for links and streaming music for our Artists. Or Search Renew Audio Music or DrunkMouse Records for Spotify Playlist. Renew Audio Music is available on all streaming services.

Search “Ian Buechele� in Spotify, iTunes and any streaming platforms to listen to Americana/ Blues songs by Ian Buechele.

50 of This Year’s Salute Artists Open August 24 - September 20 Visit

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