Soulard's Mad Art, the cop shop-turned-art gallery, is somethin' else. Those Mad Artists could host an event consisting of nothing more than a simple tour of the space's Deco interior, with its Serling-esque nooks and crannies, and we'd have a perfectly memorable evening.
The gallery's current show, Contemporary Women Artist Exhibition XIII, sponsored by the St. Louis chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art, opened Friday, March 4, and runs through March 31. The kicker: This show, featuring eleven local and twenty-one national artists, was juried by none other than Judy Chicago -- artist, educator, feminist nonpareil and the woman famous for throwing a certain, ah, long supper bash. We allude to Chicago's five-years-in-the-making (1974 to 1979) multimedia installation, The Dinner Party, a milestone in Western art and one that initially garnered opprobrium and acclaim in equal measure. (Certain elements were unhappy with this Party's anatomically frank visual tropes and its unabashedly female-centric mission; check out www.judychicago.com for images.)
Mad Art (2727 South 12th Street; 314-771-8230 or www.madartgallery.com) hosts a free reception to honor the Contemporary exhibit on Friday, March 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. There'll be a cash bar and an auction of a signed illustration by Ms. Chicago, with proceeds benefiting the local chapter of the Women's Caucus. For a critical overview of this show, see Ivy Cooper's take on page 34. -- Alex Weir
Everything Must Go!
Who knew the zoo had a garage?
Last year you went to the City Museum eight times (and got thrown up on twice), the Saint Louis Art Museum (with the German exchange student) three times and the Museum of Transportation (with Uncle Tad from Nantucket) twice. What was the common factor at all of these attractions that kept you sane? Visiting the gift shops, of course. The mighty gift shop, where you can buy anything from a five-foot-tall inflatable mummy to a porcupine raincatcher. And now, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Living World at the Saint Louis Zoo in Forest Park, thirteen museum stores band together for a garage sale of ultimate proportions. Will that cat-shape wine rack, "fin-flatable" dolphin water gun or Botticelli Birth of Venus pillow that plays "Pretty Woman" be on sale? Anything's possible. Admission is free, and you can check out www.stlzoo.org/events for a list of participating shops. Call 314-781-0900 for more information. -- Amy Helms
The Art of Running
Fancy mile markers at RAC
What do the tortured artist and the long-distance runner have in common? Why, loneliness, of course -- but also the Art + Sole party and auction at the Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard). Benefiting this year's Spirit of St. Louis Marathon -- which takes place in April and features the new "Art + Sole" theme -- the auction allows one and all to bid on one-of-a-kind, epically proportioned sculptures, specially commissioned from St. Louis artists to serve as eye-catching mile markers along the marathon's course.
Tickets for the auction and party -- which includes food, drink and live music and runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. -- cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door. For reservations and more information, call 314-727-0800 or visit www.stlouismarathon.com. -- Rose Martelli
The Wright Stuff
There is an anachronistic charm to the idea of a computer-aided flight simulator based on the Wright Brothers' famous 1903 Wright Flyer. Can microchips and high-resolution screens replicate the elegant frame of wood and canvas, or the sublime feeling of success and wonder Orville must have felt when he flew that first 120 feet? Well, that's why the simulator was built: so you can feel it for yourself. Try the Wright Flyer Simulator at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599); it's free and is only at the museum from Wednesday through Tuesday, March 16 through 22. -- Paul Friswold