The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-545-4660 or www.contemporarystl.org) is really busy this month: It not only hosted a big fundraiser dinner and auction last week, but it opens four shows this week. The museum has pulled from both shores (New York and Los Angeles) and shot down the middle of the nation (Chicago and dear old St. Louis) to bring together artists of fearsome strength, formidable talent and varied styles -- calling this a diverse exhibition is an understatement.
From New York (and Massachusetts) comes Alexander Ross, whose abstract paintings and drawings (on view in the Survey exhibit) are based on photographs of his Plasticine models that resemble molecules and other organic (or inorganic) matter. Chicagoan Dzine has been in town for more than a week now painting his mural for Punk Funk. He's not only an artist but the owner of an experimental record label that works with DJs, and his paintings, which are covered in EnviroTex (a clear, glossy coating), resonate wicked DJ vibes. From LA we have Ruby Osorio, who explores feminine identity in her drawings and paintings; her exhibit is appropriately titled A Story of a Girl (Who Awakes Far, Far Away). And representing home is Wash. U. assistant professor of art Katharine Kuharic: Her show, The World Brought Low, features paintings and drawings based on images culled from local papers and magazines.
The free opening reception for all four shows is Friday, March 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. All exhibits remain up until June 12, and CAMStL hosts a variety of artist appearances between now and then. -- Mark Dischinger
The new club opens
Mr. Night and Ms. Day love da clubs. But how about the rest of us -- the freelancers of Night & Day? One of us is a bison rancher who does discos; another a veteran ointment salesman who likes jazz establishments; and yet another a trapeze-troupes chronicler and spatula collector who digs all nightlife indiscriminately.
But despite our varied tastes in venues, we're all curious about Finale, a brand-spankin'-new, high-concept club and restaurant tucked inside the tony high-rise Clayton on the Park (8025 Bonhomme Avenue, Clayton; 314-863-8631). From the address you should gather that this ain't the joint to patronize wearing your too-small Meat Loaf tee. Get them Michael Kors threads on and shine your brogues: You got a date with an uptown world.
Finale bows on Wednesday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m., when Maynard Ferguson and his Big Bop Nouveau Band are the first to perform on the intimate stage. Ferguson continues to do two shows nightly (at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.) through Saturday, March 19; tickets cost $30 to $35 (www.ticketmaster.com). And an extensive roster of national and local acts has already been booked at the club for months out; learn more by visiting www.finale-stl.com. -- Alex Weir
The parade of all parades
By simply choosing to attend the annual Hibernian St. Patrick's Day Parade (let's face it, the "real" Paddy's Day parade on Tamm Avenue at 11 a.m.), you've distinguished yourself from Joe Weekend. Again, the beloved Irish holiday falls on a weekday, so this means you have already: 1) scheduled a work absence, 2) scouted a breakfast-buffet locale and 3) packed a rolling cooler that you'll defiantly escort past the "no coolers" signs in the neighborhood (at your own risk, of course). And you haven't even left the house yet! God bless you for making such preparations in order to celebrate Ireland's heritage, recognize the struggle of her people and pay homage to her patron saint. And the beer. The glorious, glorious beer. -- Kristie McClanahan
On the Floor
Oh, you're still knitting? Um, yeah, that is so, ah, retro of you. You know what the next big thing is? Rug-making. Attend the Introduction to Oriental Rugs Seminar at the fair-trade, nonprofit Plowsharing Crafts (6271 Delmar Boulevard, University City; www.plowsharing.org) to get a head start on the new trend. Amir Chamin, a Pakistani rug maker, hosts the free demonstration that begins at 7 p.m.; call 314-863-3723 to reserve your spot. -- Alison Sieloff