St. Louis Art Capsules

Malcolm Gay encapsulates the St. Louis arts scene

Things That Matter: Art by Children with Autism The premise: Artistic creation can help children with autism to better express themselves. The disorder, which affects a person's ability to communicate, often includes intense fascinations with things: stoves, Hello Kitty, dinosaurs. Harnessing this fascination, coordinators Bevin Early and Nancy Pierson asked children to make art about their obsessions. So we have a video of a teenager dancing to Willy Wonka's "The Golden Ticket," a collection of found objects from a boy who collects everything he can and repeated self-portraits of a young boy. Also showing: the work of Don Koster and Jen Maigret, the 2007-'08 Cynthia Weese Teaching Fellows at Wash. U.'s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Through September 6 (Koster and Maigret) and September 13 (Autism) at the Sheldon Art Galleries, 3648 Washington Boulevard; 314-533-9900 or Hours: noon-8 p.m. Tue. and Thu., noon-5 p.m. Wed. and Fri., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.

Brett Williams: A Small Dark Place Brett Williams brings his punk-rock vision of installation video art to Pace Framing's PSTL Window Gallery. For A Small Dark Place, Williams has refashioned the tiny gallery using plywood to create (you guessed it) a small dark place. Inside (you must crawl on your hands and knees to view the video playing inside) Williams has crafted a graphic that looks something like a spinning red onion. The piece is accompanied by a jarring soundtrack filled with slamming doors, bagpipes and dropping chains; the onion-like form spins out of control until it crashes to the sound of the falling chain. The entire affair lasts no more than fifteen seconds — just about as long as Williams thinks the average viewer can stand. Through July 18 at PSTL Window Gallery at Pace Framing, 632 North Grand Boulevard; 314-531-4304 ( Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat.

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