A strange thing happened. Before Krentz even shared his news, his mother handed him a package. Inside were two movies: Ed Burns' The Brothers McMullen and Billy Bob Thornton's short film Sling Blade. Krentz's mother had never shown an interest in independent film before, but he took this unexpected gift as a very good sign.

It's that story of support — from his parents, from his sister, from his fiancée, from his friends — that weaves throughout Krentz's life. He has the talent and the perseverance to be successful, yet he gives much of the credit to others. He speaks particularly fondly of Frank Kane, the owner of Citizen Kane's, the Kirkwood steak house where Krentz has waited tables for six years.

"Frank wants everyone to succeed," Krentz says. "He takes care of everyone. He gives his dishwashers full health insurance; he gives me four months off if I need to go work on a film. That's St. Louis right there — someone in a local business supporting you. No one can say that you can't make it in St. Louis. We can direct here. We can produce."

Sarah Frost
Jennifer Silverberg
Sarah Frost
Tim Lane
Jennifer Silverberg
Tim Lane

When Streetballers screens at the BET Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City next month, agents and distributors from across the nation will see just what can be done in St. Louis. And Matt Krentz will take it all in stride: working hard, smiling humbly and dreaming of more ways to share his city with the world.

Visit the film's official website at www.streetballersthemovie.com.
—Brooke Foster

Visual Arts Mastermind: Sarah Frost
From a quiet residential street on the Hill, Sarah Frost contemplates the world's economies and the links between all humans. "All of this fits together," Frost says. "I have a real interest in how this all fits together — how all these economies are interwoven and how one thing, one place, will affect so many other people."

A self-described pack rat, Frost has converted her garage into a tidy studio space, which she uses to work and store many of the elements that make up her sculptures. From knotted phone cords to those cards that come in the mail with every unsolicited credit-card application, Frost has collected much through trips to scrap yards and junkyards (and her own mailbox), and she incorporates and reuses as much as she can in her work.

"I have this weird fascination with used objects," the artist explains. "Like that [Walter Benjamin] quote, 'To live is to leave traces,' the traces that tell a story about the people who used the objects." Creating this second economy, or second life, inspires Frost.

For one of her installations, she went to an estate sale to cull through the items and find those that were white. After paying just $15, she walked out with four full boxes. The family was thrilled that the objects were going on to a good home, a place where they'd be a part of something larger. But Frost felt like she was the real winner: "I don't know how much that stuff would've been new. But to me it had so much more character because it was used," she marvels.

Born in Detroit and raised in Rochester, New York, Frost moved to St. Louis to attend college at Washington University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in painting. Some years later, having discovered the potential of three dimensions, she went back to school and got her master's in sculpture and painting at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Frost's assemblage installations contain everything from inflated air bags to obsolete computer mice. "I realized that instead of making an allusion to something, a material itself could have such immediacy," she explains. "Rusty steel hits me in the gut in one way versus plastic in another. And then to start choosing materials that have this patina of human use — that's an immediacy that paint just doesn't have. Some life — and maybe that person isn't even alive anymore — used it, lived with it, loved it, hated it, whatever, discarded it. And now here it is."

Ivy Cooper, professor of art and design at SIUE, says that "in Sarah's hands, miles of those sorry gray computer cords become densely meshed, towering columns; deployed airbags get a delicious candy-apple treatment; and a mural-sized accumulation of obsolete white plastic appliances verges on the sublime."

In addition to her personal work, Frost paints scenery for the Muny and other theaters in town and also works on various public arts projects. As a brand-new mom, Frost has a lot to juggle, but she stays motivated. "I think the whole art scene in St. Louis is pretty exciting," she says. "I came here in the late '80s, and I think there's so much more going on now."

Through exhibits at Mad Art Gallery, the Regional Arts Commission, the Foundry Art Centre and other spaces, Frost has been able to leave traces all over the metro area — and beyond. She sees us all as part of a larger tapestry: "There's a common thread of humanity: Everybody's trying to make a living to take care of their family."
—Alison Sieloff


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