Between 1968 and 1972, a radical group of artists, musicians, writers, actors and dancers created life in an abandoned warehouse at 2665 Washington Boulevard. The Black Artists Group was committed to the belief that the act of creation — whether on paper, in sound or in the movement of the human body — was the highest, most noble pursuit one could undertake. And 40 years later, St. Louis is still catching up to what the BAG was laying down. This Friday through Sunday (September 12 through 14) BAG and Beyond: Old and New Friends, an artistic celebration of the work the group began, takes place at the Nu-Art Series Metropolitan Gallery (2936 Locust Street; 314-535-6500), mere blocks away from the BAG's old building. The party starts with a 5-to-6-p.m. Champagne reception on Friday for the opening of Oliver Jackson's art show (an example of his work is pictured); tickets are $40, and gain you entry to the next two days' performances as well. From 6 to 9 p.m., the reception is open to the general public. From 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, the Marlin Bonds Quartet and the Freddie Washington Quintet perform, and poet K. Curtis Lyle recites his work with accompaniment from Mike Nelson. Sunday's performers include original BAG-ers Hammiet Bluiett and Oliver Lake on saxophone plus poet Shirley LeFlore, also from 3 to 7 p.m. Admission for Saturday or Sunday is $20 per session or $35 for both days.
Sept. 12-14, 2008