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Audubon and Beyond

Mondays-Thursdays, 7:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Saturdays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Sundays, 12-8 p.m. and Fridays, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through June 15, 2017
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Among those of the ornithological persuasion, the St. Louis region is of prime interest because of our natural flyways. The Mississippi River underwrites that status; it's a superhighway for migrating birds. We have another feathered fact to boast about: While the renowned birdman John James Audubon was still alive, the St. Louis Mercantile Library acquired a rare reserved copy of his masterwork, Birds of America, from his family. This is tantamount to owning a Gutenberg Bible. Celebrate it with the exhibit Audubon and Beyond: Collecting Five Centuries of Natural History at the St. Louis Mercantile Library on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-7240 or www.umsl.edu/mercantile). The extensive exhibit incorporates sections relating to not only birds but also reptiles, mammals, fish, insects, humans, astronomy, geology, meteorology and more. Audubon and Beyond is open 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday (November 9 through June 2017). Admission is free. free admission

University of Missouri-St. Louis-Mercantile Library (map)
1 University Dr. at Natural Bridge Road
North St. Louis County
phone 314-516-7240
Audubon and Beyond

As You Like It

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Feb. 13

In 1929 Union Electric was buying up property in the Missouri Ozarks. The company planned to dam the river and create a lake where there had once been hardscrabble farms. Duke Senior is one of those displaced farmers; she now lives in the woods with her former farmhands. Rosalind, Duke's daughter, goes into the forest to find her mother, but wisely disguises herself as a boy for safety. As the young man Ganymede, she falls in with Orlando, another farmer bought out in the name of progress. If this sounds a lot like the plot of Shakespeare's As You Like It, that's because it is As You Like It. Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble has adapted the story of bad government and disguised lovers into an early-Americana musical. The cast will perform original, pre-bluegrass music during the show, with help from Jason Scroggins of the Foggy Memory Boys. As You Like It is performed at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (February 3 to 13) at the Chapel (6238 Alexander Drive; 314-827-5760 or www.slightlyoff.org). Tickets are $15 to $20. $15-$20

The Chapel (map)
6238 Alexander Drive
Clayton As You Like It

Mark Dew:

Wednesdays, Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m.

To walk into the Hideaway is to enter a place that seems frozen in time, where the dozen or so seats around the piano are packed with your grandparents' friends, decked out in chunky jewelry and tilted fedora hats. Ostensibly, they're here to listen to Mark Dew play — he's here Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights — but you're just as likely to hear one of those old-timers sitting around the piano trill Charlie Rich's "The Most Beautiful Girl." And when Dew finally has his turn at the mic, he'll say something humble, like, "I apologize; it should have been in the key of F." No matter. Dew is the conductor of this time-traveling train, and everyone's on board. Dew, who is blind, has been the piano man here for nearly a quarter-century and jokes that the best part about working here is, well, getting paid. He marvels at the younger set trickling in and its knowledge of the Cash and Sinatra songbooks: "The more the crowd gets into it, the more I play," Dew says. And that's enough to keep him around. "I'm not quite ready to be out to pasture," he says. "Yet." free

Hideaway Restaurant & Lounge (map)
5900 Arsenal St.
St. Louis - South City
phone 314-645-8822
Mark Dew

Harmony in 3

Tuesdays-Sundays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through Feb. 14

Harmony in 3, the new exhibition in Laumeier Sculpture Park's 2015 Kranzberg Exhibition Series, mows down preconceptions about dance, sculpture and groundskeeping. Video artist Zlatko Cosic and choreographer Ashley McQueen pay homage to the labor-intensive work that keeps Laumeier's 105 acres perfectly landscaped, while simultaneously celebrating the institution's extraordinary partnership with the St. Louis County Parks Department. The exhibition synthesizes a series of 2014 dance performances designed by McQueen in a short film by Cosic. Their collaboration features dancers Alexa Moor, Sarah Starkweather and Ellen Vierse as the ultimate mobile sculpture, their movements inspired by the precision choreography of the lawnmowers piloted by Don Gerling, Yvette Luedde and Tom Schweiss as they detail the park every week. Harmony in 3 opens in the brand-new Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, October 15, at Laumeier Sculpture Park (12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hills; 314-615-5278 or www.laumeiersculpturepark.org). The work remains on display through Sunday, February 14, 2016, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. free admission

Underneath the Lintel

Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Feb. 12

A somewhat fussy and determined librarian explains to you her obsessive quest to uncover the secret behind an overdue library book in Glen Berger's Underneath the Lintel. The book in question is 113 years overdue, with an unclaimed dry-cleaning ticket as a bookmark. The librarian doggedly pursues a trail of love letters, receipts and tickets, connecting each one to the mysterious person who returned the book. But the deeper she gets in the mystery the more metaphysical she becomes, and you slowly realize she may be chasing a phantom of her own imagination. New Jewish Theatre presents Underneath the Lintel at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday (January 28 through February 12) at the Jewish Community Center's Wool Studio Theatre (2 Millstone Campus Drive, Creve Coeur; 314-442-3283 or www.newjewishtheatre.org). Tickets are $39.50 to $43.50. $39.50-$43.50

Jewish Community Center-Wool Studio Theatre (map)
2 Millstone Campus Drive
Maryland Heights
phone 314-442-3283
Underneath the Lintel

Above and Beyond

Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Mondays-Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

We're 111 years into the history of powered flight, and in that time we've landed on the moon, established a long-term space station and have sent a man-made craft out past the boundaries of our galaxy. For 100 of those years, Boeing has been at work innovating and developing new technologies related to the aerospace industry. The company's achievements are celebrated in the new exhibition Above and Beyond, currently on display at the Saint Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4400 or www.slsc.org). This interactive journey into the science of flight includes a space elevator simulator that carries you to the edge of space, as well as a simulation that uses motion-sensing image capture, allowing you to experience the sensations of being part of a flock of birds in flight. Above and Beyond is open daily, and tickets are $8 to $10. $8-$10

Saint Louis Science Center (map)
5050 Oakland Ave.
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-289-4400
Above and Beyond

A Decade of Collecting Prints, Drawings and Photographs

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through July 17

The Saint Louis Art Museum is constantly acquiring new pieces for its collection. In the past decade, more than 700 artworks have been added — A Decade of Collecting Prints, Drawings and Photographs features just 62 of them, but the quality can’t be beat. The worried woman in Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother is a familiar face thanks to its frequent use in publications, but now you can stand eye-to-eye with her. If you gaze on the technical perfection of Martin Schongauer’s fifteenth-century engraving The Nativity and find yourself craving more, you should make an appointment to visit the museum’s Study Room for Prints, Drawings and Photographs. More than 14,000 works are available for closer examination, and it costs nothing to view them. free admission

Currents 111: Steven and William Ladd

Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Feb. 14

St. Louis is a town steeped in nostalgia — which is just another way of saying "fond memories." Steven and William Ladd grew up here, engaged in the standard pursuits of youth sports and Cub Scouting. Those halcyon days inspired the duo's new exhibition, Currents 111: Steven and William Ladd — Scouts or Sports? The Ladds create their multimedia pieces as a pair (teamwork, just as both sports and Scouts taught them), combining paper, fiber, pigments and metal trinkets to make their paper landscapes. Their Cardinal Nation is a familiar red field studded with holes and pleasantly tactile rosacea of metal bits that add three-dimensional depth to the work. The layers of material mimic the way memories accrete in our mind, new piled on old in a steady growth of time's passage. The show opens Friday, October 23, in gallery 250 of the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org). The exhibit remains up through Tuesday, February 14, 2016, and the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. free admission

Clearly Human II

Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through Feb. 27

The human form is a work of art in its own right. It comes in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, each one familiar yet unique. Clearly Human II is a juried, multimedia show that celebrates figurative art in all its variety. The opening reception also serves as the kick-off for the St. Louis Artists’ Guild’s 130th anniversary year. Cake (from St. Peters’ cakesbygeorgia.com) will be served, with live figure drawing demonstrations as well. free admission

St. Louis Artists' Guild (map)
12 N Jackson Ave
Clayton
phone 314-727-6266
Clearly Human II

Minus Space: Color

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through March 12

Brooklyn’s Minus Space gallery concentrates on reductive, abstract art. This show highlights the work of Gabriele Evertz, Robert Swain and Sanford Wurmfeld, three Minus Space painters whose work demonstrates color’s power as an energy and a force for drawing out emotions. All three painters also utilize a strong sense of geometry and precision, harnessing color’s power in lines and grids that veer off toward infinity. free admission

Philip Slein Gallery (map)
4735 McPherson Ave.
St. Louis - Washington Avenue
phone 314-361-2617
Minus Space: Color

Kota: Digital Excavations in African Art

Wednesdays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through March 19
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The Kota people are an ethnic group located in Gabon known primarily in the Western world for their magnificent guardian figures. Made of copper or brass, these figural sculptures represent not just the artistic and aesthetic prowess of their makers but the powerful — and secretive — religious rites of a mystical order. Belgian computer engineer Frederic Cloth designed a database that organizes key visual data to group the guardians and better understand their origins, and perhaps unlock some of their symbolic meanings. Kota: Digital Excavations in African Art, the new exhibition at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (3716 Washington Boulevard; 314-754-1850 or www.pulitzerarts.org), showcases more than 50 Kota reliquaries as well as providing visitors information about Cloth's database and methodology. Kota opens with a free reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, October 16. The exhibition remains open through Saturday, March 19, 2016, and the Pulitzer is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. free admission

Pulitzer Arts Foundation (map)
3716 Washington Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-754-1850
Kota: Digital Excavations in African Art

The Paintings of Sir Winston Churchill

Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Feb. 14

Sir Winston Churchill famously held England together during the Battle of Britain, but he was also a successful historian, an old soldier and perhaps the world's first motivational speaker. But his great love was painting, because he was doing it without the weight of a nation on his back. Churchill's oil paintings were his solace in peacetime and in war, but he always downplayed his talent. In fact he was a creditable draftsman, turning out landscapes that reveal a keen understanding of light and composition. The Paintings of Winston Churchill, a joint exhibition presented by the National Churchill Museum at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, and Washington University in St. Louis, showcase 47 of the British Bulldog's paintings to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death. It's a show that will please historians and inspire amateur artists, and vice versa. The Paintings of Winston Churchill opens with a free reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 13. The show remains up through February 14, 2016, and the gallery is open every day except Monday. free admission

Spring 2016 Exhibitions

Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through April 3

CAM goes large for its first show of the year, with six artists and one collective all displaying work. Lisa Yuskavage: The Brood collects 25 years of figurative paintings to document the intellectual and stylistic development of the New York-based artist. Her defiant nudes and her seductive palette combine in a way that is unapologetically confrontational and feminine. The active sculptural works of Arcangelo Sassolino are all crafted to mimic something human, but do so in often terrifying ways. FIGURANTE is a sleekly lethal mouth of metal spikes and unthinkably powerful hydraulic jaws about to crush a knobby bone, still wet with blood and gobbets of flesh. free admission

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (map)
3750 Washington Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-535-4660
Spring 2016 Exhibitions

To See Without Being Seen: Contemporary Art and Drone Warfare

Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through April 24

Drone warfare is the fastest-growing branch of the U.S. Air Force thanks to its cost efficiency and (purportedly) high success rate. But remotely piloted missile carriers rely on the quality of the images they transmit back to their distant pilots, as well as that pilot’s judgment. To See Without Being Seen: Contemporary Art and Drone Warfare explores the pitfalls of the technology and raises questions about surveillance, power and fear. This group exhibition features work from seventeen artists and collectives in a variety of media, including Shinseungback Kimyonghun’s Cloud Face (images of clouds that facial recognition software recognize as human) and Molleindustria’s video game Unmanned, which lets you simulate being a drone pilot by day and a family man by night. free admission

Mission: Mars

Mondays-Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sundays, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
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NASA is currently working toward the goal of putting humans on Mars in the 2030s, which is not as far away as it sounds. The space agency just last week opened the astronaut application process for the class of 2017, which indicates a certain urgency. If you're eager to see what the future holds, the Mission: Mars exhibition at the Saint Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4400 or www.slsc.org) is the place to be. This interactive display is developed by the science center, Washington University and NASA and is divided into two parts. Mission Control gives you the chance to program and remotely drive a simulated Mars rover, complete with the time delay caused by the signal transit time between Earth and Mars. Mission Mars — Base lets you take on the role of an explorer on the Red Planet in the year 2076. You'll conduct scientific operations at key points using one of the science center's two rovers. Mission: Mars is open daily, and admission is free. free admission

Saint Louis Science Center (map)
5050 Oakland Ave.
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-289-4400
Mission: Mars
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