In 1944 Marcel Duchamp, Julien Levy and Max Ernst organized The Imagery of Chess, an exhibition of chess sets reimagined by artists and performers. Their hope was that people's vision of the chess board and pieces would be expanded beyond the then-accepted options of either the classic Staunton design or the "French" set. In 2016, the World Chess Hall of Fame exhibited some of the works from the 1944 show to acknowledge the debt owed to those artists for forever altering the look of chess. Imagery of Chess: St. Louis Artists is the new follow-up exhibit, which invites twenty local artists to have their way with the game pieces. Among those participating are Eugenia Alexander, who cites the Afrofuturism movement as a key influence on her work; fashion designer and Project Runway vet Michael Drummond; and Yuka Suga, a glass and metals artist who also works as a therapist. A second, simultaneous show, Pow! Capturing Superheroes, Chess & Comics, showcases more than 200 chess-themed comic books (you'd be surprised by how many super villains play chess to keep their minds sharp for optimal intricate scheming functionality). There are also superhero-themed chess boards and a comic book reading room. Both exhibitions open a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at the World Chess Hall of Fame (4652 Maryland Avenue; www.worldchesshof.org). Imagery of Chess continues through September 14. Pow! remains up through September 17. Admission is a suggested $5 donation. $5 suggested donation
You may not recognize Stephen Jones by name, but you've most likely seen his work. The English milliner's creations have been worn by trend-setting celebrities for more than 30 years, from Princess Diana to Lady Gaga. A selection of eight of his avant-garde hats are displayed at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org) in Hats of Stephen Jones, a complementary exhibition to the ongoing exhibition Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade. Jones' exhibit will remain up from Friday, April 21 to Sunday, September 3. At 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23, Jones visits the museum to discuss his work and his inspirations with New York milliner Jennifer Ouellette. Admission to the lecture is $20 to $25; exhibition admission is $6 to $15. $6-$15
Classical Chinese artists often used trees as inspirations or the focus of their works. Trees and the natural world are the focus of the new exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org), In the Realm of Trees, which includes photographs, paintings and decorative works that glorify the beauty found in nature. The centerpiece of the show is a set of contemporary photographs called Sacred Tree on Mount Lu, made by Beijing-based photographer Michael Cherney, which was acquired for the museum's permanent collection in 2016 and will be presented for the first time in this exhibit. In the Realm of Trees opens on Friday, March 10, and remains up through Sunday, September 3, in gallery 225. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free. free admission
Phoebe Dent Weil created the field of sculpture conservation in the early 1970s right here in St. Louis. As you might imagine, her personal collection of art is deep and full of treasures. Her husband Mark Weil was an art historian, and his collection is also heavy with the hits of the Baroque and Renaissance. They have promised their joint art holding to the Saint Louis Art Museum, where the public will be able to enjoy for years to come the fruits of their very fruitful collecting years. Learning to See: Renaissance Baroque Masterworks from the Phoebe Dent Weil and Mark S. Weil Collection features etchings by Rembrandt van Rijn and Albrecht Dürer and sixteenth-century Italian terracotta sculptures and busts, each work a miracle of craftsmanship and artistic vision. free admission
Back in the old days, the insanities of racism and segregation kept black people and white people out of the same graveyards. Washington Park Cemetery was for many years the largest final resting place for black St. Louis. Its proximity to Lambert St. Louis International Airport doomed it, however. Highway 70 ran through the middle of the cemetery in the 1950s, and more bodies were moved in the '90s when MetroLink tracks were laid and the airport expanded. Photographer Jennifer Colten documented the current state of the cemetery for the new multimedia exhibition Higher Ground: Honoring Washington Park Cemetery, Its People and Place. Her large-scale, color photographs are supported by historical documentation, video and oral histories (by Denise Ward-Brown) and an art installation by Dail Chambers, all toward the goal of illuminating the racial politics and tangled history behind a black cemetery’s sacrifice in the name of progress. free admission
The steppes of Mongolia are an austere landscape broken by mountains and the encroaching Gobi desert. The starkness of the region reshaped ceramicist Erica Iman's work during her stint in the Peace Corps. Her functional, hand-built vessels mimic the primordial nature of Mongolia's open terrain, appearing more as geological eruptions of rock and hard-packed soil with their raw edges and weathered finishes. Erica Iman: Formation, the new exhibit at the Reese Gallery (3410 Wisconsin Avenue; www.thereesegallery.com), offers a selection of Iman's recent work. The show opens with a free reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 28. The gallery is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday, and Formation remains up through Wednesday, May 31. Admission is free. free admission
The creation of art has been romanticized as a solitary pursuit, but in truth most artists have a support network of trusted friends and peers who help shape ideas, offer technical advice and inspire new directions. Juan William Chavez’s multimedia installation Sun Hive is a celebration of those other communal artists: the bees. Inspired by the seeming conflict between the bees’ collective lifestyle and the meditative practice of the lone beekeeper, Chavez’ drawings, sculptures and videos explore the symbiotic relationship of the hive dwellers and the humans who harvest their golden produce. free admission
Italian sculptor Medardo Rosso was ahead of his time. Rather than creating heroic sculptures of figures from myth or doing a lucrative business in the monumental bronzes that were popular in the late nineteenth century, Rosso's sculptures seem to be caught emerging from bronze or wax. These almost-manifesting faces and forms are incredibly responsive to light, giving his work a fluid, ephemeral nature not often associated with sculpture. Medardo Rosso: Experiments in Light and Form, the new exhibition at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (3716 Washington Boulevard; www.pulitzerarts.org), includes almost 100 examples of the artist's best work, including some of his photographs and drawings. Experiments in Light and Form opens with a free reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 11. The show continues through May 13, and the museum is open Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is free. free admission
Taking It to the Streets is actually two exhibitions in two separate galleries. The Kranzberg Arts Center and the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Gallery 210 jointly host the show, which addresses the contemporary urban experience in the metro area. It features work by Howard Barry, Lois Ingrum, De Andrea Nichols and Basil Kincaid at both locations. This quartet is joined by Cbabi Bayoc, Solomon Thurman, Christine Ilewski and Damon Davis at Gallery 210. A bus will shuttle people between venues during the evening so you can experience the full exhibit. free admission
American artist Shimon Attie is interested in making people aware of the historical import of public spaces that appear common. In New York he projected the written memories of long-time residents of Manhattan's Lower East Side onto former tenement buildings. For Portraits of Exile, his exhibition in Copenhagen, he submerged light boxes in a canal so that the portraits of Jewish refugees whom the government shipped to safety during World War II would remind Denmark of its heroic actions to save refugees in need, and underline the current administration's malign ambivalence to refugees. Lost in Space (After Huck), his new installation for the Saint Louis Art Museum, uses sculpture, video and audio to evoke the memories of St. Louis mytho-poetic past. A cast epoxy resin raft is the center of the piece; a corn-cob pipe, an oar and a bindle wait for their absent owners in the menacing glow of a police light. Digitally projected constellations of light appear and then wink out in the darkness surrounding the raft, while streaks of lighting race through the artificial night. free admission
Edgar Degas may be best known for his paintings and sculptures of dancers, but he was also fascinated by high-fashion hats and the young women who made them in the fashion capital of the world. This multimedia exhibition includes 60 paintings and pastels that depict high-fashion millinery, some by Degas and others by his contemporaries Manet, Renoir, Cassatt and Toulouse-Lautrec, who were all influenced by Degas’ work. More than 40 period hats will be on display as well, many of them by the acknowledged masters of Belle Epoque millinery, including Madame Georgette and Caroline Reboux. The exhibit is free on Fridays; admission is otherwise $6 to $15. $5-$6, free on Friday
The reception will be Friday, March 17, from 5-9 pm. Featuring “A Taste of Wine Country” Missouri’s spirits, food and art as well as the large watercolors by Patty Strubinger, assemblages by Amy Wilcut, turned pens by Sherry and Jay Phillips, jewelry by Michelle Wells and Lauren Nall and 30 other artists will be available from March 8 thru April 30, 2017. Join us for a Taste of Wine Country at Green Door art galleries March 8-April 30, March 17th is the gallery reception!
The Fine and Performing Arts Department at Saint Louis University invites you to the annual Student Exhibition featuring works of students in the Studio Art program. The McNamee Gallery is located on the lower level of Cupples House, 3673 West Pine Mall. The exhibition runs through April 28. Information on gallery hours can be found at slu.edu/mcnamee. 0http://slu.edu/mcnamee
At age 19, Nicolas Orzio was given a rare opportunity and a great responsiblility to document the World War II recovery efforts throughout Japan during the United States Occupation. Given a camera, jeep, drivevr, and a pass signed by General Douglas MacArthur, Orzio set out for two years on his mission. The images Orzio captured in 1948 and 1949 describe in incredible detail not only the physical recover and struggle of japanese peole, but also a glimpse into the moods and emotions of men, women, and the children. Sadly, Orzio has passed on February 5, 2016. $5 Adults; $3 Students, Seniors, Military; Under 18 Freehttp://iphf.org/events/nicholas-orzio/
The St. Louis Artists’ Guild presents Displacement and Migration, a national juried exhibition that investigates the current or historically forced or voluntary relocation of individuals or groups of people who no longer inhabit their place of origin. Jurors, Anita Fields and Basil Kincaid selected 49 artists with work exploring the complexities of this theme today and throughout history from a personal perspective. This exhibition will feature artworks and educational programming in conversation with slavery, apartheid, war, homelessness, and diaspora motivated by culture, politics, religion, and climate. The awards presentation led by local artist Basil Kincaid will begin at 6:30 pm 0
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