If the greatness of art is measured by how much it moves you, then the ArtDTour is art's finest moment. Unlike your standard gallery show, where you meander through a mere building, the ArtDTour makes the city its gallery with work at 22 different locations in St. Louis' most vibrant areas: downtown, the Central West End, the Loop and Maplewood (get used to saying it, snobs -- Maplewood is on its way), which are connected by an emancipated school bus that acts as a shuttle, allowing you to get entranced by the art and/or blotto on the complimentary refreshments at each location without having to worry about driving. (A second shuttle -- a converted float from the Soulard Mardi Gras Parade -- will be making the rounds downtown.)
ArtDimensions, the group that matches local artists with restaurants that exhibit their work, is sponsoring ArtDTour and hopes to make it a regular event to realize the group's goal of bringing the city together through art, says spokesman Davide Weaver. Among the highlights will be paintings by Mary Radcliffe and Bill Jarvis at Monarch (7401 Manchester Road), acrylics by cbabi bayoc at the new Moxy Bistro (4584 Laclede Avenue), work by Justin Tolentino at the Delmar Lounge (6235 Delmar Boulevard) and photography by the Trotter family (a father and two sons) at Farrago (1212 Washington Avenue). ArtDTour happens from 7 p.m. to midnight (the shuttle begins running at 8 p.m., but early viewing is encouraged). Admission to all venues is free. For more information, call ArtDimensions at 314-497-5356 or visit www.artdimensions.org. -- Niles Baranowski
Fight the Hegemony!
That's us, apparently
The press release for Imag(in)ing the West, the new photography exhibit at the Sheldon Concert Hall Art Galleries (3648 Washington Boulevard, 314-533-9900), claims that the work of the Asian photographers in the show represents "an insidious appropriation of Western cultural traditions" and "is also a statement of subversion against Western hegemonic cultural practice." Bah? Perhaps all this hegemony has clouded our eyes, but the images of Michiko Kon are pure beauty and not insidious or subversive at all. Cuttlefish and Sneaker, a black-and-white photo of a Chuck Taylor made of cuttlefish instead of canvas, is clever and gorgeous. Likewise, the photo of Tseng Kwong Chi wearing his stark, Mao-era suit and shades while standing by the Empire State Building is sardonic and witty, but not threatening (well, maybe a little intimidating). Again, it might be the hegemony talking. Imag(in)ing the West opens Friday, January 23, with a free 5 p.m. reception, and remains through March 27. -- Paul Friswold
Booze Is the Cure
For cabin fever
Cabin Inn the City -- that warm cabin on the parking lot of the cool City Museum -- will be the site of a beer extravaganza this Saturday as Schlafly presents its Winter Beer Festival, "Cabin Fever." Under a huge tent just outside the cabin, you'll be able to sample our (other) brewery's beautiful beverages, such as Smoked Porter, Bourbon Stout, Scotch Ale and Doppelbock -- things ancient and proven. The beer's the main event, but check out local roaster Kaldi's splendid coffee and bluegrass/folk three-piece Cumberland Gap, who will be there to cheer you along. Beer in winter seems counterintuitive to the uninformed, who'd think that we're supposed to wile away the frosty months with hot oatmeal and coffee. Others know that it's best to just put that in the beer. Cabin Fever runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets, which get you eighteen two-ounce samples, admission to the City Museum and a commemorative tasting glass, are $17.50 to $20 (314-231-2489). Prosit! -- Mark Dischinger
Johann Saxophone Bach
The much-heralded New Century Saxophone Quartet brings the fluid sassiness of the sax to Bach's The Art of Fugue at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on the UM-St. Louis main campus (8001 Natural Bridge Road) at 8 p.m. The composition is the last of Bach's monothematic cycles, and it's widely regarded as his finest. The opportunity to hear this counterpart to the composer's Well-Tempered Clavier performed live by four pioneering saxophone prodigies probably won't roll around too often, so all you fans of Bach will want to be there. Admission is $23 for adults, $18 for students and seniors. For tickets and more information, call 314-516-4949. -- John Goddard
But the Rent Is Cheap
Soon after its debut in 1996, Rent was hailed as the new coat of paint that would brighten up the Great White Way. This four-night run will be the successful show's third visit to the Fox Theatre (625 North Grand Boulevard, January 23 through 25). Isn't there a contradiction, though, in selling the stories of struggling artistes for the hefty ticket prices that elaborate stage productions demand? The Fox has untied that particular moral knot: Get there early on the day of the show with cash in hand, and up to two seats in the front two rows of the orchestra pit can be yours for $20 apiece. Curtain times are 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; call 314-534-1111 for tickets, which are otherwise priced from $24 to $58. -- Jason Toon
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