Events starting Apr. 26 in St. Louis

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Poetics of the Everyday: Amateur Photography 1890-1970

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 25


Portable cameras democratized photography. Once anybody could carry a camera with them, photography became a hobby as well as an art. Poetics of the Everyday: Amateur Photography 1890-1970, the new exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org), features 110 works by unknown moms and dads. They show children, landscapes, family gatherings and of course the family dog, with often unintentional effects such as the dreaded double exposure. Despite being made by strangers, the images of family vacations and candid shots have a familiarity that makes them universal. Poetics of the Everyday is on display in galleries 234 and 235 from Friday, April 26, to August 25. Admission is free. 314-721-0072

How We See: Materiality and Color

Through June 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Humans can perceive a wide palette of colors, but we don't see as many hues as nature contains. The limitations of human vision are stretched in the Laumeier Sculpture Park's new exhibition How We See: Materiality and Color. Six artists who combine modern art practices with a keen observation of the natural world explore the possibilities of color manipulation and perception. Claire Ashley's specially commissioned, large-scale inflatable Ruddy Udder Dance is painted in neon colors. Volunteers will get inside it and perform a series of choreographed routines that allow you to see how its various shades change with movement and daylight. Ann Lindberg's graphite-and-colored-pencil piece as though air could turn to honey features a closely packed array of thin lines of pure pigment that become subtly darker toward the bottom. From a distance those tints blend and fade, and the piece appears to have a more uniform golden hue. How We See opens with a free reception at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, at Laumeier's Aronson Fine Arts Center (12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hill; www.laumeier.org). The exhibit continues through June 29, and admission is free. 314-615-5278

Counterpublic

Fridays, Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, 12-5 p.m. Continues through July 13
The Luminary 2701 Cherokee St, St. Louis St. Louis - South City


St. Louis is a city of neighborhoods. Everyone in St. Louis has said that at some point; if there is a truth universally acknowledged in this town, it's that our many neighborhoods are our strength and civic identity. And yet, how many people in your neighborhood eat the same food, share the same values and dream the same dreams?

For James McAnally, who with his wife Brea is the cofounder of the Luminary, the neighborhood theory may be true, but it's not a unifying principal.

"William Gass wrote that 'the Midwest is a dissonance of parts and people,'" says McAnally, referencing the late St. Louis-based writer.

That idea is the inspiration for the Luminary's ambitious new project, Counterpublic. The three-month long artistic exploration of the many dissonances that inhabit a shared geographic area incorporates public art, installations, discussions and performances. The McAnallys and curator Katherine Simóne Reynolds chose their own home turf for this experiment: Cherokee Street, with all the many cultures and people who inhabit it.

"It's a complicated project and something that hasn't been done yet," McAnally says with just a hint of understatement. "This idea of the 'counterpublic,' it speaks to the idea [that] there are people who don't feel included in this community. A counterpublic is analogous to subculture. It comes out of queer culture and feminist writing. The framing that's most helpful for Counterpublic is that it's a public art festival, or a platform that is meant to activate the neighborhood."

McAnally is quick to note that Cherokee isn't simply one neighborhood. The street crosses through four different ones on official city maps — Tower Grove East, Benton Park West, Marine Villa and Gravois Park — as well as two different aldermanic wards.

"Cherokee is the Latinx community, it's majority African American, it's eclectic and diverse," explains McAnally. "What do all of these groups have to say to each other? How can we keep the neighborhood together? Counterpublic is meant to activate the neighborhood — all of it, every group."

To do so successfully, the McAnallys began by talking to representatives of each division and explaining the plan and seeking partnerships.

"It was important to us early on to involve the business community, the Latinx community, all of these groups," McAnally says. "We have twenty permanent exhibitions throughout the project, from both local and national artists who come from the cultures found in Cherokee. We invited several Indigenous artists — we call it 'Cherokee' casually, but what does that really mean?"

Counterpublic encompasses many parts, people and ideas, all coming together to facilitate a free exchange of ideas. The plan is for Counterpublic to be a triennial festival that moves to a new neighborhood with each new iteration, but it's not at all an attempt to pigeonhole or homogenize any community. The dissonance is vital, and in the case of the inaugural production, deeply personal for the McAnallys.

"Counterpublic is a chance to ask ourselves, 'How do these many different voices come together, and how do we maintain an equitable development?'" James asks, not all rhetorically. "'How do we account for difference, and dissent? And how do we continue to live alongside each other while disagreeing?'"

Counterpublic opens Saturday, April 13, with tours, talks and performances from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Luminary (2701 Cherokee Street; www.theluminaryarts.org). An opening-night party takes place from 8 to 11 p.m., with complimentary food from neighborhood restaurants, artist-designed galletas by Rodolfo Marron III and Diana's Bakery and live video and DJ performances. New installations, processions, performances and public programs will continue through July 13. The full schedule is available at www.counterpublic.us. 314-773-1533

Counterpublic

Wednesdays, Thursdays, 12-5 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through July 13
The Luminary 2701 Cherokee St, St. Louis St. Louis - South City

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The Luminary presents Counterpublic, a major new public art platform set to animate the everyday spaces of Cherokee Street with expansive artist commissions, performances, processions, and public programs from April 13th to July 13th, 2019. Counterpublic 2019 will bring groundbreaking contemporary art to the barbershops, bakeries, parks, and taquerias that anchor the Cherokee Street neighborhoods of South St. Louis. The project centers on a series of twenty-plus site-responsive commissions in venues as divergent as a tea shop, punk club, former sanctuary, Buddhist temple, Mexican panaderia, and community-organized park. Free and open to the public. 314-773-1533

Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt

Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 11
Pulitzer Arts Foundation 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis St. Louis - Grand Center


In his sonnet "Ozymandias," Percy Bysshe Shelley describes the legs of an epic statue in the desert wastelands, its ruined face lying "half sunk" in the sand. The inscription on the pedestal reads, "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!" The poem is a meditation on time wearing away the memory of even the mightiest, and a reminder that death means forgetfulness. In truth, it may have been Ozymandias' successor who destroyed the statue upon assuming the title of pharaoh. Statues and memorial inscriptions held ritual power for the Egyptians, and it behooved the new ruler to sweep away all remnant of his or her predecessor. In the Pulitzer Arts Foundation's (3716 Washington Boulevard; www.pulitzerarts.org) new exhibition, Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt, the legacies of the pharaohs Hatshepsut and Akhenaten are examined through almost 40 historical objects that are both defaced and whole. Memory and visual culture are intertwined, and the destruction of the latter can easily erase the former. Striking Power opens with a free reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 22. The work remains on display through August 11. 314-754-1850

Muuurder in Maaaybury Murder Mystery Dinner Theater

Fridays, Saturdays, 7-10 p.m. Continues through July 27


Join us for an exciting evening of murder, mystery and mayhem at the most dangerous comedy dinner theater show in town. Dig into a fantastic three-course dinner at the Famously Haunted Lemp Mansion and figure out who-dun-it during Muuurder in Maaaybury! Dress up like your favorite Mayberry character and let the finger pointing begin at this wildly interactive Jest Murder Mystery Company Show! Seats are just $52.95 per person and include a delicious 3-course dinner. Call 314-664-8024 for more details and to make your reservations. Learn more about Jest Murder Mystery Company jestmurdermystery.com/st-louis-mo/ 314-664-8024

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