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Arts & Theater This Weekend

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Imagery of Chess: St. Louis Artists

Wednesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays, 12-5 p.m. and Mondays, Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 17

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

The Hats of Stephen Jones

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 3
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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

In the Realm of Trees

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 3

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

Learning to See: Renaissance and Baroque Masterworks

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through July 30

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

Jennifer Colten: Higher Ground

Wednesdays-Fridays, 12-5 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Tuesdays, 12-8 p.m. Continues through Aug. 26

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

Buy Tickets
The Sheldon (map)
3648 Washington Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-533-9900
Jennifer Colten:  Higher Ground

Tennessee Williams: The Playwright and the Painter

Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through July 23

In addition to his work as a playwright, Tennessee Williams painted. The subject of his expressionist paintings varies; often he painted close friends, but some of his creations reference scenes from his plays, or reveal his personal feelings. David Wolkowsky, a close friend of Williams, has graciously loaned seventeen paintings from his personal collection to the Saint Louis University Museum of Art as part of this year's Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis. This is only the second time they’ve been exhibited outside of Key West, so fans should take advantage of this rare viewing. The show is supplemented by an audio recording of Williams reading his poetry and a short video of Wolkowsky discussing his friend. free admission

Urban Wanderers: Through Their Eyes

Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through July 23
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Stray Rescue's street teams see animals in their worst moments. Chained up in their own filth, injured and holed up behind dumpsters, malnourished and abused — these animals are found in abominable conditions, and Stray Rescue's people know it. This year's Urban Wanderers art show is all about that moment when the cats and dogs are pulled out of the darkness and back into the world. More than 80 artists have read the individual stories of a cat or dog's rescue; the artists have then interpreted in their work the animal's emotional state at the moment Stray Rescue arrived. Actual artifacts found with the rescuee have been incorporated into the exhibit as well. Urban Wanderers: Through Their Eyes opens with a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 9, at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art (3663 Lindell Boulevard; sluma.slu.edu). The show remains up through July 23, and the gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. free admission

Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 11

Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales wanted to document the Underground Railroad, the circuitous trail that stretched more than 1,400 miles from Louisiana to Canada. Perhaps 100,000 black men and women followed that course to freedom in the early part of the nineteenth century to escape slavery. Rather than photograph the safe houses and hiding places in natural daylight, Michna-Bales sought to recreate the trail as the hopeful people who made the crossing would have seen it: in the dead of night, with no human beings in sight. Her photographs capture the stillness and solitude of the American wilderness. A river crossing takes place in almost total darkness, the trees on the other bank nigh invisible in the night. In some of Michna-Bales' images, traces of light from the setting sun give the trees rising up out of the bayou the menacing shape of people. It took Michna-Bales ten years to research and photograph the passage, but it was time well spent. The resulting exhibition, Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad, is an emotional as well as visual record of a harrowing journey. Michna-Bales discusses her photographs at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 23, at the Griot Museum of Black History (2505 St. Louis Avenue; www.thegriotmuseum.com). Her images will remain on display through Friday, August 11, and the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. An accompanying monograph, which pairs the images with passages written both by people who made the journey and noted abolitionists, will be available for purchase during the show. Admission is $3.75 to $7.50. $3.50-$7.50

Urban Planning: Art and the City 1967-2017

Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through Aug. 13

Agnes Denes' photograph Wheatfield -- A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan is one of the more incongruous images you're likely to see. The artist stands holding a staff in a hip-deep golden field of wheat; rising up from the other side of the street is a battalion of skyscrapers. You don't think of Manhattan as agriculturally active, but wheat grew wild near the landfill in 1982. The image is part of the Contemporary's summer exhibition, Urban Planning: Art and the City 1967-2017, which takes a contemplative approach to documenting the ebb and flow of city life. Urban Planning comprises photographs, sculptures and installations that address gentrification, white flight and the decay that follows -- and the occasional rebirth of a city. free admission

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m., Saturdays, 4 & 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Continues through July 2

Stages St. Louis opens its 31st season with the crowd-pleasing musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice show is inspired by the life of the Biblical Joseph, whose eleven brothers are jealous of the fantastic coat bequeathed to him, so they sell him into slavery and tell Dad his favorite son has been killed. Joseph finds fame and fortune in Egypt as a soothsayer, while his brothers regret their actions and suffer from famine. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is performed at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday (June 2 to July 2) at the Robert G. Reim Theatre (111 South Geyer Road, Kirkwood; www.stagesstlouis.org). Tickets are $41 to $63. $41-$63

Robert G. Reim Theatre (map)
111 S. Geyer Road
Kirkwood
phone 314-821-2407

Diego and Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 4

Diego Rivera became a legend in his native Mexico for his vibrant murals. Perhaps unfortunately for him, his enshrinement happened early in his life; it's difficult to be a man and a legend at the same time. Frida Kahlo chose to become a painter only after a serious car crash derailed her dream of being a doctor. Her self-portraits are revered for their depiction of the feminine experience, and they are informed both by her continuing physical pain and the emotional turmoil of her marriage to Rivera, whom she eventually divorced and then remarried. They made a vicarious, creative and combative couple, and were often photographed together and separately by friends and family. Diego and Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way, the new exhibit at the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum (3415 Olive Boulevard; www.iphf.org), showcases a large collection of formal and informal photographs of the pair. Included in the exhibit are pictures captured by Guillermo Kahlo (Frida's father), Ansel Adams, muralist Lucienne Bloch, who photographed much of Rivera and Kahlo's work, and prolific Mexican photographer Agustin Victor Casasola. Diego and Frida is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (Saturday, May 13, to Friday, August 4). Admission is $3 to $5. $5

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715-2015

Tuesdays-Thursdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Continues through Sept. 17
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It was the poet-philosopher Billy Gibbons who first posited that "every girl is crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man," and yet on the whole, American men have settled for athletic team logos and cargo shorts. But there's more to life than five-pocket shorts and t-shirts. Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715-2015, the new exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org), celebrates the beauty and style that's available to men. The show traces development of the suit from its origins as a military uniform through the heavily embroidered great coats of the nineteenth century, with a detour into the effectiveness of the black leather jacket before finishing up with modern sartorial splendors. Reigning Men is open Tuesday through Saturday (June 25 to September 17), and admission is $6 to $15, but the show is free on Friday. $6-$15, free on Friday

Seussical

Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m. and Saturdays, 1:30 p.m. Continues through July 2
phone 314-821-2407
marketing@StagesStLouis.org

Let your imagination run wild in this magical, musical extravaganza as you join the Cat in the Hat and enter the fantastical world of Doctor Seuss. SEUSSICAL brings to life your favorite Seussian characters and whisks you away to the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus and the invisible world of the Whos. Based on the internationally beloved children’s books “Horton Hears A Who” and “Horton Hatches An Egg”, SEUSSICAL boasts a triumphant score from Tony-winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Celebrate the powers of friendship, loyalty, family, and community in this not-to-be-missed musical treat! $18-24

http://www.stagesstlouis.org/Shows/SEUSSICAL-Theatre-for-Young-Audiences/
Buy Tickets
The Playhouse at Westport Plaza (map)
635 Westport Plaza
Maryland Heights
phone 314-469-7529
Seussical

Ann Metzger Memorial National All Media Exhibition

Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through July 22
phone 314-727-6266
media@stlouisartistsguild.org

The St. Louis Artists' Guild presents the Ann Metzger Memorial National All Media Exhibition on June 9 - July 22, 2017. This juried all-media, all-styles, and all-content exhibit features 50 artists from across the nation. The Artists’ Reception & Awards Presentation will take place on June 9 from 5 - 8 pm with juror, Emily Eddins of Haw Contemporary gallery in Kansas City, MO. During the opening reception, STLAG is debuting the ArtShop Trunk Show, featuring jewelry by Peggy Jacobsmeyer and functional, artful wood items by Tom Stauder. 0

St. Louis Artists' Guild (map)
12 N Jackson Ave
Clayton
phone 314-727-6266
Ann Metzger Memorial National All Media Exhibition

A Collection of Slow Events

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7-10 p.m. Continues through July 15
phone 314-773-1533

Curated by Alexis Wilkinson A Collection of Slow Events draws attention to the microscopic movements, subtle vibrations, and permutations in form within artworks across mediums, emphasizing the ways that our perception of things and things themselves change, blur, and recompose with time in order to reorient our assumptions that seeing is knowing. As a whole, the exhibition itself can be understood as a prolonged event that operates within the very registers of moving and seeing and engaging with different scales of time. Free

http://theluminaryarts.com/exhibitions/a-collection-of-slow-events
The Luminary (map)
2701 Cherokee St
St. Louis - South City
phone 314-773-1533
A Collection of Slow Events
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