Shakespeare Festival joins CWE’s Holiday Window Walk

This year’s 11th Annual Window Walk in the Central West End, December 5, 12 & 19, will feature the traditional ice carvings, carolers, live music and street performers we’ve come to love and expect. Local designers will once again work their magic decorating storefront windows throughout the neighborhood.

In addition, there’s a “first-time-ever” dimension to this year’s festivities. Shakespeare Festival and PaintedBlackSTL are partnering with the CWE North Community Improvement District to bring A Walking Xmas Carol to the neighborhood. Sets are under construction, see below, and will be completed by November 28.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Shakespeare Festival Edo Rosenblith CWENorthCID

Twenty-three local artists, designers and makers are participating in the 20-stop, audio-musical re-imagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, accompanied by a musical adaptation of the tale, Q Brothers Christmas Carol, which was written and developed at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The stage encompasses storefront windows on and around Maryland Plaza.

Word is there will be live sidewalk music and surprise window performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 6 to 9 p.m.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Shakespeare Festival Edo Rosenblith CWENorthCID

Visual artist Edo Rosenblith has been working on panels at Maryland and Euclid,  the future site of Kingside Diner.

More sets in progress follow:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Shakespeare Festival Edo Rosenblith CWENorthCID

 

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Shakespeare Festival Edo Rosenblith CWENorthCID

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Shakespeare Festival Edo Rosenblith CWENorthCID

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Shakespeare Festival Edo Rosenblith CWENorthCID

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Shakespeare Festival Edo Rosenblith CWENorthCID

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Shakespeare Festival Edo Rosenblith CWENorthCID

This is A Walking Xmas Carol stop on the Euclid side of Drunken Fish.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Shakespeare Festival Edo Rosenblith CWENorthCID

The window above is on the Maryland side of the Park Plaza.

In a statement, Shakespeare Festival producing artistic director Tom Ridgely said the walk promises to be “the most holiday fun you can have with your mask on.” The walking tour is free and no reservations are required. Face coverings are recommended.

The audio guide and virtual map will be accessible through QR codes on each installation window or by downloading in advance with a donation to Shakespeare Festival of $10 or more.

The Window Walk’s annual Holiday Market will take place Saturday, December 5 & 12 from 1-5 p.m. Vendors will be set up in heated tents on sidewalks throughout the neighborhood.

Visit CWENorthCID and Shakespeare Festival websites for more information.

CWE-based artists create during the pandemic: Part VII

Part VII in my series on what’s on CWE-based artists’ drawing boards features Marlene Lewis and K2 and John Kelley, proprietors of The Gentleman Quilter.

Marlene Lewis 
Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley  Marlene Lewis has been really prolific during the pandemic. In fact, she sent about 30 photographs of paintings she’s produced since March.  Her list of favorite subjects includes female figurative and nude paintings, plein air landscapes, divas and abstract paintings using acrylics and mixed-media on paper and canvas.

She’s photographed above in her CWE studio during a 2013 CAM Open Studio Tour.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley  Lewis is a firm believer in helping not-for-profits. (An earlier post is devoted to Lewis’ work for organ donor families through the Donate Life Foundation.)  Rising Hope, above, was created for Donate Life to raise awareness of the effect COVID19 has had on both healthcare workers and our cities. The painting is currently on display in the Donate Life headquarters in South Carolina.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley  Lewis also donated a painting of her beloved “Maggie” to Stray Rescue for this year’s benefit auction. Both pieces showcase the artist’s love of vibrant colors.

“The inspiration for my art comes from so many places, beginning with my childhood memories of Miami, Florida, where I grew up. It was a place of sensuality, tropical colors, and people of different nationalities and cultures – a place of vibrant, beautifully adorned Latino women and those around them.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley  Pre-COVID19, Lewis hosted Saturday painting classes in her studio. After the shutdown she decided to invite a few artists to her garden to paint her favorite model en plein air.

“Since we couldn’t paint indoors any longer, this was a beautiful option,” she added. Other examples of her current work follow.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley
Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley

“Artists have become very creative in figuring out ways to continue to work and communicate,” Lewis said. “I’ve been able to find drawing groups online in Sedona, Arizona and in London. It’s been hard for everyone. I feel lucky to be healthy and to have had these opportunities to create. Hopefully, there will be brighter times ahead.”

For more information, visit Marlene Lewis’s website.

The Gentleman Quilter

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley
Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley

 

By virtue of their work finishing quilts, The Gentleman Quilter has had a front row seat for the wonderful work many crafters around the St. Louis area are creating during the pandemic. Proprietor K2 Kelley, above, (hand-drawn selfie by 11-year old granddaughter on window) had who opened their workshop in 2017 (see earlier post here) report that business is booming—60% higher than 2019.  The CWEnder along with her husband have finished a record 205 quilts with their long-arm quilter since January 1!

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley
Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley
Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley

K2 reported several quilters said they finally took the time while stay-at-home orders were in place to complete quilts they had started years before. Two sisters, who call themselves the “Quilting Twins,” have kept The Gentleman Quilter quite busy. One of the sisters, a CWEnder, made the beautiful cube quilt above left. A homebound senior made the block quilt, center. Another client “reworked” a quilt he had originally made in 1988, remaking it into a different pattern altogether, above right. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  The Gentleman Quilter Marlene Lewis K2 Kelley

The striking quilt above was finished for a woman as a gift for her daughter who was headed off for her first year at the University of Kentucky.

According to Kelley, a few customers have taken advantage of the downtime to watch YouTube videos and give quilting a try for the first time. “The majority of our clients though are either experienced quilters or just felt like brushing up on skills learned from Home Ec days,” she said.

“This has been our lifeline,” Kelley added, “quilters are the only people we see these days. It’s been such a positive experience and rewarding to finish someone else’s treasure.”

Visit The Gentleman Quilter’s website for contact and drop-off information. Orders for Christmas must be received by December 4. 

There are a few more posts to come on this topic, which I hope to roll out before Thanksgiving.

Welcome Paperdolls to Maryland Plaza

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Paperdolls Women's Boutique

Paperdolls Women’s Boutique is opening a Holiday Pop-Up beginning this Monday at 36 Maryland Plaza (in the former AG Jeans space). Paperdolls is known to many St. Louisans through multiple locations in University City, Ballwin, Des Peres, as well as two shops in Kirkwood.

Proprietor Beth Morris, who opened the first Paperdolls Boutique in 2008, said that she is hoping to extend the life of the pop-up from the end of the year to a more permanent occupancy, if they establish a following in the CWE.Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Paperdolls Women's Boutique

Morris described Paperdolls’ merchandise as “moderately-priced on-trend clothing, shoes, and jewelry. They are what I call staples,” she added, “nothing too crazy.” Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Paperdolls Women's Boutique

“Nothing too crazy” —in 2020? Sounds just about perfect.

Check out the website and Facebook page for the latest merchandise, which is updated weekly. Paperdolls also has a personal stylist in each store for a 1-on-1 shopping experience. That service comes with a discount.

Paperdolls, 36 Maryland Plaza, opens Monday. Hours are Monday – Saturday 10:30 to 6, Sunday 11 to 5.