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Snapshots from last weekend’s Holiday Festivities

The photos below were taken on Saturday, December 7 during the 15th annual Holiday on the Plaza and the 1st of 3 Window Walk events throughout the neighborhood. A 2nd Window Walk event took place yesterday and will occur again next Saturday, December 21.

I’m sure Santa has gotten an earful (see banner above) during his two visits to Maryland Plaza, where he will be again next Saturday. Volunteers from the Central West End Association are offering free gift wrap (at the corner of Euclid and Maryland) on items purchased in the neighborhood, and there are horse and buggy rides, musical groups, and carolers walking about as well.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes

Bob Kramer brought a bear marionnette from A Big Bear Christmas, which is this holiday season’s production at the Marionette Theater, 4143 Laclede. The season runs until December 29. More information can be found here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes

There were lots of activities for kids in the Indoor Workshop tent sponsored by BJC, Home Depot, The Cup, MassageLux, and Paul Mitchell The School. There was also a performance by dancers (above) from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 4967 Forest Park.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes  Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes

The scoop from Bob Koplar, above, who was enjoying an arancini de riso on Maryland Plaza, is that the “samples were made by the chef of the yet unnamed Italian restaurant that will be opening in the former ‘Scape space very soon.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes

Jeremy Corray, dressed as Buddy the Elf , was the MC for the tree lighting ceremony and introduced Mayor Lyda Krewson and Alderwoman Heather Navarro who welcomed the crowd to the CWE.  Corray is surrounded by members of Washington University’s Chamber Choir who sang traditional carols before the tree lighting ceremony.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes

With Santa at her side, Emme Lankheit, a former patient at Children’s Hospital, lit the stunning tree that will grace Maryland Plaza throughout the season.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Shop News  Washington University Chamber Choir Maryland Plaza CWE North CID Bob Kramer's Marionettes

Thanks to the Koplar Family, Maryland Plaza’s Frances Thompson, and Kate Haher and Erica Lembo of the CWE North Community Improvement District for keeping this wonderful tradition in the neighborhood alive.

If you haven’t had a chance to see all of the beautiful holiday shop windows be sure to take time to do so.  And while you’re looking, stop inside and shop local this holiday season.

An art maven expands her reach in the neighborhood

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Susan Barrett projects+gallery projects+exhibitions Barrett Barrera Projects Barrett Barrera Guest House  If Susan Barrett (above in black coat), had a magic wand “there’d be an art gallery on every corner.” That was her response when I congratulated her on the opening of yet another venue, Barrett Barrera Projects at 4739 McPherson, an office space with an adaptable, multi-purpose project space for mounting exhibitions.

After months of renovation, she and her team opened Barrett Barrera Projects in mid-October. The building was formerly owned by interior designer Arlene Lilie and was most recently the home of Selkirk, the auction house that relocated to new quarters downtown.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Susan Barrett projects+gallery projects+exhibitions Barrett Barrera Projects Barrett Barrera Guest House

Barrett Barrera Projects is two doors west of projects+gallery at 4733 McPherson, above, which opened 5 years ago. Exhibitions at what is now dubbed BBP’s “commercial gallery” have consistently been thought-provoking, really unusual, and the best people- watching experience in town.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Susan Barrett projects+gallery projects+exhibitions Barrett Barrera Projects Barrett Barrera Guest House

While Barrett was working on Barrett Barrera Projects, she also acquired a 3rd building on McPherson, the former Shelton Davis Antiques at 4724, above. The building, which had gallery space at street level and fabulous living quarters on the 2nd and 3rd floors, has been transformed into Barrett Barrera Guest House, a private guest house and event space that will allow the expanding arts organization to introduce a global network of artists and creatives to St. Louis.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Susan Barrett projects+gallery projects+exhibitions Barrett Barrera Projects Barrett Barrera Guest House

In addition to the three arts-related properties in the Euclid/McPherson Arts District, Barrett recently opened another exhibition space in The Grove, projects+exhibitions which is located at 4568 Manchester, the former home of White Flag Projects. The Grove location will house museum-quality exhibitions and programs that will debut in St. Louis and travel nationally and internationally.

The inaugural exhibition, Ann Ray & Lee McQueen: Rendez-Vous, which opened October 5, will remain on view until February 15, 2020. Read more about the exhibition on the website.

As Susan Barrett said in a September press release, “Our expansion this Fall is an investment in the St. Louis Art Community and a way for us to live our motto: ‘art is a verb.’ “

I’ll be posting photos from Barrett Barrera Projects’ Saint-Louis to St. Louis: The City on the River Meets River City, below, in the next few days. Did you know that our town is a sister city to Saint-Louis, Senegal?

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Susan Barrett projects+gallery projects+exhibitions Barrett Barrera Projects Barrett Barrera Guest House

Holiday Pop-up, Toys for Tots, and an update on future of CWE Farm

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services  Toys for Tots Lofts@Euclid Lee Cagle KLarIty Lifestyle Daph. CWE Farm Arthur Culbert

Designers Amy Johnson and Daphne Benzaquen have opened a holiday pop-up at 314 N. Euclid, next to SubZero. Amy, who recently changed the name of her clothing business from KayOss to KLarIty, has hosted pop-ups in different locations around the neighborhood since 2012.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services  Toys for Tots Lofts@Euclid Lee Cagle KLarIty Lifestyle Daph. CWE Farm Arthur Culbert

Daphne, who was born in Peru, raised in St. Louis, and is a W. U. graduate, started creating a line of sustainably-made Peruvian leather handbag and accessory pieces  in 2018. She has recently added a winter collection of alpaca fleece and pima cotton clothing to her collection. The designer also donates a portion of her sales back to the Peruvian communities where her bags and clothing are made. Read more about Daphne and see more of her great-looking designs here.

KLarIty and Daph.. Holiday Pop-up, 314 N. Euclid, Tues.-Sat., 11 to 5 p.m.

Stephanie Huffman, Property Manager of Lofts@Euclid, 625 N. Euclid (at Delmar), sent the following announcement regarding the apartment building’s participation in this year’s Toys for Tots campaign. See below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services  Toys for Tots Lofts@Euclid Lee Cagle KLarIty Lifestyle Daph. CWE Farm Arthur Culbert

Arthur Culbert recently posted on Facebook that he has found a manager to take over the CWE Farm which he founded 9 years ago. Regrettably, Arthur and Nancy Culbert are moving to Florida at the end of November.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services  Toys for Tots Lofts@Euclid Lee Cagle KLarIty Lifestyle Daph. CWE Farm Arthur Culbert

In Arthur’s words: “Join me in welcoming the Central West End Farm’s new manager Lee Cagle. A long time CWE resident, Lee has been a farm volunteer and supporter for years. She is a @newcityschoolstl parent; her daughter Aiko participated in New City School’s farm’s program while in 4th grade. Among her many gifts, Lee @leeaikokai brings her joy, community building and a commitment to continue the farm’s mission to help feed the hungry in our community. Thank you Lee. May your dedication and service be richly rewarding.#cwe #joy#urbanfarm @nancyculbert @arthurculbert.”