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Events, Sightings

CWE’s Children’s and Pet Parade cancelled due to rain, tonight’s party is still on

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture CWE Pets Events, Sightings For kids  CWEScene   Snapshots from 2018’s Halloween festivities
The legendary Halloween street party in the CWE is scheduled for Saturday, October 26.  Here is the line-up of activities:

11 a.m. | Children’s costume parade and party
noon | Trick-or-treating at neighborhood businesses
1 p.m. | Dog parade and costume contest
2 p.m. | Live music and entertainment, featuring Jason Garms and Saint Boogie Brass Band
6 p.m.- midnight | Adults-only street party
8-10 p.m. | Infamous adults-only costume contest

Halloween in the CWE is one of our best neighborhood traditions and something people from throughout St. Louis look forward to every year,” says Kate Haher, executive director of the CWE Business Community Improvement District. “The costumes continue to get more elaborate, the festivities more outrageous — the Central West End is definitely THE place to be this Halloween.”

Registration for the adults-only costume contest begins at 6 p.m. Individuals and groups are encouraged to register for a chance to win as much as $2,500.

The Legendary CWE Halloween party is produced and presented by the CWE Business Community Improvement District, and presented by Budweiser and BON & VIV, with additional support from Johnny Brock’s Dungeon, Washington University Redevelopment Corp., St. Louis Earth Day, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Busey Bank, AT&T, State Farm, and numerous neighborhood restaurants and retailers.

For more information, including a complete schedule of events and costume contest rules, visit www.cwehalloween.com.

 

Michael Drummond’s “Being Played” at World Chess Hall of Fame

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Handmade  World Chess Hall of Fame Michael Drummond Being Played

Last evening at the opening of Being Played at World Chess Hall of Fame, designer Michael Drummond, below, commented that his year-long effort to create a narrative about the effects of the fast fashion industry on the environment “almost killed him.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Handmade  World Chess Hall of Fame Michael Drummond Being Played

In this exhibition Drummond, a veteran of Project Runway Season 8, has connected the issues surrounding climate change with the stresses the fashion industry places on the environment, and arranged them as a chess game. To illustrate the challenges climate change poses, Drummond looked for a famous chess game as inspiration. He found it in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey when Dr. Frank Poole plays against the supercomputer Hal 9000.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Handmade  World Chess Hall of Fame Michael Drummond Being Played

I have to admit that I was so engrossed in how beautiful Drummond’s creations are that I was not thinking about a chess game at all.

In the handsome exhibition catalog published by WCHOF, Drummond says that “It’s a tricky predicament to simultaneously give yourself over to the glamor and fantasy of fashion and yet be repelled by the industry’s excess and its hold on the public psyche.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Handmade  World Chess Hall of Fame Michael Drummond Being Played

Drummond used a “variety of fabrics in his creations both natural and man-made including laser-cut synthetics, clothing spun from steel, hand-crafted shoes (see Drummond’s own which I assume are handmade, below), and digitally-printed accessories.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Handmade  World Chess Hall of Fame Michael Drummond Being Played

Being Played remains on view at World Chess Hall of Fame until March 22, 2020. I suspect you’ll want to return often (as I do) to study Drummond’s craft, it’s quite amazing. Perhaps on one of my visits I’ll figure out the game Being Played as well.

WCHOF, 4652 Maryland Ave., (314) 367-9243, Mon&Tues. 10 to 5, Weds.-Fri. 10 to 9, Sat. 10 to 5, Sun. 12-5.

Japanese Meisen Kimono & Needle Festival Tributes at HorsleyArts Gallery

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

Every 4 years Innovations in Textiles, a celebration of contemporary fiber art and its makers, takes place in the St. Louis area. Starting in August, over 45 regional non-profit and private art galleries, art organizations, museums, curators and educators have collaborated on exhibitions and programs to showcase contemporary fiber art, textiles and fashion.

This Friday, September 27, CWE-based artists Wendy Wees, above, her husband Milo Duke (see earlier post here), and Linda Horsley (see post here) are presenting Japanese Meisen Kimono & Needle Festival Tributes at HorsleyArts Gallery, 4374 Olive St. from 5 to 8 p.m

Additional textile exhibitions can be found at Duane Reed Gallery, Barrett Barrera Projects,  St. Louis Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum, and 25 other venues (information here).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

Wendy Wees began collecting kimono in 1980. From 1986 to 2006 she was gallery assistant for Kagedo Japanese Art in Seattle. Kagedo specializes in fine Japanese art, with a focus on the transition to modernism from the end of the 19th through the 20th century.  During her years with Kagedo, Wees had the opportunity to acquire an inspiring and eclectic group of textiles including hand-woven Tamba-fu, Oshima silk, and Asa, cloth woven from bast fiber.

For this exhibition, Wees chose 20 meisen kimono from her collection of 50 Japanese kimono and textiles.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

When they were first created in the early to mid-20th century, meisen kimono, examples above and below, represented a huge textile innovation. Following WW I mechanization brought new spinning, chemical dyeing, and weaving technologies to the fashion industry in Japan. During that period textile designers were inspired by bright colors and bold geometric designs found in Western art movements including Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Abstract Art. They enjoyed a huge following among young urban working women who loved their bright colors and lower cost.

I learned so many more fascinating things about meisen kimono on my visit to Wees’ and Duke’s CWE studio. Meisen patterns are stenciled onto warp threads prior to weaving. Unmarried women wore big, bright patterns. And, I learned, there is a difference in how the sleeves on men’s and women’s kimono were constructed. Women’s kimono have open sleeves that serve as pockets, while men’s sleeves are sewn closed.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

After World War II meisen fell out of fashion, and currently only a few artisans produce this fabric. By the end of the 1950s there was a decline in kimono wearing altogether.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

Nevertheless, over the past decade meisen kimono have seen a resurgence in popularity. Some museums have assembled meisen collections, and art collectors use them as wall art.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Wendy Wees Surface Design Association Milo Duke Meisen Kimono Linda Horsley Innovations in Textiles 2019 Horsley Arts

A related exhibition will also be on view at HorsleyArts Gallery this Friday. Linda Horsley has created an homage, above left, to Hari-Kuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles, a 400-year-old Japanese memorial service held to comfort the spirits of old or broken needles. People bring needles that were used during the previous year to designated Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples to celebrate the service of these small inanimate objects.

Visitors to the gallery are welcome to bring their bent and broken needles and place them on the shrine to honor this tradition.

There is also Of Pins and Needles, an homage to Sewists (sew+artists). The artists have topped knitting needles with unusual clay sculptures (see middle photo above).

Japanese Meisen Kimono & Needle Festival Tributes opens at HorsleyArts Gallery, 4374 Olive St., Friday, September 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. Until the exhibition closes on November 2, viewing is by appointment, (314) 243-3879. The gallery will also be open during the international Surface Design Association’s biennial event October 3 to 6. SDA is partnering with St. Louis-based Innovations in Textiles 2019.

Finally, Wendy Wees is interested in selling her collection of 50 Japanese kimono and textiles. For information, contact her at weeswendy@hotmail.com.