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Maggie Pearson

Part V: CWE-based artists create during the pandemic

Linda Horsley/Horsley Arts

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts Sarah Cunningham Maggie Pearson Lyn Magee Linda Horsley Daniel Jefferson

When I asked Linda Horsley, who opened Horsley Arts in 2017, how she’s dealing with the pandemic, she replied that there were no words, “my art says it all.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts Sarah Cunningham Maggie Pearson Lyn Magee Linda Horsley Daniel Jefferson

oil on canvas corner piece, “24 x 48”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts Sarah Cunningham Maggie Pearson Lyn Magee Linda Horsley Daniel Jefferson

Missing the Bowl, oil on canvas, 30″ x 30″

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts Sarah Cunningham Maggie Pearson Lyn Magee Linda Horsley Daniel Jefferson

Horsley’s oil on canvas corner piece, 24″ x 48.”

Sarah Cunningham/Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts

Sarah Cunningham, who opened Walker-Cunningham Fine Art in her CWE home in 2018, was gearing up to exhibit St. Louis-based artist Daniel Jefferson’s Bipolar Holiday: Kyoto Girls when the pandemic hit.

Cunningham, who has been in the business for 21 years (in Boston until 2015), emailed: “Dan painted a full wall mural in our dining room for the exhibit—it’s really spectacular and was made to show off his virtuosic and impromptu renderings…he did the whole thing with no study sketches—just painting straight out of his head.  It was brilliant to watch. Here is a time-lapse video from my website showing the progression over 4 days.
In reaction to the circumstances Cunningham said: “I’ve extended Dan’s show through the fall with many options for patrons to view. The website has room views and a video tour (see above), visit via FaceTime or Skype by making an appointment for a real time virtual tour, or you may visit in-person with viewings limited to 2 people at a time (masks required).”
Walker-Cunningham Fine Art, email: sarah@walkercunningham.com
Maggie Pearson
Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts Sarah Cunningham Maggie Pearson Lyn Magee Linda Horsley Daniel Jefferson  Here’s how Maggie Pearson responded when I asked what’s on her drawing board during the pandemic:
“Sadly, I’ve been just crushed by all the added responsibilities and haven’t had lots of creative time. I am working on sending out my Halloween booklet which is an original drawing and ghost stories written by me, plus some silly jokes for trick or treating. I’ve attached some drawings (above) from years past. October tends to be my creative recharge. I also think there’s something poetic about “graves into gardens” in that life morphs or there is some rebirth after death. I’ve been decking out the house in creepy Victorian decor and the yard display is next. But alas, no painting, etc. on my plate.”
For more information and to learn more about Maggie Pearson see an earlier post here.
Lyn Magee

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts Sarah Cunningham Maggie Pearson Lyn Magee Linda Horsley Daniel Jefferson

Artist Lyn Magee began these pieces, above and below, in March when St. Louis went into lockdown mode. She describes that time as chaotic to say the least and created Chaos Series in response.  Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts Sarah Cunningham Maggie Pearson Lyn Magee Linda Horsley Daniel Jefferson  The pieces are made of painted cardboard, thin strips of metal,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts Sarah Cunningham Maggie Pearson Lyn Magee Linda Horsley Daniel Jefferson

strips of painted canvas and wood,Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts Sarah Cunningham Maggie Pearson Lyn Magee Linda Horsley Daniel Jefferson

and other found objects.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Walker-Cunningham Fine Arts Sarah Cunningham Maggie Pearson Lyn Magee Linda Horsley Daniel Jefferson

Magee’s final piece in Chaos Series shows bark on cardboard.

Read more about Lyn Magee and art created in her CWE studio in an earlier post here. Contact info: stanjones3733@gmail.com.

More artists work during the pandemic to come.

New City School: The ABCs of creating a community garden

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink For kids Urban Gardens  New City School Matt Lebon Maggie Pearson Julie Lazaroff CWE Farm Arthur Culbert Alexis Wright

Earlier this summer I found CWEnd-based illustrator Maggie Pearson (see 2013 post here) picking juneberries, aka service berries, on Euclid. She was a little sheepish about getting “caught,” as she wasn’t sure that picking berries off city trees was legal (she later found out that it’s ok).

It seems that birds had devoured berries from 15 juneberry trees on New City School’s campus at Lake and Waterman, and Maggie was scrambling to gather enough fruit to make jam for the school’s Farmer’s Market. That’s when I first learned that Maggie and another parent, Julie Lazaroff, had started a community garden at New City School the previous summer.

Their game plan, including information regarding grants they received, may offer a blueprint for others thinking of organizing a community garden at their own children’s school.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink For kids Urban Gardens  New City School Matt Lebon Maggie Pearson Julie Lazaroff CWE Farm Arthur Culbert Alexis Wright

When I followed up with a visit at the end of June, the women said this project had been on their radar for a long time. Maggie was largely responsible the garden’s design—”she has a beautiful aesthetic,” Julie said.  Julie, a dietician and yoga teacher, credits an apprenticeship at EarthDance Organic Farms with adding to her knowledge of soil preparation and plant materials.Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink For kids Urban Gardens  New City School Matt Lebon Maggie Pearson Julie Lazaroff CWE Farm Arthur Culbert Alexis Wright

Last July the “partners in crime,” as Maggie, left, and Julie, right, identify themselves, started work with encouragement from New City’s Head of School Alexis Wright and advice from Matt Lebon of Custom Foodscaping. They removed a tether ball and digging area to make room for the new garden.  The school’s groundskeeper Bill Sprung built the arbor, trellis, and planting beds. A group of 20 volunteers had the garden up and running by the start of the 2018/2019 school year.

The area is designated as additional classroom space for 1st through 6th graders. “We are teaching our kids to be Stewards of the Earth,” said Maggie. “In addition to learning how to grow food, they’re using math skills when they plant seeds, and learning lessons in environmental science as well.”

Last spring, 3rd graders planted radish seeds, then harvested and tasted them 30 days later.  Julie took the radish greens home and made pesto and quiche for the kids to sample. New City is in the process of raising funds for a maker space that would include a kitchen so that the kids can learn to cook what they grow at school.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink For kids Urban Gardens  New City School Matt Lebon Maggie Pearson Julie Lazaroff CWE Farm Arthur Culbert Alexis Wright

Photographs above: Parent volunteers at work in the garden, and snapshots of the Garden Club’s Farmer’s Markets (there were 2 last year). Proceeds from sales are used to purchase seeds and other supplies for the garden.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink For kids Urban Gardens  New City School Matt Lebon Maggie Pearson Julie Lazaroff CWE Farm Arthur Culbert Alexis Wright

The pair was able to secure two grants for their project. A grant from the Whole Kids Foundation (Whole Foods) was used for the garden’s infrastructure, and a second, awarded by Missouri Wild Ones, was used for a pollinator garden which they planted alongside the school, shown above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink For kids Urban Gardens  New City School Matt Lebon Maggie Pearson Julie Lazaroff CWE Farm Arthur Culbert Alexis Wright

The pollinator garden at work, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink For kids Urban Gardens  New City School Matt Lebon Maggie Pearson Julie Lazaroff CWE Farm Arthur Culbert Alexis Wright  Left above: New City offers outdoor classroom experiences for pre-schoolers as well. Just outside the entry to the 3-to-4 year old classrooms there are a few vegetable beds which are tended by pre-school teachers during the school year, and the garden committee in the summer. Right: Last February there was a “Chicken Arrival Party” for chickens rented from locally-owned The Easy Chicken. Fuego & Ginger (names chosen by the students) were cared for by a different grade each week. The chickens were sent home for r & r this summer, and will return in the fall.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink For kids Urban Gardens  New City School Matt Lebon Maggie Pearson Julie Lazaroff CWE Farm Arthur Culbert Alexis Wright

After all the rain we’ve had this summer, the kale and Swiss chard were flourishing when I visited. Bottom photo left: Felt “smart pots” are filled with herbs for a sensory experience. Bottom right: The committee planted strawberries as “eye candy” for the kids, hardy kiwi, blackberries, and a fig tree.Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink For kids Urban Gardens  New City School Matt Lebon Maggie Pearson Julie Lazaroff CWE Farm Arthur Culbert Alexis Wright  Grape vines are growing on a new fence built by Julie and Maggie’s husbands at the east edge of the garden.

Over the summer vacation, committee members stop by twice a week to weed and harvest. There are three other community gardens on Waterman between Kingshighway and New City School. The granddaddy of them all is the CWE Farm which was started 10 years ago by Arthur Culbert (and which I have posted about many times). There is also a garden at Central Reform Congregation and at First Unitarian Church.

The organizers of New City’s community garden thank Arthur Culbert for his contribution of advice, plant materials, and herbs he’s brought to their garden.  Most importantly though, Culbert created a citizenship curriculum for New City 4th graders, and the food the students help plant is donated to food pantries at Trinity Episcopal Church and Second Presbyterian Church. His initiative became the catalyst for Central Reform and First Unitarian, some Westminster Place neighbors and now New City to join in the effort to feed those less fortunate in the neighborhood.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink For kids Urban Gardens  New City School Matt Lebon Maggie Pearson Julie Lazaroff CWE Farm Arthur Culbert Alexis Wright

The photo above shows New City’s soccer field with a section of the garden in the foreground.

Julie and Maggie are mindful of the fact that there has to be a plan of succession when their children graduate from New City. They have begun working on a long-term integrated program with Head of School Alexis Wright.

The women are visibly proud of what they have created and excited that the garden has become a learning experience for the parents who volunteer as well.  Many have taken what they’ve learned home to start vegetable gardens of their own. That, plus seeing reluctant eaters at least taste a radish, makes it all worthwhile. “My 5-year-old, Auggie, really disliked salad until we started growing our own lettuce,” Maggie said. “Now he loves it.”

New City School, 5209 Waterman (at Lake).

 

CWE Flea debuts Saturday, September 7

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children Handmade  Maggie Pearson CWE Flea
One of the items on that proverbial wish list for the neighborhood will get checked off next Saturday, September 7, with the launch of the CWE Flea—a fun outdoor marketplace on the parking lot at 449 N. Euclid (at Washington). Amy Howell and I have been mulling this over for a while and working hard at putting it together for the last month and 1/2, which is really pushing it. But we have the location, the vendors and excitement from those that have heard about it…so there's no turning back!

Don't think for a minute this is your ordinary garage sale—we have fabulous vendors with really interesting stuff. Spread the word and plan to stop by the first & third Saturdays in September & October to see what's happening at the CWE Flea. If we can make the outdoor marketplace a success this fall, we'll start up again next spring.

A special thanks to CWEnder Maggie Pearson for the fabulous logo and flyer design you see above. A  banner goes up on the CWE Flea site this weekend, so look for that too.

For general information use the blog email or CWEFlea@gmail.com.

See you September 7th and 21st, and again October 5th and 19th!