Browsing Tag

Marlene Lewis

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.

An early summer workshop with Mary Engelbreit and Charlotte Lyons

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Earlier this summer Mary Engelbreit celebrated the 40th Anniversary of her 1st licensing agreement by hosting a crafting workshop with dear friend and former CWEnder Charlotte Lyons. Mary and Charlotte’s Studio Workshop sold out as soon as the event was posted on social media 9 months earlier, and on June 15 twenty-two women from around the country—Chicago, Santa Fe, New York, Seattle, Texas, California, and Indiana—arrived at Mary’s Studio in the Central West End.

There were 5 instructors, in addition to Mary and Charlotte— “super stars” in the crafting field—who taught a variety of classes over 3 1/2 jam-packed days. An important side-benefit to attending crafting weekends, which have become extremely popular over the past few years, is the friendships that are made. Many women were able to connect with friends made at other workshops, or became fast friends with people they’d never met. Mary added, “lots of instant friendships were formed.” Most of the attendees, who stayed at either the Chase or the Parkway Hotel, were new to St. Louis and in their spare time set out to explore Forest Park, the St. Louis Art Museum, and local restaurants and shops.

After classes in the studio there was a cocktail party at Mary’s home one evening (one of the perks for Mary’s fans), where I understand every nook and cranny was Instagrammed, a visit to the Mary Engelbreit warehouse on The Hill (where Mary’s products were available and vintage goods dealers set up tables showcasing their wares), and a luncheon and “fairy garden” terrarium workshop, using ME fairies as ornaments, at Bowood Farms, followed by a tour of CWE artists’ studios.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Another highlight was Sunday morning’s demonstration on coloring and drawing by Mary Engelbreit, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Handmade  Vintage by Crystal Sheldon Johnson Mary Engelbreit Marlene Lewis Lyn Magee Jone Hallmark Jenn McGlon Crystal Sloane Charlotte Lyons Central West End Cathe Holden Carla Dawson Bowood Farms Barbara Holtz #maryandcharlottesstudioworkshop

Charlotte Lyons, a pioneer in the crafting-weekend phoenomenon, is Mary Engelbreit’s co-author for the Home Companion book series and has authored several craft books of her own. At the June workshop, she showed the group how to make an appliqué felt wallet (above), just one of many projects she’s demonstrated at crafting events in Los Angeles, New Hampshire, France, and currently around her new hometown of Bennington, Vermont. Here is a link to a recent workshop she co-hosted there. (more…)

TechArtista’s a stop on CAM’s Open Studios Tour in CWE Sunday

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker

TechArtista, 4818 Washington Avenue, recently added "art gallery" to the long list of what's available to its 140 members at the collaborative work environment in the CWE. The name "TechArtista" stems from the Italian soccer term "trequeartista," which describes a playmaker whose creativity and technique helps score goals. This Sunday, October 4, that creativity, evidenced most recently in T/A's 1st art exhibition, Surface In-Tension, will be open to the public during CAM's Open Studios Tour.

The photo above shows Honora Coveyou and her father John, who's a member of T/A, at the August 28th opening of Surface In-Tension. Honora is looking at one of two obelisks painted by Screwed Arts Collective based on Cherokee. (Work on the obelisks was completed and celebrated at an earlier event).

Open Studios STL's kick-off is scheduled for this evening, Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m. at CAM, 3750 Washington Blvd. On Saturday, artists' studios located east of Grand Boulevard will be open to the public from 10 to 5, and on Sunday, artists west of Grand will do the same. There is no charge for the self-guided tours.

Other CWE artists who will be "in residence" Sunday are located next door to TechArtista in the Pierce Arrow Building, 4814 Washington Avenue. Artists include Barbara Holtz, Marlene Lewis (watch PBS Arts Interview on website), who is sharing her studio for the day with painter Jennifer HayesSheldon Johnson, Ben Kiel (typeface designer) and Kim Kissinger Marino, who just moved to St. Louis in July.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker  The reason TechArtista's co-founders, Eric Hamblett and Christopher Holt, left, decided to stage an art exhibition in an already vibrant co-working environment and start-up scene can be found in a catalog that was created for Surface In-Tension: "We realized that art is a manifestation of our vision for a truly cross-disciplinary workspace, utilizing tensions between different disciplines to inspire innovative ideas. The straddling of these areas is what makes both our workspace and our gallery, which are one in the same, so unique."

Photo above courtesy of St. Louis Small Business Monthly.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker

Mariana Parisca, above, a recent graduate of Washington University with a double major in studio art and anthropology, was the curator of Surface In-Tension. Parisca is originally from Venezuela and moved to Toledo, Ohio in 2000. The artist remained in St. Louis following graduation, and is now an admissions counselor at W. U. Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art. And she added, "I'm an artist always."
 
Parisca is photographed with her sculpture, Tension Form, shown suspended above right, which was on view opening night only. The piece was sewn using tights as the medium and then stretched with strings to the walls.  She saw this creation as "a metaphor for TechArtista where many different types of people share spaces and collaborate to innovate in the spaces in between." To Parisca, "Art that makes a clear point is boring." 
Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker
Ann-Maree Walker, above, a research assistant in The Study Room for Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Saint Louis Art Museum is another artist featured in the exhibition. You're invited to touch her installation Circuit, a stunning wall of feathers. 
 Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker
Clothesline's artists, above, placed articles of clothing in suitcases that could be inscribed with a message and hung on the clothesline, below.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker
 
The sign reads: "Baggage Claim: Air out baggage on the clothesline."

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker

Edo Rosenblith's fantastic Supper Club, above and below, covers a chalk wall on the 3rd floor.

  Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker

Jacob Elior Berkowitz acrylic on wood, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker

Artist Emmeline Solomon uses teabags dipped in wax as one of the components in her humorous Casual Idolatry, above and below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  TechArtista Sheldon Johnson Marlene Lewis Mark Pack Mariana Parisca Kim Kissinger Marino Jennifer Hayes Eric Hamblett Emmeline Solomon Edo Rosenblith Christopher Holt Ben Kiel Barbara Holtz Ann Maree Walker

Mark Pack's Metamorphic, above, is just one more example of many imaginative works at TechArtista. The exhibition will remain on view through November. 

Curator Mariana Parisca started putting the exhibition together in June for an end of August opening. The effort was dizzying, and she thanks the TechArtista's community, especially Mia Ranard, Christopher Holt and Eric Hamblett, as well as her friend Kahlil Irving for their invaluable help in making it happen.

CAM's Open Studio Tours, Saturday (east of Grand Blvd.) and Sunday (west of Grand Blvd.), 10 to 5 p.m. For more information about TechArtista, visit the website.