Browsing Tag

Susan Barrett

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

A few days left to view September’s gallery offerings

Apologies for this last-minute notice, but if you’ve some time there are a few days left to dash to CWE galleries to view current exhibitions before they close.

Artists Luanne Rimel, Nancy Callan, and Mary Borgman’s works will remain on view at Duane Reed Gallery until this Saturday, October 13.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag   Artist Luanne Rimel, above right, is also a curator, instructor, and Director of Education Programs at Craft Alliance Art Center.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Rimel’s fascinating Scaffold Curtain 1, original photography printed on repurposed flour-sack cloth. From the website:”…detailed sections of the image are created and layered, collaged and hand stitched onto the cloth…”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

CWEnder Carol Kyser, above left, photographed in front of Nancy Callan’s blown and slumped glass pieces, and right, another hip observer, viewing Callan’s work titled Noodles & Confetti.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Above, artist Mary Borgman’s mesmerizing charcoal on mylar, Portrait of Chris Rubin: Standing. Among the many galleries where this St. Louis-based artist has exhibited is the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian Institute.

At Philip Slein Gallery, Andrea Belag’s Beachcomber series will close this Saturday as well.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

The New York-based artist is photographed alongside her oil on linen, Beachcomber 1. In an article in Whitehot Magazine, independent curator Paul Laster describes Belag’s process: “Using a variety of paints, tools and actions, she makes paintings that layer color in an energetic yet meditative way.” Read Laster’s Sixteen Questions in its entirety here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Belag’s 56 x 70″ oil on linen, Beachcomber #17.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

At Houska Gallery, John Marksbury’s My Life as an Atom:Recent Paintings is the artist’s first exhibition since moving to St. Louis from Boston in 2013.

From Houska Gallery’s website: “Markbury’s colorful paintings explore ideas of time and space, the fantastic and mystical, symbolism, and the tension between objective and subjective experience.”

A closing reception is scheduled on Saturday, October 13,  from 1 to 4 p.m.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Susan Barrett, above, founder of projects + gallery, clearly has her finger on the pulse of what is current in both the art world and popular culture. To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults by Jess T. Dugan and Vanessa Fabbre, which sadly closes today (sorry!), is a great example.

“This interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between Jess T. Dugan, photographer, and Vanessa Fabbre, social worker and assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, whose research focuses on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and aging.”

To Survive on This Shore was released as a book at the end of August.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Above left: Each of Dugan’s photographs (this is the first time she has photographed older adults in the LGBTQ community) is accompanied by Fabbre’s texts which provide selections of full-length interviews “to enhance the viewer’s connection to each subject’s story.”

Right: It’s as much fun to view the art on the walls at projects + gallery openings as it is to observe the fashion worn by those who stop by.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

The New York Times published a piece on its Lens website by reporter Jake Naughton reviewing the current exhibition, which you can read here: A Visual Record of the Joys, Fears and Hopes of Older Transgender People.

Over on Washington Avenue at Atrium Gallery, artist Caroline Weld’s paintings and John Schwartzkoff’s sculptures will remain on view until November 10.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Former St. Louisan Caroline Weld, above, who lives on Nantucket, is exhibiting her abstract paintings in her hometown for the first time. The artist is photographed alongside Pebble Pile, acrylic on canvas.

From the website: “Weld paints using natural light from her solarium windows in her (Nantucket) studio and in addition to brushes, uses unconventional tools to create the texture often seen in her work.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag   

In addition to Weld’s paintings, Perspective features sculpture by John Schwartzkoff.

Dario Calmese’s “Amongst Friends.” at projects+gallery

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

Knowing the ins and outs of how artists and galleries collaborate on exhibitions can contribute to one’s appreciation of the end result. A case in point is Dario Calmese’s Amongst Friends. which opened last Friday evening at projects+gallery.

The genesis of About Friends dates to the formation of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund and its #1 concern at the time it opened: how to heal the racial divide. Susan Barrett, the proprietor of projects+gallery, is also involved in the Fashion Fund which sponsored Vogue editor André Leon Talley’s appearance at the Saint Louis Art Museum last June. That’s where she met Dario Calmese, and when they started discussing this exhibition. A few months later, she and Calmese finalized plans when they met in New York, where projects+gallery maintains a presence.

Calmese seems to take his multi-faceted talent—which surfaced at an early age—in stride. He was raised in St. Louis where his parents recognized his interest in the arts and  arranged for piano lessons. At age 14 he directed a 300-member gospel choir, and during the summers, danced at The Muny. He went on to graduate school in New York and moved to Harlem.  Before returning home to St. Louis for the opening of Amongst Friends, he directed a show for New York Fashion Week, further evidence of his many talents.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

At an artist’s talk on Saturday afternoon Calmese said he attends Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, where he was “blown away” by a striking woman who wore the most amazing clothes. When he was finally introduced, he told her he wanted to do a story on fashion for a graduate school class, and wondered if she would be interested in being the subject. Thus began a 5-year photography project with Ms. Lana Turner, above, resulting in Amongst Friends.

Here is a great description of the project from projects+gallery’s website:  “Amongst Friends. is a series of black and white photographs and selected fashion objects from the private collection of Lana Turner, a noted Harlem preservationist and doyenne of style whose extensive inventory of vintage fashion can be understood as an archive of twentieth-century society and a reflection of the role of fashion in the history of African-American culture.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

projects+ gallery’s Proprietor Susan Barrett, left, with Ms. Turner, far right.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

Sir Jacob (Randal Jacobs) with Calmese’s sister, above. Jacobs was here from New York to style Ms. Turner’s garments for the exhibition.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

Reuben Reuel, above, moved to St. Louis from Brooklyn when he was chosen for the Saint Louis Fashion Fund’s inaugural group of designers. He and Calmese had met in New York.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

Ms. Turner’s clothing collection began with hats, she now has 500. Her choice of what she’ll wear each day “starts with a hat, and sometimes there are multiple changes in a day, depending on where I’m going.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

Examples of some of Ms. Turner’s extensive clothing collection are shown above. Each piece is meticulously catalogued and kept in a spare bedroom of her Harlem apartment.

She was often photographed by the late Bill Cunningham for the fashion pages of the New York Times. “The clothes tell a story of people I’ve met and where I’ve been,” Turner said. When asked to describe how she furnishes her apartment, she added: “Life is too short not to be surrounded by beautiful things.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

Calmese shot the black and white photographs on film using a vintage 6 x 6 camera, which he prefers over shooting digitally. “You never know exactly what you have until you get in the darkroom, and I like that surprise,” he said.  The photo above shows a detail of a larger photograph (see more of it in previous photo) showing Ms. Turner wearing an Yves Saint Laurent shoe.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

The photos for Amongst Friends were shot on the rooftop of the apartment building where Turner lives in Harlem. In this photo Calmese’s muse is wearing a Vera Wang gown, also shown on the mannequin, right. Calmese said that perhaps subconsciously, Harlem is woven into the photos.

The building’s roof is purposely visible in some of the shots, which the photographer explained by saying, “Ms. Turner and I are very much aware that this is all a performance. Aren’t we all part of the ‘theater of man?’ We’re all players in it, aren’t we—the heroes and the villains.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Washington University Sam Fox School of Design Susan Barrett Sir Jacob Rikki Byrd Reuben Reuel projects+gallery Mrs. Lana Turner Dario Calmese Bridget Melloy

Senior Director of projects+gallery Bridget Melloy (not pictured) introduced the panel at Saturday, February 17’s Artist’s Talk: W. U. Sam Fox School of Design Lecturer Rikki Byrd, left, Ms. Lana Turner, middle, and Dario Calmese, right.

Byrd commented that Ms. Turner seems to have mastered the art of being “she.” Turner replied: “I never wear makeup, I can’t be bothered fiddling with my hair, this is me.”

At the end of the discussion Calmese expressed his gratitude to Susan Barrett for bringing Amongst Friends to St. Louis. “It is so important to me that black and brown people, who may not know where to find other people interested in fashion, can come to a gallery in the Central West End and see themselves in the art. I want to continue documenting Black Americans leading extraordinary lives. And I hope it (Amongst Friends) brings people out,” he said.

In summary, the photography is stunning, the Muse is fascinating, and once again, projects+gallery has brought something totally unexpected and fascinating to St. Louis. Take the time to visit.

Amongst Friends. will remain on view until March 31.  projects+gallery, 4733 McPherson Ave., is open Weds. through Sat., 11 to 5, (314) 696-8678.

P. S. – I have paraphrased some of the conversations quoted here.