The Culture, the SLAM show that we saw this week extended beyond its ticketed exhibition hall. Sculpture Hall, the original 1904 World’s Fair portion of the museum was also affected. Back in 1904, old photos of this hall show it densely packed with figurative sculptures. When we saw this week, it was almost empty. Gone were the pair of wooden Spanish doors that had been refurbished by a friend. Also missing was the moving Panorama of the Mississippi. This series of painting, which span several hundred feet of canvas was routinely moved once a quarter, advancing the visible panel from one scene to the next. In its place was the pictured “Air Jordans” made from repurposed auto body parts. The information booth had been slid into the alcove where the Spanish doors had once stood, leaving half the hall empty. A garage bandstand was added. I guess for all of the concerts that were/are planned for this year.
The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century is the art show that we viewed yesterday. This show has been on display at the art museum all summer, but since we have been out of town, we only just now got around to seeing it. It was put on in collaboration with the Baltimore Museum of Art. There was plenty of bling on display, some graffiti, plus original artworks like this pictured pair of paintings. It was a multimedia display, with video, rapper’s costumes and stage props. It will be on display until January.
Art for art’s sake? No! Show me the money. Earlier this summer, I went to the Ann Arbor art fair, which was huge by comparison. This one was much smaller, only a few hundred artists. Really, it is so small that it does not deserve the moniker Saint Louis Art Fair. There are plenty of other art fairs around town and across the summer of similar size. It is sometimes called the Clayton art fair, but since Clayton is the county seat, I guess that gives it the right to represent the whole city. My quibbling aside, it was a beautiful day for a fair. We walked from home, around the whole fair and then back home again. I got my steps in and on the heels of yesterday’s Gyro class. Amber alert! I am going to be feeling it tomorrow. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary for this fair. Every year, they pick one artist’s work to be featured on the fair’s poster. In this juried fair, that artist gets an automatic invite for the following year. This year, because of the special anniversary, it seemed that all the past honorees were invited back.