Art Saint Louis Kicks Off "Food, Glorious Food" With a Block Party and Food Trucks

Categories: Art

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Slice of Summer | Alex Paradowski

Art St. Louis' (1223 Pine Street; 314-241-4810) newest exhibit will interest foodies and art lovers alike. Some 76 new works from 51 local artists will be on display and for sale, and they're all food and drink-inspired.

See also: The Art of Food Brings St. Louis' Top Chefs Together for Slow Food St. Louis

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Artist Peat Wollaeger Gives Church's Chicken Holy Makeover with Stained Glass "Windows"

Categories: Art

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The mural on the former Church's Chicken building. | Nancy Stiles

The beleaguered Church's Chicken (6190 Delmar Boulevard) in the Loop closed in May, and has been sitting vacant ever since then. It's some pretty prominent real estate -- the corner of Delmar and Skinker Boulevards -- so it's a little surprising some developer hasn't snatched up the eyesore, what with the explosion of restaurants in the Loop.

Over the summer, local artist Peat Wollaeger spruced up the construction site of the new Washington University student housing with his signature eye motif. Now, he's done it again, with ocular faux-stained glass windows on the old Church's building.

"Since it was a 'church's' chicken, I thought it would make sense to do stained glass windows," says Wollaeger. "Seems appropriate, right?"

See also: Church's Chicken, Delmar Loop Location, is "Permanently Closed"

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ArtD Dining Tour Explores Culinary and Visual Arts

Categories: Art

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       Food is art, too! | Jennifer Silverberg

Dining tours are popping up all over St. Louis, but the latest from Art Dimensions has a new element: art! The night will take your through several courses of food, areas of St. Louis and kinds of art. It begins at the St. Louis Art Musuem (1 Fine Arts Drive; 314-721-0072), of course!

See also: Eat Streets: St. Louis welcomes an influx of dining tours

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Celebrate Local Art With Us at RFT Artopia on August 29

Categories: Art

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On August 29, RFT Artopia will return for its sixth annual gala celebration of the arts in St. Louis. The 2720 Cherokee Performing Arts Center (2720 Cherokee; 314-875-0233) will be crammed with live performances of the musical and visual flavor along with a fully decked-out fashion show. Expect the two-story building to bustle with the brains behind many local masterworks, as well as outlandishly dressed attendees.

We here at RFT couldn't be more excited for the MasterMind Awards. Many artists go forth with much effort and little pay. Each year, we sling a few $1,000 checks out to lucky local artists. Although nominations are now closed, please join us to celebrate the four recipients of this year's MasterMind Awards.

Tickets will cost you $30 in advance, $35 at the door, but be on the lookout for a daily deal on our Facebook page that cuts the price in half (!). If the dessert bites and three full size drinks just aren't enough, the VIP tickets ($50 in advance, $60 at the door) include access to the private lounge with catered food by Seoul Taco, five drinks and a gift bag. The food and drink here are reason enough to take the dip, but the unpredictable, outrageous entertainment certainly sweetens the pot.

See also:
- RFT Artopia Returns to Cherokee Street; Ticket Presale Begins This Week
- Introducing the 2012 Riverfront Times MasterMind Award Winners

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Laumeier Sculpture Park Announces Partnership with Schlafly Beer

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Laumeier Sculpture Park (12580 Rott Road Street; 314-615-5278) recently announced a new partnership with Schlafly Beer. We spoke with Jackie Chambers, development officer at Laumeier and Susan Haberer, event coordinator at Schlafly, to find out exactly how beer and art will merge, two things quite relevant to Gut Check's interests.

Throughout the year Laumeier hosts a variety of free public events, gallery openings, musical performances and other activities. Thanks to the new partnership, Schlafly products will be available at all of these events. "It's a pretty natural partnership," Haberer says. "We've been involved with their art fair for several years. It sort of seemed like a natural step to extend that partnership."

To celebrate the new partnership, Schlafly will be hosting a benefit brunch on Sunday, September 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue St. Louis; 314-241-2337). Ten percent of the event's profits will be donated to the sculpture park. Chambers explains that all money raised will help fund park operations, which supports a variety of programs from art exhibitions to free tours of the park.

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Making Paula Deen Proud: The Butter Sculpture Art of State Fairs

Categories: Art

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Wikimedia Commons
Butter sculpture of of a dragon. We call her Margereene.
The Missouri State Fair's kicks off this Thursday in Sedalia. Where there's a fair, there's one thing for certain:

Butter sculptures.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Iowa State Fair's annual butter sculptures, and the first fair since its longtime artist, Norma "Duffy" Lyon, passed away at age 81 in June.

The tradition's newer at the Missouri State Fair. Siblings Janice Hargrave and Scott Linsenbardt are currently working on their second butter sculpture for the fair, a cow posed as Rodin's The Thinker. It's made mostly from butter recycled from last year's cow butter sculpture.

Although their butter art looks perfectly fine, we think cows are a bit overdone. Check out these less expected butter sculptures.

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Van Gogh's "Starry Night" Rendered in Bacon

Categories: Art, Meat, WTF?
I've grown weary of all the "outrageous" bacon Internet stuff, but this one was too good to pass up. And it's the end of the week, so you likely need a laugh to tide you over to the weekend. So I present to you Van Gogh's "Starry Night" made out of bacon:

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Screenshot: www.instructables.com
This is from a website called Instructables. I think this is the original post that has gone viral over the past couple of days, but I'm not 100% sure. My apologies if I'm not giving the proper site credit.

Mayans, Beer + Chocolate: What a Combo!

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Deborah Hyland
what could possibly go better with an exhibition of Mayan art and artifacts than Mayan-inspired chocolates by Kakao? How 'bout Kakao's Mayan-inspired chocolates paired with beer from Maplewood neighbor Schlafly?
To celebrate its exhibition, Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea, the Saint Louis Art Museum (in Forest Park; 314-721-0072) could have gone in any number of directions.

One direction that was not explored: taking inspiration from one of the objects on display, an eighth-century vomit spoon carved from manatee bone.

Regurgitation aside, Mayan iconography is loaded with food imagery: ducks, corn, alligator. Seafood too: conch and frogs, lobster, shrimp and turtle. One well-to-do Mayan was so fond of his victuals that he had a special platter made for one particular delicacy -- a fact researchers divined by translating the inscription on the plate, which reads: "His plate, his eating-instrument for white venison tamales."

The Mayans were also chocolate lovers. Matthew Robb, the art museum's assistant curator for ancient American and Native American art, notes that there were vessels designed for the express purpose of drinking chocolate beverages. "The Maya word for chocolate was kakaw," Robb tells Gut Check. "On these vessels the syllable ka- is often represented with a fish head accompanied by a sign for the number two. So: ka times two, plus the syllable for wa -- in Maya writing you drop the final vowel -- equals kakaw."

Chocolate and fish? Gut Check once vowed never to return to a restaurant that drizzled chocolate sauce over shrimp. Fortunately, SLAM took a more palatable approach, partnering with locally based producers Kakao Chocolate and Schlafly Beer to develop Beer + Chocolate = Food of the Gods. The event, held at the museum Thursday, March 31, from 6:30 until 9 p.m., features six beer-and-chocolate pairings, along with live music, hors d'oeuvres and tours of the exhibition.

Pairing beer and chocolate made sense to the Mayans. They never played beer pong or debated the place of a lemon wedge in the hefeweizen, but they were all over fermented-corn beverages, and those Mayan drinking vessels would do a frat boy proud -- they hold a quart at the very least. The chocolate apparatus, meanwhile, featured a spout to aerate the frothy hot liquid. Doubtless some anthropologist somewhere has written a thesis on how Mayan methods of chocolate consumption evolved into generations of modern-day children blowing bubbles in chocolate milk.


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St. Louis Photographer Takes Eat-Rite to the Smithsonianan. Again.

In 2007 Jane Linders, an artist specializing in alternative-process photography, took her Polaroid to the corner of Chouteau and 7th to nab a piece of St. Louis' Route 66 history. She captured the original Eat-Rite Diner, still serving slingers and bags of burgers for over 60 years, in a gritty, ominous photo that could have been taken decades earlier.

For the second time, the Smithsonian will be utilizing Linders' work on Smithsonian Spotlight: Picture Perfect on the Smithsonian Channel on March 6 at 10 a.m. and March 8 at 8 p.m. The program is a behind the scenes look at the Smithsonian's annual "Picture Perfect" contest and the photos that have been a part of it.

Linders talked to Gut Check about her iconic photo, restaurant photographs, and how to make your own haunting old diner photos.

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Jane Linders

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A Treasury of Dutch Illustrations About Constipated Women

Categories: Art, WTF?
Earlier today, I went searching for a photograph of a toilet to illustrate a post about restaurant toilets being cleaner than restaurant high chairs. I found a perfectly adequate photo of a toilet.

I also stumbled upon these illustrations, apparently from Holland, of constipated women. What more can I say except "Enjoy!"

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Image via
It's unclear if this is woman is actually constipated, or if her butt is stuck inside her chamberpot.

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