CoMo Family: Miniature World!

On Saturday, we happened upon Miniature World, created by Patti Doyle and set up for a very short time in the basement of the Stephens College Assembly Hall.  It is a perfect place to spend an hour with children, gazing into the miniature worlds of cavemen, knights, pilgrims, cowboys, miners, construction workers, farmers and more…and then traveling the world to see such sights as the pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Rhine River and Stonehenge.

The Terracotta Army in China.

The scale varies: This free exhibit is more about fun than about accuracy.  One of the added bonuses is being able to take the roofs off several buildings to see what is going on inside.  The exhibit will be open for the last time this year on Wednesday, December 19th, from 1 to 5 PM.  Ms Doyle, a delightful and entertaining hostess, will be on hand to answer questions and explain her creations.


The circus!

There is a horse show going on in this building, complete with organ music.

Stephens College Assembly Hall (sometimes called the Dorsey Street Auditorium or gym) is on Dorsey Street, south of Broadway.  Walk down a short flight of steps in the center of the north side of the building and look for the Miniature World sign on the door.


Top Ten Ways to Make Friends in CoMO

I lived in my last town for nineteen years; I had a few friends. I’ve lived in Columbia for a year, and I now have more friends than I can count. It’s a bigger town by quite a bit, so the pool is much larger, but I also think that it’s easier to make friends in this town.  How to do it?  There are many ways, but here are my top ten:


What better way is there to meet people?  You find yourself working side-by-side with someone new, sometimes doing mindless tasks that allow you to share your entire life history.  Before you know it, they are buying you lunch and you are inviting them to your big anniversary party.  Happy ending!  As a hospice volunteer, I don’t actually make friends while volunteering, but there is hope for the rest of you.


or the yoga studio or the walking club or whatever.  Choose a physical activity where you aren’t panting too hard to talk.  By the end of my second water aerobics class, I had a job offer; by the end of my first real yoga class, I had a lunch invitation.


The car traffic on my street is seriously outnumbered by the foot, bicycle, stroller, paw, and wagon traffic.  It helps that I have an adorable dog who thinks that everyone he sees is his new best friend, but animals are not necessary.  I met Jen on the street one day when I was biking home and she was returning from the park with her children.  We chatted for an hour and now we go dancing together.


There are so many possibilities here:  How about that group that meets at the Heidelberg to work on their conversational French skills?  Or the many service clubs?  Or that crazy multisport club that I first encountered when dozens of them were dressed as smurfs?  Or even the raw foodists?  Check for informal clubs and groups or start your own!


or meditation or temple or synagogue or a pagan gathering or whatever!  The options in this town are vast.  Once you find a place that feels like home, you will know that you have at least one thing in common with everyone else there.  That’s a good place to start.


I hear that the workplace can be a good place to meet people.  I don’t have a job, but I do have some things that I do for free that can be considered work and that allow me to walk up to perfect strangers and start talking to them…like writing for the CoMo Collective.


Or just a way to interact with others while doing your hobby.  My hobby is biking, and I mostly do it by myself or with my husband.  We decided to join Off Track Events‘ group rides before we discovered the event mastermind living next door.  At our first event as Columbia residents we made friends and got numbers, even though we were both dressed in wedding dresses.  There are tons of events in Columbia all year long; anyone can find something that appeals.


I am currently taking a class at the Career Center that is chock-full of potential friends.  I happen to know that several of the people from the previous session formed their own little club when their class ended and became very good friends.  Other great options for classes in Columbia (aside from the university and colleges) are Inside Columbia’s Culinary Adventures, Columbia Art League, Access Arts, and the library.


Yep, stay home, but for this one to work you have to open the doors.  We moved into our new home in August; in September we invited all the neighbors over.  It was a bit of a whirlwind–meeting that many new people in the span of about three hours–but we quickly learned who was interested in meeting us (nine out of twenty-two families) and who we wanted to get to know better (to start with: everyone named Kate).

For our next neighborhood party, on St. Patrick’s Day, we invited those people and asked them to bring friends (and a dish to share).  The food was awesome (Grilled cheese with pickles!  Irish soda bread!  Beer cheese!), and there were eight new (to us) people walking around our house wearing nametags showing their temporary Irish names.  All you need for this one is something to drink, something to eat, and a semi-clean house.  What could be easier?


Sometimes friendship opportunities arise when least expected.  The Columbia Welcome lady?  She could be your awesome new friend.  The lady massaging the kinks out of your back?  Ditto.  The homeless guy on the corner?  It’s possible.  I’ve made friends in all of those cases, and it was just a matter of reaching out first.  You’ll never know if you don’t try.

December show at PS Gallery

I attended the opening reception of the latest show at the Perlow-Stevens Gallery with the intention of finding one exhibiting artist to highlight and interview. It immediately became obvious that I would not be able to choose just one. The current show is so varied–so abundant–that I have to share it all.*

I became intrigued with Ginny Herzog‘s architectural paintings months ago when I discovered two small pieces at the gallery.  Her work is unusual: She uses oil and  cold wax (a very interesting process that is new to me), piecing together diverse architectural elements into a new form.  One of the unique aspects of her works is that they can be hung more than one way; there is no “right” perspective on most of them.

Kate Gray’s Bella Blue Unknown.

Kate Gray‘s watercolors show phenomenal talent.  Rays of light break through here…shadows fall across there.  These are gorgeous paintings, all inspired by a visit to Italy where the artist spent her days reconnecting to beauty and life.  Each painting in this series (Bella Connections) is paired with a poem written by Gray.  The poems give the works an added depth, allowing the viewer to dive deeper into the artist’s experience of rediscovering beauty (bella).  Many will walk away inspired to do the same.

I usually find myself walking by ceramics after a quick look, but Dawson Morgan‘s pieces made me pause.  It wasn’t color that stopped me; it was shape.  The wispy edges, the folds, the curves, the draping…it feels organic and sensual at the same time.  I was transported to other places while gazing at her work: an autumnal forest with dry and crispy leaves, a dress maker’s studio with yards of silk piled all over, a shallow stream with water gently moving around stones.

Joel Sager’s Rural Structure VI

Joel Sager is a prolific local artist, so chances are pretty good that you’ve already seen some of his work.  I find it fascinating that he uses roofing tar in his paintings; there can’t be many artists out there doing that.  His series of barn paintings elicits adjectives that aren’t usually used for depictions of the American countryside: deep, gloomy, hopeful, dreamy, intense.  I feel like he’s showing me a world that isn’t our own, and I am eager to jump in and explore.

The exhibit (which runs through December) also includes work that isn’t covered here, including a thought-provoking series on books in art (art in books…art as books…book art…), with intallation pieces and items to handle and even take home.  Ask the staff to explain these works; I got so much more out of it after I took a few minutes to ask questions.

*Note: I am not a photographer.  Everything looks much better in person; you’ll have to see it for yourself.


Get your ugly sweater here!

It’s that time of year: the time for ugly sweater parties, ugly sweater dances, and even ugly sweater hikes. I’m all set with my new BowWowBeauty, modeled by Kate C. below. What’s on the back of my doggie sweater? The dogs’ rear ends poking out of little dog houses.

Locally, you can find a sweater at any of the thrift stores. Mine came from Leo’s Old Clothes, where I rooted through an awesome collection until I found the clear winner. Maude’s Vintage currently has a collection of dozens.  The local options are far superior to the online options that I have viewed, so try the local stores first.

Kate D. modeling the MittenPocketStunner from the Walnut Street Salvation Army shop.

Bottom photo courtesy of Jonathan Asher Photography.

Don’t Miss: CD Release Party

Friday, November 2nd. Decadent Nation and Ghost in the Machine are both performing at the Blue Note to launch their new CDs.

I got hooked on Decadent Nation after viewing the new video for Dan Boone Stomp, which showcases some of my favorite hang-out spots in Mid-MO:

The Many Colored Death (Columbia) and Inimical Drive (St Louis) are also playing, although the performance order is still a mystery.  Best to arrive early and stay late.  It’s only $5; you’ll easily get your money’s worth.

CoMo Event: Psychic Fair

Good Nature is holding its first annual Full Moon Psychic Fair tomorrow, September 29th, from 11 AM to 6 PM. Columbia has plenty of great events and activities going on all year round, but this is something out of the ordinary.

Services available at the fair include palmistry, tarot card reading, rune casting, astrology charting, reiki healing, chair massage, and aura photography.

I plan to be first in line to have a photograph taken of my aura.  The aura is the electromagnetic field around the human body.  Nicola Tesla is reported to have made the first aura photograph long, long ago.  I’ve had plenty of people tell me what my aura looks like; now it’s time to find out if a camera sees it the same way.

There will be live music by Romani Blue, along with belly dancers and a drum circle at 4 PM.  Folks are encouraged to bring their instruments.  Books, tarot cards, runes, pendulums, and drums will all be discounted 15% during the fair.  The pendulums are great fun to play with, and anyone can make beautiful sounds with Good Nature drums…even me.

Good Nature is hidden away in Alley A between 9th and 10th streets, just south of Broadway.  It’s a perfect perfect place to hold a fair.  It’s also the perfect place to buy an alcoholic beverage called Viking Blod.  I have no idea if it is palatable.  I don’t drink, so someone else is going to have to look into that.

***Awesome and inexpensive photography by Jon Asher.


Two Days of CoMo Art (& music)


MU Campus Gallery and Museum Crawl: 4-8 PM

Enjoy art and photography, look through telescopes, get hissed at by bugs, and more, all while enjoying music performed by MU School of Music students. Get your map stamped and/or join in the scavenger hunt for a chance to win prizes.

House of Cards Opening Reception: 6-8 PM

House of Cards, Columbia Art League‘s new exhibit, opens Thursday, September 6th.  I previewed the show today, and it is outstanding.  It was difficult to choose a favorite for the people’s choice award, but I managed.  I collect playing cards, and I am looking forward to adding the new deck to my collection.  A sampling:


Jack of Spades by Jamie Carey Humphreys.

Six of Hearts by Kay McCarthy.

Da King of Hearts by Maura Mudd.


Queen of Clubs by Susan Taylor Glasgow.


Faces of Luck (Four of Hearts) by Aimee Vance.


North Village Art District Pre-game Art Huddle

The music line-up:

6-6:40 PM–Artlandish Gallery: Missouri Weather and the Wait 5.

6-7 PM– Orr Street Studios: Neandertones.

6:40-7 PM– The Bridge: Dance Walk Kickoff with a DJ.
7-8 PM–Artlandish Gallery: The Follow.
8-9 PM–Orr Street Studios: Neandertones.
8-8:20 PM–The Bridge: Dance Walk end with DJ.
8:20-9 PM–Artlandish Gallery: The Follow.
Artlandish will be hosting a reception for Mike Seat in the Pink Piano Room featuring the music of Joel Anderson.

Dande Cafe will be hosting a reception for Michelle Marcum.

PS:Gallery will be featuring Ben Chlapek, who will be unveiling and hand coloring a new print for the evening.

Orr Street Studios will have an artist demonstration.

Alleyway Arts (the oldest gallery in CoMo that you’ve never heard of) will host local artists David Spear, Kelly Collier, and John Fennell.  The three will be painting a mural outside beginning earlier in the day and welcome helping hands.  The gallery is in the alley between Broadway and Walnut, behind D Sport and Kelani.  I spent a long time there today checking out the current show:

Prometheus by David Spear.


From the Window by John Fennell.

Cobra Tut by Kelly Coalier.

Where Are We Going? by Harrison Bergeron.

CoMusic: Papadosio

I came across Papadosio while checking out upcoming shows at the Blue Note. If I’m not familiar with a band, I’ll listen to a song on YouTube and decide within two minutes if I’m going to the show or not. It didn’t even take two minutes to get completely hooked on Papadosio’s sound.

That sound has been described as live electronica with songwriting that “showcases improvisational interludes and refreshing vocal harmonies with an amplified message of transcendence, unity and universal understanding.” It sounds lofty, but that is exactly what I feel while listening.

Their live shows combine music with art and lights to create an atmosphere that transports audience members somewhere else—I’m not sure exactly where, but I plan to find out Wednesday evening.

Until then, here’s a short interview with Anthony Thogmartin:

I don’t think that “live electronica” adequately describes the music of Papadosio. Do you have any words that do it better?

I don’t think it does either. I like the word “electronica,” and I like the word “rock.” They are both very unassuming, and that’s right where we like to be. The whole premise of the band has been to never discredit a musical idea regardless of how much it does or does not sound like Papadosio. Honestly, we didn’t think people were going to be very into our sound back in our first years, but we find ourselves gaining more and more ground. I think it’s because people like variety and color. They want epic; they want emotional; they want to go on a kind of adventure. That’s the show we are trying to throw. So to define what an adventure is may be rather difficult. They should call us Progventurocktronica.

You put on a hybrid show–music, lights, art. Can you tell us how that evolved and what to expect?

Expression led to expansion. We are surrounded by creative people who inspire us and we inspire them. Some of them have joined us on the road; some of them have given us art to project live; some of them come to dance. We took all these elements and made an all-encompassing experience that changes every night. All I can say is: it’s never going to be the same night to night; it’s always going to be fresh. And this tour is going to be very stimulating for sure.

What does To End the Illusion of Separation (TETIOS–the name of the new album) mean to you?

The new album’s name came from the central theme of our life and time now. It’s not complicated; nor does it deserve a long silly scientific explanation. It’s just the most obvious thing that we are all in this together. It’s entirely up to us to learn that all life is reliant on different aspects of itself to survive and thrive. We need to learn to reintegrate ourselves as humans into this vast web of interconnections, instead of trying to dominate it as if we were separate from it. This is just one of the many ways we feel like the title is relevant to what is happening in our world. Many of the songs deal in some way with this realization too.

Artistically the album is a collaboration between us musically and twenty different artists who created a special visual piece for each of the twenty songs. So we are trying to unify visual and audible art: to end the illusion of separation between different art forms. It’s a very exciting time for us to be releasing this album. 😉

Papadosio at the Blue Note. Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Show starts at 8:30.

DanceWalk CoMo: July 6th!

It’s dancing. It’s walking. It’s walking while dancing, or dancing while walking. You can do it anywhere, any time, but the first organized DanceWalk CoMo is Friday, July 6th. It will begin at Artlandish Gallery (1019 E Walnut Street) at 7 pm and snake around downtown, ending back at Artlandish for music and more dancing. Start at the beginning or join in along the way. Everyone is welcome!

See the actual route on the facebook event page, and see the inspiration on YouTube. Get a DanceWalk CoMo t-shirt at Acme (not required), and get ready to DanceWalk!

Art in the Park 2012

Perfect weather. Color everywhere. Great food. That sums up our day at Art in the Park.










***Photographs by Isabelle Heintz and Susan Heintz.