Green at Columbia Art League

Green, Columbia Art League’s new show, is the last in a series of color-themed exhibits. Initial feedback on the show is extremely positive–I’ve heard that this is the best of the color shows from several people. Green is not my favorite color outside of nature, but I did find something that needed to come home with me. I was too late though, and the painting–made by a high school student–was snapped up by someone else.  The exhibit runs through June 22nd.

Coveted by the Depth of Your Wishes by Laura Beth Konopinski

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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.


Wordless Wednesday: Artrageous Friday & Summerfest

(all photos taken on a Nikon D300 with 35mm 1.8 lens)


CoMo Art: Sparky’s Totally Awesome Collection

I knew of Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream before I moved to Columbia (thanks to the great cicada ice cream coverage of 2011), but I didn’t know of the art. Due to the great misfortune of a diet that is supposed to be dairy-free, it took me a long time to discover the treasure that is Sparky’s art collection. 

One day I cheated on the diet, got some chocolate hazelnut, and stood staring at the walls. Art! Wonderful, strange, weird, what-were-they-thinking art! Scott Southwick described his collection and his views on what some people insist on calling bad art at Columbia’s 20/20 event of February. (Are all 20/20 speakers this entertaining?)

How can art be bad when it makes me smile?  When it makes me wonder what in the world is going on in the painting…or in the head of the artist?  When it entertains me on every visit?  When I see works akin to my son’s collection of alien paintings?  Great art.  Great collection.






 Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream is located at 21 S. 9th St.  Have fun!

CoMo Art: Blue Opening at CAL

I headed out to the opening reception for Blue, the latest exhibit at Columbia Art League, with a little apprehension. I’m very sensitive to color and feared that the show would be full of works that would make me feel sad or cold. Those fears were dashed immediately: This show is full of lightness and movement, the blues coming across as more playful than sad, more vibrant than cold.

Shining Past Blue by Barbie Reid


Tattoo by Nora Othic

The Girl with the Blue Veil by Lisa Bartlett, Josie Sullivan, Mira Stoddart, and Barbie Reid.


Hanged Man’s Blues by Inessa Morelock



Temporarily blue-haired Patty Jaconetta Groening, CAL's education director.


Art + Food = Let Them Eat Art!

On Thursday, April 5, the Columbia Art League hosted Let Them Eat Art!, an evening event pairing creative art with creative food. The event was held in conjunction with CAL’s current exhibit, Eat Me!, featuring food-inspired works of art. For Let Them Eat Art! a dozen local chefs were invited to choose a piece of art as inspiration for a platter of tapas-style dishes. Guests sampled the tapas and voted on the most creative dish. I heard the evening was so successful that CAL may consider it as an annual event. If so, keep an eye out for this on their calendar next Spring. If you appreciate good food and art, this is something you don’t want to miss!

Also, please visit our facebook page to see more photos from the event!


CoMo Art: The Larry Show

If you have a chance to stop by the George Caleb Bingham Gallery in the art building on the corner of Hitt and University, make sure you do so. What I really meant to say is – Plan to stop by and see the Larry Show. It runs until August 25th when they will hold a reception from 4 to 6.

Larry, the star of the show, is a model for the art department. He poses for the students to draw, paint, or sculpt him. When I was in school I had the pleasure of meeting Larry and I sketched him in my drawing class. He is such an interesting man.

I don’t want to show too much, you should experience it yourself.  You’ll get a good glimse into Larry’s life. And a look at some fabulous art work. It is a collection of pieces from several artists.

The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. You can call 573.882.3555 if you have any questions. Enjoy!

CoMo Gallery Tour: Perlow-Stevens Gallery

PS: Gallery

The Perlow-Stevens Gallery just relocated from Broadway to their new, larger location at 1025 E. Walnut. Their grand-opening event was on Saturday, February 26th, so I dropped by to see the new space.

PS: Gallery

Jennifer Perlow greets a guest.

PS: Gallery is owned by Jennifer Perlow and Chris Stevens and first opened in July 2006. The building on Broadway was sold and they had to locate a new space fairly quickly. No corners were cut, however. The space is beautiful and has a wonderful flow, I love the original touches.

PS: Gallery inside
PS: Gallery

They are now in the North Village Arts District, which will be great for Artrageous Fridays and other gallery crawl events.

PS: Gallery

Chris Stevens chats with some friends.

A crowd quickly formed, enjoying refreshments, browsing the art, and taking in the new space. They feature local artist’s paintings, mixed-media pieces, pottery, glasswork, fiber art, jewelry, and photography.

PS: Gallery

I always drool over Joel Sager‘s work. Go look at it up-close and you’ll see what I mean! In addition to creating his masterpieces, Joel is also a curator for PS: Gallery.

PS: Gallery

You can stop by any time Tuesday -Saturday from 11 to 6, or Sunday from 12 to 5, and watch their website and facebook page for upcoming receptions and events.

-christa jane