Grand Opening: The Studio of Morli Wilcox

The few times that I have had the opportunity to speak with an artist about her work while gazing at it, I have come away tremendously enriched. That was the case when I met with Morli Wilcox to learn about one of her paintings that I found hanging in the hallway of the catacombs.  (I snatched it up before anyone else could see it.)

A close up Big Bang Bug by Morli.

My painting is called Big Bang Bug. This is no ordinary painting, but Morli will have to explain it herself. I can’t do it justice. Another painting I found online has a similar story.

Morli recently moved to a new studio in the North Village Art Studios building and is holding a grand opening on Friday, February 1, 8 PM to 2 AM.  I am looking forward to seeing more of her work and, hopefully, getting an interview.  First Friday Love Fest will also be going on from 6 to 9 PM…two events well worth braving the cold.

Chocolate and Wine Is So Fine

A box of Russell Stover for V-Day? Come on, you can do better than that. Instead splurge on two tickets to the Chocolate Wine Trail in Hermann. You and your honey will spend the third weekend of February sampling luscious chocolate and wine pairings at seven stops along the beautiful Hermann Wine Trail.

The tasting menu at the 2013 Chocolate Wine Trail, February 16 and 17, will feature:

• Adam Puchta Winery — Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake, paired with the newly released Cat’s Meow

• Bias Winery — Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Surprise, paired with Strawberry Weisser Flieder

• Dierberg Star Lane Tasting Room — Blueberries in a Black Pepper Chocolate-Syrah Syrup, paired with Three Saints Syrah

• Hermannhof Winery — Chocolate Truffle Torte with Norton-Blackberry Ganache, paired with Norton

• OakGlenn Winery — Cincinnati Chili, paired with Chardonel

• Röbller Winery — Chocolate Whoopie Pie, paired with Villa Rouge

• Stone Hill Winery — White Chocolate Popcorn with Raspberry Drizzle, paired with Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine

The $30 per person ticket price includes a souvenir wine glass. Participants also may enter a drawing for a $30 gift certificate from each winery and a night’s stay at a Hermann B&B. Wine Trail tickets may be purchased online at Visit Hermann or from the Hermann Welcome Center, 800-932-8687. Advance purchase is required. (A word to the wise—tickets usually sell out early for this popular event.)

Information about the Hermann Wine Trail is available at Hermann Wine Trail.

The Chocolate Wine Trail is one of five annual events hosted by the Hermann Wine Trail, which hugs the Missouri River for 20 scenic miles between Hermann and New Haven.

Thinking ahead? Bacon will be the theme of this year’s Wild Card Wine Trail the first weekend of May; Berries & BBQ Wine Trail during the last full weekend of July celebrates the flavors of summer; and the Holiday Fare Wine Trail is the third weekend of November for a festive start to the holiday season. Say Cheese Wine Trail rounds out the year during the second weekend of December which is the same weekend as Hermann’s popular Kristkindl Markt.

Winter Farmers Market

Columbia Farmers Market will be open on Saturdays from 9 AM to 12 PM at its winter location at Parkade Center through March 30. I had a chance to visit a few weeks ago and loaded up on eggs, veggies and beef. And pumpkin seeds. It feels odd to me to go market shopping without the sun on my back and the wind in my hair, but I’m delighted to be able to get my fresh farm goods during the winter months.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

Wordless Wednesday: Artrageous Friday & Summerfest

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

 

CoMic: Midwest Hipsters

Grab your skinny jeans and/or floral print dresses, jump on your fixed gear, and make your way to the Midwest.