A potpourri of art at St. Louis Artists’ Guild exhibition

A St. Louis native, Sarah Weinman writes a weekly visual arts blog for the Light (stljewishlight.com/art)


What do all of the artworks have in common in the show Ann Metzger Memorial National All Media Exhibition 2012 at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild? Not much. That’s the beauty of this exhibition, held on the first and second floors of the Guild. There’s a wide range of subject matter in nearly every medium. Below are some of my top picks for visitors to check out.

Laura Bailey’s two photographs hang one above the other and play off each other well, even though the subject matter couldn’t be more different. Diptych #1, Cathedral Saint Etienne, Toulouse, France provides an unconventional view of the cathedral. Bailey points her camera at the ceiling, capturing part of a window and the organ. The colors are wonderfully muted: cream, tan, light brown, and brick-red.


The composition of Bailey’s other photograph, Canal St., Chicago, IL is pure geometry: round rusty red train wheels lie in rows in the foreground, stretching back to the middleground where a rectangular gray commuter train sits on the tracks. A brown wall rises behind it. In the distance stands the vertical city skyline. Soft colors include rust red, gray, and green and blue glass windows in the high-rises. The cathedral in Diptych #1 is a medieval religious building, while Canal St.’s skyscrapers exist solely because of modern commerce.

Another urban piece, Joel Ray’s Moonrise St. Louis, is a giclee print on canvas depicting the Arch, Children’s Hospital, Washington University’s Medical Center, and the Civil Courts Building. The huge moon may be the “supermoon” from this past May, rising under the Arch which occupies the center of the print. The stunning azure sky perfectly complements the acid yellow and orange of the hospital and medical complex.

A city goes Underground, literally, in Untitled (Underground Series 3934) by Mark Pease. In the symmetrical composition of a tunnel in the London Underground system, the curving walls of the tunnel meet the horizontal floor and ceiling, creating wonderful angles. Untitled doesn’t lack color, either: the walls are tiled orange and pale pink, with a border of turquoise tiles around advertisements on the walls.

A welcome contrast to all of this city life is Sarah Gillespie’s Formation Series, made up of four wide vertical strips of silk over cotton. The four silk-and-cotton strips have a marbled look with a number of mixed colors: blue, rose, pink, cream, lavender, and green. Horizontal lines in the strips may imply landscapes; the lines overlap and intertwine in endless depth.

Lastly, Jenny Wiener’s work Still Life with Fruit cleverly explores the artist Cezanne’s painting of the same name. Wiener deconstructs the piece, turning it into a plane drawing. She explores how to recreate the painting in three-dimensional space with a geometric scale drawing of Cezanne’s tables, fruit, urn, and basket.

This free exhibition runs through Aug. 11. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Sunday from 12pm to 4pm, and closed on Mondays and holidays. The St. Louis Artists’ Guild is located at 2 Oak Knoll Park, at the corner of Clayton and Big Bend. For more information, call 314-727-6266 or visit http://www.stlouisartistsguild.org.