Gallery highlights ‘Beauty of Southern Germany’

By Sarah Weinman

I was delightfully surprised by my visit to Gateway Gallery, a cozy, modern space filled to the brim with art in a wide variety of media.  The gallery is a cooperative of 17 artists who display new work and share the staffing and costs of the space.  In addition to the potpourri of art, the gallery also presents an ongoing series of six-week themed exhibitions.

The current show is titled The Beauty of Southern Germany and was selected by featured artist Michele Wells.  It includes Michele’s pastels and artwork by four other artists in the cooperative: Michael Anderson, Paul Bayer, Arnie Heuvelman, and Gene Ursprung.

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Wells’ richly-colored images depict subjects ranging from flowers in window boxes to grand mountain vistas.  Her pastel work is loose and impressionistic, almost like paintbrush strokes.  In the piece Along the Alp Strasse, red-roofed houses huddle in a valley with views of distant green and blue mountains.  Sailing on Lake Constance reveals a bird’s-eye view of the gray lake and its long shoreline, with blue mountains in the background.

Most of Wells’ pieces in the show are around 12” x 12” or smaller.  Though she likes landscapes, the artist prefers small images because they’re easier to create while working outdoors.  The size lends them an intimacy and a sense that viewers are looking into a secret, beautiful world.

The Beauty of Southern Germany runs through Jan. 4. Gateway Gallery is located at 21 North Bemiston Ave. in Clayton, just south of Maryland and west of the Clayton post office.  Gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call 314-402-1959 or visit