Why we’re kvelling over: Cadence Hodes


The literal definition of the Yiddish word Kvell is to “Feel or express pride, or to be extraordinarily pleased.”

Kvell is a verb, so it would be accurate to say to your friend, “I am sure that you were kvelling when you watched your son graduate yeshivah. We all could use more to kvell about, so starting today the Jewish Light would like to partner with everyone in the community to help us all Kvell the good things that are happening and will happen. Got a grandkid, son, daughter, cousin, niece, nephew doing something positive, well time to Kvell! If you have a Kvell to share, email me at [email protected].

Artist Cadence Hodes is turning vinyl records into new art

As much as its nice to see a vinyl records making such a huge comeback, there’s only so much you can do with a scratched up record. But, that’s where Cadence Hodes, a Jewish St. Louis artist has found her inspiration.

She saw her cousin’s friend use an old record as a mixing palette. Cadence says she thought, “why not use it as a canvas?”

Depending on the size, Cadence can spend up to 20 hours painting a single vinyl. She’ll paint a layer, wait for it to dry, and then paint another layer. When she first started painting, the “Law & Order” theme song that played once an hour made her notice how she would enter “a zone” as she painted.

“I realized early into my painting journey that I could completely lose track of time while painting my vinyls,” said Cadence. “When I’m creating the mandala-like, circular patterns around the vinyl, I get lost in the design, only thinking of the shapes I’m creating and approaching the end of the circle I started.”

She paints completely free-hand, without anything planning out ahead of time. Her focus is on creating symmetry, finding colors and patterns that work well together, and making something that is pleasing to the eye.

Custom Art

Cadence has some work available, but with COVID, she concentrated more on custom work. When people reach out, she goes through a collaborative process to create something the customer will love.

“They might already own the vinyl they want painted, or we might work together to procure the vinyl in mind,” said Cadence. “They tell me the artist or album, I search for it, and present them with their options and prices. Sometimes they’ll have colors in mind— something that goes with their decor, something that uses the colors from their wedding, something that involves their favorite colors— and other times they simply request bright colors, or choose from one of the vinyls I’ve already made (over 175 to date!) as something to model theirs off of.

If you want Cadence to find the vinyl, there is an additional cost of the vinyl added. Prices range from $150 for a 7inch, and $275 for a 12inch. If you are a St. Louis local, you are welcome to pick up from Cadence directly and save the cost of shipping.

In addition to vinyl’s, she also play with watercolors. Most recently she has been creating layered watercolor shapes she calls geodes. They resemble the layered pattern of a geode sliced in two.

“I am particularly drawn to creating these geodes in circular shapes (these ones I refer to as “orbs”)  which is unsurprising considering the circular nature of my vinyl’s,” said Cadence. “It turns out I simply love circles, largely due to the meditative nature of the repetition, and creating something that looks “perfect” despite the unique imperfections that comes from painting freehand.”

Additionally, she has been also making watercolor stationery to mail to loved ones. She is starting to sell these in packs of 5 and 10, and make a great gift.

“The most exciting and rewarding thing about making art, aside from the benefits I reap in the process of actually creating it, is the joy it brings to other people,” said Cadence. “When a vinyl of a couples’ first dance at their wedding is ordered as a present, it feels so special to be able to create something meaningful for them. Collaborating with clients to create something uniquely for them is such a fun process.”

If you are interested in seeing more of Cadence’s work, or interested in a custom piece, contact her via Instagram or Facebook.

Day Job

When she isn’t painting records, Cadence is a therapist at a counseling practice called Terrace House, located in Lafayette Square. Most of her clients are young adults looking to gain insight into who they are, and work towards a life that makes them feel happy and fulfilled.