In 2010, the FRC mailed out 5,846 customized medical-information packets and at-home-care brochures explaining what families should expect concerning their child's condition. A medical librarian compiles each packet with accurate, up-to-date information about a variety of conditions including cancer, autism, asthma, and mental-health issues. The center then mails or emails the information to requesting families around the world who cannot physically access the center. Each packet costs the center $17 to assemble, including postage. St. Louis Children's Hospital distributes the information for free so that families can navigate the details of their child's diagnosis and improve at-home care.
Fire. Hammers. A pottery wheel. Some of humanity?s most elemental and primitive tools, yet into the 21st century they remain. And Craft Alliance Program Director Susan Donahue Yates attests that they?re some of the coolest. With each season?s catalog of classes, some of the most popular, according to Yates, let students play with fire, hammer metal into jewelry, or shape a lump of clay into something as fundamentally beautiful as a baby seal mimicking the Mona Lisa?s wry smirk.
At Craft Alliance, the focus is art in all its forms. Whether the tool is the raw flame fusing cut copper or a Mac loaded with Photoshop image-editing software, the intention to inspire and to create remains the same. Its two locations schedule seasonal terms with four- to six-week classes, as well as intensive workshops and children?s classes. Guiding each student along his or her adventure, skilled faculty instruct from experience. Most are working artists who exhibit their work and who have reaped their experience from the trenches of the art world.
Craft Alliance is not just empowering people with knowledge; they are also helping people make mugs, bowls, wooden spinning tops, rings, rugs, and digital photo albums. Many of these things are practical and serve a functional purpose. But many do not?they?re just beautiful things, like vestigial tails. A good number of these pieces are created by hand and are meant to remind us, as Yates remarked, that everyone can do something different from their everyday, workaday lives by adding beauty to a world that truly needs it.
The student and faculty artists backbone the Craft Alliance community, which in 2014 celebrates its 50th anniversary. The Grand Center location represents a regeneration of an arts district already pillared by the Fabulous Fox Theatre, Powell Symphony Hall, and St. Louis University.
Located in one of the new art spaces at Crestwood Court, award-winning artist Jeane Vogel's 4,000-square-foot gallery and studio showcases both her traditional and alternative-process photography. Black-and-white and color photographs of haunting, foggy morns and vibrantly hued beaches are displayed alongside dreamlike infrared photographs that capture a spectrum of light invisible to the eye of man, woman, or Sauron. Hand-altered Polaroid paintings (from $45) lend an impressionistic quality to a vintage medium generally employed in snapping covert shots of ghosts, whereas mixed-media paintings (from $245) use soft pastels to extend Polaroid images beyond their confining white borders. For beautiful images that tickle your earlobes as much as your brain lobes, Vogel's Art to Wear jewelry collection displays her Polaroid paintings in miniature as dangle-able glass or porcelain pendants (earrings from $44, necklaces from $25).
Set in Purina's spacious Visitor Center and surrounding premises, the five-day event lets fall-fanatic families usher in seasonal scares and crunchy leaves with autumnal activities such as tractor-drawn hayrides, storytelling, meet-and-greets with friendly witches, and magic shows by performers from the International Brotherhood of Magicians. In keeping with Purina's roots as a purveyor of kinship between people and pets, youngsters can feast their primary head orbs on live farmyard animals, duck herding demonstrations, cow-milking displays, and costumed canines competing in a series of flying disc, agility, and diving contests. Bring the entire family or the gaggle of mischievous, otherworldly imps living in your basement for refreshing fall fun.
An award-winning artist, Denninger's artistic spark was ignited after attending a particularly dreary exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The joyless displays fueled the positive painter to fill the world with inspirational imagery. Denninger's nature-scapes are the visual equivalent of a foot rub at the end of a long day of work: tiny blooms poke out of clouds, birds soar through the skies, and pretty streams peek out from hard rocks. Larger-sized wall coverings average $20 for an 8x10 and $75 for a 12x18. Upgraded options such as framing and signed prints vary from piece to piece. Those preferring a more-flippable option can invest in one of Denninger's limited-edition inspirational books for $75. To update your interiors without leaving them, apply a portion of today's Groupon to shipping (parcel shipping starts at $5.15 for a 5x7 print; shipping costs depend on the weight of the art and whether it's parcel, priority, or express mail).