Inside Art Glass Array’s warm studio, beginners learn basic processes and techniques to cut and melt glass, creating a spread of unique items, including platters, bowls, and wall hangings. Classes in wire-wrapping and dichroic block layering teach skills that can yield beautiful pendants, and advanced classes let students take their craft to the next level by creating matching sets of dishes or sandblasting glass. Students can display their works at the studio’s gallery, which saves refrigerators the burden of having bowls and pendants hot-glued to their doors.
With thousands of frame and mat combinations, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (diploma framing starts at around $100), personalized jerseys glisten (starting around $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24"x36" pieces are under $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
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).
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.
At My Handyworks, the team specializes in turning handprints into art. They can transform a set of acrylic-paint handprints and footprints on a tile into a custom painting, perhaps of a duck, or dyed wax molds of hands into keepsake statuettes. Their art classes, meanwhile, cover a wide variety of skills, teaching kids to decorate pumpkins and adults to recreate masterpieces by Monet and Van Gogh.
After a decade getting her hands dirty with clay, artist Donna Schreiter swung open the doors of The Painted Pot in 2001, determined to bring the art of ceramic creation to all ages and skill levels. Inside the open studio, adults, kids, and families dabble raw bisques with glaze-soaked sponges, assemble mosaic works, and shape wet clay on spinning wheels. Kids' classes guide little hands to shape and paint their own pieces, and grown-ups-only evenings throw in margaritas for sipping and instructions for weaving baskets out of old utilities bills.