As children practiced their spelling with chalk sticks and inkwells at the Daniel Webster School in the 1880s, they never imagined their notebooks might be replaced with plates of prime rib. But more than a century later, the cupola-topped Romanesque Revival building?now known simply as Webster House?houses a restaurant that loads its tables with just such sumptuous new-American cuisine.
Constructed in 1885, Webster House was lovingly restored in 2002. In the second-floor restaurant, dining rooms are bedecked with antique furniture in the style of an English country home. On the floor below, an antiques gallery invites guests to recreate this stately look at home from a selection of 18th- and 19th-century pieces from around the world, including cabinets hewn from Georgian walnut and French fruitwoods.
Though the digs are a throwback, Executive Chef Matt Arnold keeps his bill of fare decidedly modern. Procuring ingredients from a long list of local farms and vendors keeps his menu fresh. At brunch, diners might savor Anson Mills grits with country ham from Burgers Smokehouse; dinner brings dishes like pan-seared loch duart salmon served with caramelized cabbage, butter-poached fingerling potatoes, and bacon from Benton's Hams.
Fire. Hammers. A pottery wheel. Some of humanity?s most elemental and primitive tools, yet into the 21st century they remain. And Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design Director Of Education Programs, Luanne Rimel, attests that they?re some of the coolest. With each season?s catalog of classes, some of the most popular, according to Rimel, 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 Rimel 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 are the backbone of 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.
Veteran shutterbug Cara Dee Stucke honed her artistic eye in 27 years in the portrait-photography field and today attends annual workshops and seminars to stay abreast of modern techniques. Cara Dee snaps elegant, contemporary shots of weddings, families, and high-school seniors using high-tech equipment such as 21.5-megapixel sensor cameras and light-bending hand claps. Before each photo session, the creative team can proffer wardrobe and makeup consultations, taking time to heed customers' requests for the overall vibe of the shoot.
On-location sessions voyage into the tranquil confines of nature for a romantic ambiance, and shoots in the CaraDee Photography studio allow for edgy, urban-theme photos with self-provided props. Images make their way onto prints of all sizes, emblazoned on top-quality metallic or lustrous papers, custom-created books, and videos replete with music.
Before looking through the camera lens, the expert photographers at Picture People spend time getting to know their subjects and establishing a strategy for conveying their personalities in print. Then, film-ready clients pose in the bright camera room, airing teeth amid colorful backdrops and creative props. Following snapshots, subjects make their way to the selection station to choose their favorite poses from their session, which may be treated with sepia tones, color accents, and decorative borders to suit any wall, wallet, wallpaper pattern, or trophy walleye.
Picture People offers a variety of creative tips to help enhance mantel-dominating final results. The studio ensures satisfaction with a 100% guarantee on finished products.
The photographers at Creative Photo rely on professional training and a mastery of capturing family moments to guarantee 100% satisfaction with photography sessions and prints inked on site. The studio nestles on two acres of natural backdrops and overlooks Grindstone Nature Area, which furnishes an additional 300-acre expanse for outdoor sittings. Much like the pouch of a giant kangaroo, the 4,000-square-foot studio accommodates groups of more than 40 people and provides plenty of space for single or paired subjects. To add to their portfolio of joyfully posed family portraits, personalized graduation pictures, and full-color shots of wide-eyed children, the studio's photographers also cart their gear to weddings and commercial shoots.
The nonprofit organization of Summit Art, Inc. and Teresa Hogan Keene manage Got Art Gallery on Third, an independent nonprofit gallery that works closely with local artists and is dedicated to enriching the cultural landscape of citizens in Lee?s Summit and the Eastern Jackson County area. Gallery director and mixed-media artist Teresa Hogan Keene covers exposed brick walls with rotating exhibitions that showcase artists skilled in photography, painting, and mixed-media creations.
At the back of the gallery, a classroom hosts adult students learning to paint in BYOB sessions, where they can sip libations such as wine or flavored watercolors, as well as classes aimed at teaching drawing and acrylics to children and teens.