News Column

Weekend events herald summer's last hurrah

August 30, 2014

By Walker Moskop, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Aug. 30--Vic Barr has been involved in some form or another at the Art Fair at Queeny Park for the past 13 years, and now works as co-chair for the show.

Compared with when he first became involved, "the number of artists is about the same," he said, "but the quality has gone through the roof."

The weekend-long fair, now in its 39th year, drew a strong crowd Friday night at the Greensfelder Recreation Center in west St. Louis County. With 126 juried artists from 19 states, the show features a diverse range of works from watercolors to blown glass to garden sculptures and everything in between.

Today, judges will award two best-in-show awards for two categories: two-dimensional and three-dimensional work, along with other prizes.

The fair is just one event in a weekend jampacked with them. Others include the Big Muddy Blues Festival at Laclede's Landing, the Gateway Cup bicycle races being staged at various locations and the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Photographer Dennis Minner, 41, of O'Fallon, Mo., won a second-place award in a spring fair at Queeny Park for his photos of abandoned urban buildings, often intimate shots of their interiors. His aim is "to recreate the beauty out of what once was," he said.

Minner's work included photos of crumbling structures around the country, such as a decaying church in Detroit and an old brewery in Tennessee, well as some from St. Louis. One of his photos was a view of downtown from the St. Mary's Infirmary, and another was of an empty, graffiti-filled swimming pool of an old YMCA on South Grand Boulevard.

"A lot of guys go play golf on weekends; I go explore abandoned buildings," he laughed.

"It's definitely not legal," he said, though he noted he was always very cautious.

Rick Stone, 54, of Kansas City, featured low-pixel photographs augmented with colored pencil, as well as "The Red Shoe Project," a series of point-of-view images of red Converse Chuck Taylor shoes propped up in various settings, including stack of comic books, the lawn of an art museum and a putting green.

"It's almost like the Travelocity gnome," he said.

A few booths over, Jon Biscan, 34 of University City, was selling blown glass pumpkins, among other works. He's been going to art shows around the region for the past four years, and teaches classes at Third Degree Glass Factory on Delmar Boulevard.

It was his first time at Queeny, and he was enjoying himself. It held an obvious advantage over other shows, he said. which are typically outdoor.

"You really can't beat the air conditioning," he said.

The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.


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Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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