A New York Times op-ed piece recently called her, “The perfect woman to paint Michelle Obama.” Works by Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, who has been commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to paint the official portrait of the former first lady, will be on exhibit next year at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Sherald’s solo exhibition will be organized by CAM executive director Lisa Melandri, and will be on display from May 11 through Aug. 19.
Born in Columbus, Georgia, Sherald received her MFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art (2004), BA in painting from Clark Atlanta University (1997), and was a Spelman College International Artist-in-Residence in Portobelo, Panama. In 2016, Sherald was the first woman to win the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition grand prize.
Webster Arts’ new gallery is now open to the public. Located in the lower level of Schultz Hall on the Eden Seminary campus in Webster Groves, the 2,500-square-foot facility will host local, regional and national artists in juried exhibits, as well as small gatherings for readings and music appreciation. The nonprofit’s first national juried exhibition, “On the Street Where I Live,” is currently on view through Dec. 23.
Beginning next month, festivities kick off to celebrate the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s 50th anniversary at Powell Hall. The former St. Louis Theatre was built in 1925 as a vaudeville theater and movie house. It was purchased by the St. Louis Symphony Society in 1966, and reopened as a concert hall in 1968. A public open house will be held Saturday, Jan. 20, including free lectures, tours and admission to an open rehearsal of the symphony’s Youth Orchestra. Also on Jan. 20, a screening of “The Sound of Music”—the last movie shown in the St. Louis Theatre—will be presented in Powell Hall. In addition, an exhibit will be on view at the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library (Jan. 16 to March 17) to commemorate the anniversary. For a complete schedule of events and movie ticket information, visit slso.org/powellat50.
Congratulations to the 2018 St. Louis Arts Awards honorees, who will be feted during a Jan. 22 ceremony at The Chase Park Plaza. The awards, presented by the Arts and Education Council, honor individuals, organizations and businesses with a legacy of artistic excellence and of enriching the community’s arts and cultural scene. The recipients are: music educator Johnetta Haley (Lifetime Achievement in the Arts), The Muny’s Dennis Reagan (Lifetime Achievement in the Arts), Jazz St. Louis’ Gene Dobbs Bradford (Excellence in the Arts), Grand Center Arts Academy’s Keith Tyrone (Art Educator of the Year), Saint Louis Fashion Fund (Arts Startup of the Year), Art on the Square (Arts Collaboration), and World Wide Technology (Corporate Support of the Arts).