Talk of the Towns: 3.23.22
the galleria | Here’s more on the continuing saga of that big white tent in the southeast corner of Macy’s parking lot at the Galleria. As of March 30, the unique and alluring ‘immersive’ Van Gogh exhibit is to be Van Going … Van Going … Van Gone. I mean, it will be the artist’s 169th birthday. He’s probably over all this fuss by now. Anyhow, if your name is Vincent—or March 30 is your birthday—you’ll get in for free that day. But the tent is to remain. No, it won’t become a wedding reception destination, and it’s not just a tent. Drum roll, please: ‘The Immersive Artspace’ is to be the site of another wildly creative multimedia approach to the oeuvre of an Impressionist artist. Next up—Claude Monet, he of the gorgeous water lilies. As far as we know, when he went to his reward, both of his ears were still attached. But, at this writing, we don’t know how long the segue between productions will take, or when Beyond Monet: The Immersive Experience will open. In the meantime, tickets may be reserved at monetstlouis.com.
Hope springs eternal. And since it’s officially spring, why shouldn’t it? Events that were canceled because of COVID-19 last year and in 2020 are returning. The second year of Music at the Intersection in the Grand Center Arts District, coming up Sept. 10 and 11, will headline none other than neo-soul siren Erykah Badu, blues-rock guitar wizard Gary Clark Jr. and soulful jazz pianist Robert Glasper. Tickets will cover all acts slated to appear, one or both days of the festival. Local faves, from Urge to Ptah Williams, are on the bill. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and full details are available at musicattheintersection.org. I mean, we didn’t even mention that legendary bluesman Buddy Guy is on the schedule! But that’s six months from now, and if your concert ears get real itchy between now and then, just check calendars for the Pageant, Delmar Hall, Blueberry Hill, the Sheldon and The Fabulous Fox (for starters). Many of the artists you missed because they had to cancel or postpone are returning. Oh, and I hear they play music in Downtown West, Chesterfield and Maryland Heights, too. But don’t be a knucklehead: Make sure to have a mask and proof of vaccination with you.
People take flight at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport, but usually not inside the complex. That is, until 1 p.m. this Saturday, March 26, when young aerialists, acrobats and other gifted performers of the StL’s own Circus Harmony put on a show in the main terminal. It’s a celebration to focus on a lavish photo exhibit—Watch Out for Flying Children—that was installed in Lambert Gallery and will remain for travelers to enjoy through Sept. 15. The performance will be followed by a reception in the gallery at 2 p.m. Although the event is free, there is a charge for airport parking. The astonishing photos show performers defying gravity on the streets and sidewalks of the Lou, the boardwalk of Tel Aviv, the countryside of Puerto Rico and other international locations. You’d never know where these flying children may land to share the joy, amazement and triumph of the circus. Alumni are performing with Cirque du Soleil, the Flying Wallendas and other companies. One of those alumni became the youngest female human cannonball with Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey. The troupe performs weekly at City Museum. Visit circusharmony.org.
Gateway Outdoor Expo (GOE) had humble beginnings, in a bike swap a dozen or so years ago. This one had a garage-sale atmosphere, where participants would lay out blankets with bicycle accessories and parts for each other to check out. It’s free to attend the expo, held April 1 and 2. The expo stretches out into 50,000 square feet of America’s Center—our woefully underutilized convention complex in downtown St. Louis. Brad Kovach—an inveterate mountain biker who admits to a touch of reckless racing through the woods, mud splattering, teeth chattering as he bounces over rocky terrain—has nurtured the concept. Speaking of rocky terrain, anyone who’s brave enough to kick off a print publication in an increasingly uncertain media environment must be an adrenaline junkie. Indeed. Kovach grew up canoeing and working at a Wisconsin summer camp. A 1995 journalism grad of Indiana University, he’s editor and publisher of Terrain, which one can pick up in more than 200 locations in the region, from sporting-goods stores and bike shops to the Alpine Shop in Kirkwood. (BTW, because inquiring StL minds must know, Kovach is a South County boy, graduating from Lindbergh High School in 1995.) So, what do a kayak or canoe paddler, cross-country skier and mountain biker have in common? Plenty. But they all have a tendency to operate in their own worlds, says Kovach, adding two keywords that describe outdoorsmen and -women throughout the metro: “Super passionate!” These discrete groups can and will communicate. “We’re growing the community by connecting the dots.” Two dots will be connected in 10 days: GO! St. Louis runners will pick up race packets at America’s Center, where more than 200 GOE exhibitors will be set up. That’s around 10,000 outdoors enthusiasts; a captive audience, if you will. But no one should be too wiped out: The 26.2-mile run is Sunday, April 3, after GOE has wrapped up. Plenty of ‘down’ time beforehand to check out such features as a climbing wall, brand-spanking-new equipment and vehicles, and to watch product and activity demos. The shorter, family-focused events are on Saturday, April 2. (And the day before, April Fools Day, is a Friday, so you’ll be ‘working from home,’ of course. Right?) Kovach also wanted to be in the convention complex because underserved neighborhoods are right at the doorstep: “These kids don’t know they can boat the Mississippi, even though they may see it from their bedroom window.” Efforts to get people outdoors have transformed neighborhoods elsewhere, he said, using Indianapolis as an example. It can here, too. The tireless efforts of Great Rivers Greenway are seeing to that. GOE is a focal point for the sedentary among us still groggy from hibernation, the pandemic, or both. “This is a kickoff, to get everyone excited,” says Kovach, who counts himself fortunate to have a career that fits hand in glove with what he’s always eager to do in his spare time. Visit gatewayoutdoorexpo.com. At terrain-mag.com, you can read Kovach’s thoughtful article, “Driving Diversity and Equity in the St. Louis Outdoors.”