Ah, The Arts! The RRoy Family Gallery Weekend

It was a big art gallery weekend here at RRoy Report Central. Things kicked off Friday night with the opening of a new exhibit at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles. We used to go to these openings on a regular basis but life and various distractions had caused us to miss several recent shows. It was time to rectify that.

Susan Lenz - "I Do/ I Don't"

Susan Lenz – “I Do/ I Don’t”

How We See Her is an exhibition with the theme of how artists perceive the contemporary woman. The exhibit explores women’s roles through paintings, photography, sculpture and various forms of mixed media. Like all art exhibits, some of the pieces are cool, some are strange, some make you think, some make you question the sanity of the artist.

It’s not one of the best shows I’ve seen at the Foundry but it’s worth checking out. I suppose the standout piece involves a half-dozen or so wedding veils that hang from the ceiling with various quotes from brides written on them.

The next day was French Impressionist Day at the Saint Louis Art Museum. I got up bright and early and drove to Ronnie’s Cine for a screening of the new Muppet movie. Granted, this is off-topic — although you can make a case for the Muppets being art — so we’ll come back to that on Friday.

Got out of the theater around noon and headed for Forest Park where I would meet The Wife and Son since it made more sense to drive from Ronnie’s to downtown that to drive all the way back to St.Charles and then drive downtown. This meant having two cars to park in Forest Park but that wouldn’t be a problem. After all, there are two free lots right next to the museum and if that failed I could always use my Zoo Friends card and park next door at the zoo.

That was the plan. And it would’ve been the perfect plan were it not for the damnable RRoy St. Louis Freebie Festival Imperative.* Sadly, French Impressionist Day was not scheduled on a dreary, cold and rainy Saturday but instead on the first warm, glorious Saturday in months. Which meant of course that EVERY BLASTED PERSON IN THE GREATER ST. LOUIS AREA CONVERGED ON FOREST PARK.

I realized the problem shortly after crossing over the Highway 40 overpass on Hampton. Traffic jam. Damnation. Why aren’t you people at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade? Why must everyone converge on the Zoo when I need to be here? Don’t you people understand that it’s no fun at the Zoo if everyone is there and you’re packed in like sardines? I’m not even going to the Zoo! Why must the Art Museum and the Zoo be next to each other? Oh the cursing. The cursing, cursing, cursing that went on for the next half hour. It’s a good thing I was alone. I knew it was pointless to try to go up the hill to the Art Museum’s free lots. The Zoo lots were both full, fat lot of good my pass does me now.

I call The Wife but get no answer. Did she get here earlier like I suggested or is she stuck in traffic too? I finally found a spot on the street. I’m on the other side of the Zoo from the Art Museum, which means I need to walk 4.5 miles to the Zoo entrance, walk 3 miles through the Zoo to the Living World exit, then walk 2.5 miles uphill to the Art Museum.** The Wife calls as I’m making this trek. She and The Son were in a class learning to speak French when I called. She’s having ever such a good time. Of course.

I arrive at the art museum around 1 p.m., hot and exhausted. I figure I will sit with The Son while The Wife walks through the exhibit, which should take her about an hour. Then I’ll go through it, which will take me about a half-hour.

A trio from the St. Louis Symphony is set to perform at 1:30 and The Wife wants to hear that, so I decide to walk through the exhibit first since she wouldn’t be able to do both within the existing time frame. I’m also hungry but the picnic lunch she had packed is in her car which is parked down at the bottom of Art Hill past the Basin and I don’t have the time or strength to get it.

Claude Monet - Railroad Bridge, Argenteuil

Claude Monet – Railroad Bridge, Argenteuil

Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet features paintings and photography highlighting the landscape of 19th century France. Different rooms focus on different aspects of the country, such as monuments, forests, mountains and the shorelines. I didn’t realize France had such varied terrain. It’s an interesting and educational exhibit. Of course anything with multiple Monets in it has to be good.

I returned to the main hall a little after 1:30 but the trio was late in starting so I didn’t miss anything. They played some lovely pieces although there was a bit too much lecturing for my tastes. It didn’t help that I could barely hear the musicians when they were talking. Still, any day you can hear “Clair de Lune” performed live is a good day.

After the mini-concert The Wife went to admire the exhibit while The Son and I made the long trek down Art Hill, past the Basin and to the car. We nibbled on crackers and fruit until we got the call that Lar was done and ready to go. We had a nice picnic lunch and then the two of them did two laps around the Basin. I did one. After all, they didn’t have to walk the  4.5 miles to the Zoo entrance, 3 miles through the Zoo to the Living World exit, then 2.5 miles uphill to the Art Museum.***

* Question 24 in the F.A.Q.

** Mileage may be slightly exaggerated.

*** Mileage still slightly exaggerated.

“How We See Her” runs through April 25 at the Foundry Art Centre. http://www.foundryartcentre.org/

“Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet” runs through July 6 at the Saint Louis Art Museum. http://www.slam.org/

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