Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Rock the Schoolhouse!!!

The Linus Foundation presents an Urban Studio benefit:

A night of live music, hors d'oeuvres, and an open bar at St. Louis's newest, funkiest venue,

The Lucas Schoolhouse!

Come help us rock the schoolhouse to some old-school rock, funk, motown, soul, and R&B, courtesy of The Melvin Tournage Band.

Open bar and hors d'oeuvres

The Lucas Schoolhouse is St. Louis's church of rock! A historic 1880's church that underwent a dramatic transformation into a premier mid-sized concert venue. The Lucas Schoolhouse just opened this fall and has already hosted world class musicians, as well as some of St. Louis's best. Beautiful architecture, great atmosphere, and sharp acoustics!

Saturday, November 4th bring your friends out to The Lucas Schoolhouse for a night of funk and soul, drinks, and great people!

The Haps: Open bar--hors d'oeuvres--live funk, soul, blues, motown, and R & B music courtesy of The Melvin Turnage Band

The Wheres: The Lucas Schoolhouse, 1220 Allen Ave (Allen and Gravois)

The Whens: Saturday November 4th, 9pm-1am

The Whys: For all things decent and good, to explore one of the newest and definitely coolest venues/bars in St. Louis, to celebrate the Cardinals winning the world series, and to support a great cause (all proceeds benefit The Urban Studio youth programs).

The Cost: $30 in advance, $35 at the door

What are you waiting for? Buy your tickets online now! www.linusfoundation.org/Gallery/St_Louis06/nov0406.php

A big thanks to our partners at The Linus Foundation for all their hard work in planning this event. For more information, visit: www.linusfoundation.org

Monday, September 11, 2006

Let There Be Murals!

Art Outside, September 9th, 2006:
The Urban Studio engaged Art Outside attendees to help paint a huge tile mosaic mural, where each piece of the mural is an individual work of art. The day began with a bunch of brightly colored puzzle pieces laying ready to be painted. Children and adults painted their pieces with a single color which was slightly darker/lighter than the base color of their piece.

As the pieces were painted, we assembled them like a big puzzle to reveal a vibrant image representing the regrowth and revitalization of our near-north side community. The mural will be installed in Old North St. Louis, likely, on the 14th Street Mall, just an ice cream cone's throw from Crown Candy Kitchen.

Early Saturday morning after a late night preparing materials, Scott Green (who built the frame for the mural), Misti Andrade (our graphic designer), and Monica Parsons (the master-mind/designer behind the mural) relaxed for a few minutes before our first painters arrived:

When the day began, there were nearly 150 pieces waiting to be painted:

Our first painter putting the final touches on his work of art:

In just a few short hours, Art Outside children and adults painted nearly 150 pieces. Artist collaborators working hard:

Once all the pieces were painted, we worked with our child artists to assemble the puzzle. Each piece had a number on the back that corresponded to a puzzle key. The child artists had to look at the key, then find the next piece in the puzzle. One tiny artist held up a big piece and asked "Is this one next?" We asked him, "What number is it?" Never having counted all the way to 132, he responded, "It's really big." We asked him what numbers he saw, and he responded, "There's a one, a three, and a two." We said, "Well, go look at the key and find a number that looks just like that one with a one, a three, and a two." About five minutes later, he came back with a big smile on his face and said, "I got it!"

The final product was even more wonderful than we could have imagined. The setting sun lit up the mural perfectly:

A HUGE thanks to all the volunteers that made this project possible: Monica Parsons--Urban Studio volunteer staff and mural designer), Barbara Manzara--Urban Studio volunteer staff, Christy Moessmer--Urban Studio volunteer staff, Laura Lyon--Urban Studio Board Member, Christian Andrade, Misti Andrade, Darrell Butler, Jackie Butler, and Scott Green--Grace Hill PROPEL Board members, Jessica Harvath and Rob Guinness--Urban Studio volunteers, Schlafly Bottleworks, and The Old North St. Louis Restoration Group.

This is mural #1 in what we hope to be a series of 4-5 murals that will create an art walk in Old North St. Louis. We are looking for financial support to cover project costs and artist time for future murals. Each additional mural will be designed and created by a different group of near-north side constituents--school children, residents, the burgeoning artist community, and so on. If you are interested in contributing time, financial resources, or material resources to this effort, please get in touch with us: info@theurbanstudio.org.

Capoeira Classes a Great Success!

The Urban Studio wrapped-up an 8 week session of all-ages Capoeira classes (an acrobatic Brazilian martial art that has strongly influenced modern break dancing) September 7th. The classes were made possible through the generous support of The United Way. The Capoeira classes were designed to teach and support the importance of active lifestyles, increased body-awareness, and good nutrition. Classes were 1.5 hours long and were followed by healthy snacks consisting of fruits, vegetables, and hearty sandwiches. Classes began with a warm-up and stretching:

Then, the class spread out and practiced the basic movements together:

Then, in pairs, students practiced moving together with kicks, escapes, and cartwheels:

Every student progressed dramatically throughout the 8-week session, gaining strength, flexibility, discipline, and self-confidence. The Urban Studio would like to thank The United Way (www.stl.unitedway.org), Grace Hill (www.gracehill.org), Capoeira St. Louis (www.capoeirastl.org), and The Confluence Academy (www.confluenceacademy.com/ONS.htm) for their support of these classes. We are seeking support in order to offer another session of Capoeira classes this fall/winter. Please contact us with resources: info@theurbanstudio.org

Monday, July 10, 2006



The Urban Studio is excited to announce that our
Six Week Summer Capoeira Class Session is beginning Tuesday, July 18th, running every T & Th 5:00pm-6:30pm.
Capoeira (Cah-poh-air-uh) is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that attracts people of all ages and backgrounds throughout the world. Capoeira is great for building strength, flexibility, confidence, and discipline. Capoeira teaches freedom of movement and is truly extraordinary to watch with fast kicks, acrobatocs, and music. The classes are open to youth and adults. Youth ages 6-10 must be accompanied by an adult. We especially encourage parents to take the classes with their children. Capoeira is a great fit for men, women, boys, and girls.

The classes are taught by Instructor Beija-Flor from Capoeira Brasil St. Louis.
Attend the first class for free with no obligation.

Classes will be held in Old North St. Louis at the Confluence Academy located at 3017 N 13th Street, St. Louis, MO 63107

Cost for entire session (12 classes)
$25-40 for youth (sliding scale--please contact us if any fee is prohibitive)
$40-60 for adults.
There is a special for adults registering with a child: $30 for the adult and $25 for each child.

Capoeira Brasil will be performing a demonstration Wednesday, July 12th at 7pm at Strodtman Park, at the corner of 14th Street and Palm. Come on out and watch this amazing demonstration! Directions to demonstration: from Crown Candy Kitchen and The Urban Studio, go 4 blocks north on 14th Street until you hit Palm, Strodtman Park will be on your right-side across the street from the Confluence Academy.

Registration and Information
Contact us to register or for more information at:
Phone: 847-226-8966 (Our land-line has not yet been set-up. Sorry for any inconvenience)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Urban Studio Rehab Nearing Completion

With the help of our amazing volunteer base, we have been rehabbing a storefront next door to Crown Candy Kitchen (incredible homemade ice cream and chocolates since 1913) in historic Old North St. Louis. The storefront will host youth art, music, and capoeira classes, movie screenings, concerts, events, community meetings and just generally bring a spark to the area. Before we started our rehab, the storefront had not been used for decades (right-side boarded up with green boards).

After 8 months of scraping, bashing, vacuuming, bashing some more, plastering, sanding, patching, and painting, we are nearing completion of our rehab. The space has a lot of character with exposed brick, a venetian plaster finish, restored wood floors, and a bright store front. In the days and weeks ahead, we'll be posting pictures of the project. We will be having a grand opening sometime near the end of May or early June, so check back for details. If you would like to be added to our emailing list for announcements of events, classes, art openings, and meetings please email us at info@theurbanstudio.org. Please also send us an email if you are interested in volunteering (teaching, mentoring, community art, etc.), coordinating events (concerts, movies, art openings...), or you would like to learn more.

Below is a photo of the storefront in mid-process. The colors we selected in the store looked much more drab on the street than we expected. Since this photo was taken, we went back to the drawing board, selected new colors and re-painted the store front. The process hasn't been perfect, but it has been a good process because we've learned a lot at every step. In our next update we'll post photos of the brighter store front and some internal before and after shots.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Music Makers Series with THE SLIP!!!

Watch. Listen. Learn. A special session with The Slip!

The Urban Studio Music Makers Series provides rare opportunities to see world class musicians play their music, answer questions, demonstrate techniques, and tell stories in limited-seating sessions. March 29th, the Music Makers Series presents a special session with the Boston-based trio, The Slip. The Slip pushes musical frontiers incorporating world-rhythms, jazz, and electronic influences into their own brand of hard-hitting and graceful folk rock. The Slip, educated at Berklee College of Music, has an uncanny ability to seemlessly weave complex poly-rhythms into soulful songs that will make you get on your feet and knock you off your feet with their incredible musicianship. Listen to their music online: http://www.theslip.com/ In an era of HUGE record labels, enormous venues, and mediocre pop music, the Music Makers Series reconnects listeners and world-class musicians in special, closed-door sessions.

March 29th
5:30-6:30pm (Arrive early/limited seats)
Washington University Hilltop Campus
Teitjens Hall, 6500 Forsyth Blvd.
$10 general admission* / Free with a Wash U ID ($5 suggested donation for students)

SPACE IS LIMITED for this event. We strongly suggest you reserve a spot. To make a reservation email reservations@theurbanstudio.org with your name. Only serious reservations, please.

*All proceeds benefit The Urban Studio, a community-building art, music, and culture organization in Old North St. Louis.
Questions? Call 847-226-8966

Directions: Tietjens Hall is located at 6500 Forsyth Road, between Skinker and Big Bend. Tietjens sits on the south side of Forsyth, facing the main Washington U. campus. There is a stop light at the entrance to the Tietjens parking lot. There is parking in back and parking across the street. Arrive early and bring coins for the meters. The clinic will begin promptly at 5:30pm and end at 6:30pm to give The Slip ample time to set up for their evening show @ Cicero's at the corner of Delmar Blvd and Kingsland.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hands-On Plastering Class, Jan. 28 & 29

Learn How to Repair Your Own Plaster (and save thousands of dollars)
with Master Plasterer, Eric Aulbach

The class is a 2-day, hands-on training that will empower YOU to do your own plaster work. This class is a very unique opportunity for St. Louis--there's nothing else like it!

Cracks Beware!
The class will cover the following topics:
-Getting the mix right: mixing procedures
-Lime vs. gypsum
-Three coat plaster: scratch coat, brown coat, and finish coat
-Plastering over brick and wooden lath: application procedures
-Plaster repair of cracks, holes, etc.
-Ways to speed up the setting process to save time
-Best ways to promote good bonding over various surfaces
-Intro to art finishes

This is a hands-on course! All tools and materials will be provided so that you can practice the various techniques of plaster application and repair throughout the 2 days.

Eric Aulbach
Instructor and Master of the Art of Plaster

When: Saturday & Sunday, January 28 & 29, Reception 8:30am, Class 9am-5pm, Eric will stay after for Q & A, Crown Candy lunch provided
Where: The Urban Studio, 2815 N. 14th Street, St. Louis, MO (1/2 a block north of Crown Candy Kitchen in historic Old North St. Louis)
Cost: $350 for this 2-day, intensive, hands-on course.

To enroll and for questions, call Eric: 314-479-1402
Space is very limited!

"Stream of Consciousness" Art Mural

"Stream of Consciousness" is an installation art piece composed of over 200 works of art painted primarily by children and residents in and around Old North St. Louis.

Stream of Consciousness is located in the median on North Market Street between 13th Street and 14th Street, less than 1/2 mile from the Mississippi River. The installation depicts the interwoven history of the Pallid Sturgeon, an endangered species, and the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in which it lives. The installation represents a timeline past to present, from left to right. At the top is a sketch of the installation (the dark ovals represent the painted Pallid Sturgeons). As the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers have been altered from free flowing, braided systems to single-channel systems, Pallid Sturgeon populations have plummetted to levels that put this ancient species in danger of becoming extinct. At the end of this post you will find more background information and detail.

Stream of Consciousness
provided an opportunity to educate children in our community about our important natural history; it served as a creative outlet for nearly 200 children and brought their creativity into the public sphere; it beautifies our neighborhood; and it is a source of pride for the child artists. Stream of Consciousness is currently 2/3 complete. See pictures below.
An implicit part of this project is a critique of the way we St. Louisans interact with our great rivers. Although the Mississippi River is only half a mile from our neighborhood, it is buried behind I-70 and heavy industry. Most children in our community have never been to the river.
This project is a collaboration between The Urban Studio, Ames Elementary School (with the artistic direction of teachers Anne Wirthlin and Alveta Nelson), and many near-north side community members. Thank you to the many volunteers that made this project possible.

More Background and Pictures
The Pallid Sturgeon is an old species that has existed since the time of the dinosaurs (approximately 70 million years) due to its strong ability to adapt to environmental change. For all of their known histories, the Mississippi and Missouri rivers flowed in many snaking, slow-flowing channels that looked like braided hair. However, in the last few hundred years, for the sake of barge traffic, farming, hydro-electric power generation, and other commerce, these rivers have been channelized into single channel rivers that flow fast; they have much fewer bends and curves than before; and they are interrupted frequently by dams. Scientists explain that this has destroyed most of the Pallid Sturgeon's habitat and thus has resulted in major declines in the Pallid Sturgeon population. With the Pallid Sturgeon's listing as an endangered species, some new river management measures have been adopted. One of these measures is the release of seasonal bursts of water from dams. The seasonal bursts are supposed to imitate natural seasonal flooding. It is hoped that the seasonal bursts will create some additional Pallid Sturgen habitat.

One scientist that we interviewed told us that the Pallid Sturgeon historically traveled huge distances up and down stream. Dams block this migration. He hypothesized that this inability to travel up and down the rivers may be the largest contributing factor to their decline.

The following pictures show Stream of Consciousness installed on the 1300 block of North Market Street!

Stay Tuned for Events at The Urban Studio

The Urban Studio strengthens community through the creative process. Art, music, public space design, creative community events...all things community and all things creative. We are located at 2815 N 14th Street in the heart of the historic Old North St. Louis neighborhood of St. Louis.

Check back regularly for postings of classes, concerts, art events, screenings, meetings, and more at The Urban Studio.