An art world powerhouse picked the nearly 100 works of art on display as part of Clayton's Ann Metzger Memorial National All Media Exhibition. The exhibition—which draws on submissions from across the U.S. and includes paintings, photography and sculpture—kicked off Sunday at the in .
It is one of the largest shows the Artists' Guild mounts each year.
Marla Prather juried the show. She is curator in the department of modern and contemporary art at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA). Before that, she worked with the Tate Modern in London, the Whitney in New York, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Art curators don't come more pedigreed than that. Many participating artists said they are impressed Prather agreed to jury the event.
“Simply having the opportunity to show my work to a MOMA curator is huge, and I’m honored to participate,” said Chesterfield resident Dawson Morgan, whose ceramic bowl titled Differentiation is included in the exhibit. “Plus, this show is fabulous.”
Indeed, the rich variety of work on display during the Metzger exhibition is impressive. “It's interesting because it crosses all mediums on a national level,” Morgan said. “I enjoyed jumping from random subjects, textures and techniques throughout the gallery.”
Morgan is new to the Artists' Guild but is well known in the St. Louis art scene and is the featured artist on the website of the Artists' Guild.
Ken Kuellmer's sculpture, Cuckoo Power, Inc., illustrates the exhibit's diversity. The whimsical structure resembles a cuckoo clock built around a power meter. The piece is also a testament to the fact that art can come from the least likely places.
At Kuellmer's St Louis home, a power meter is mounted just outside his back door at eye level. It became so annoying to him that he built a slide-on structure to make it less of an eyesore, and he kept adding to it until he decided it was art. The pièce de résistance is the tiny figure of a man behind the meter's glass.
“It's a playful poke at the power company,” Kuellmer said.
Kuellmer has worked with both Don Wiegand and Harry Weber, St. Louis artists with international reputations. He worked extensively with Weber on the statues of Ozzie Smith and Dizzy Dean at Busch Stadium.
St. Louis artist Albert Kuo, whose painting American Landscape won the Fred & Mildred Carpenter Annual Prize for Painting, also wowed guests with his painting Brigid and Eames. The modern portrait depicts a woman sitting in an Eames chair and references classical art while presenting a modern, harsh form.
“It's a dark retrospect, not elegantly portrayed,” Kuo said. “Capturing a moment in life is very important to me.”
Patch cities with artists whose work is part of the exhibition include: