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Commentaries

Nationally Recognized Artists and Local Arts Education
Aired January 04, 2013
Most cities can boast of the fame by many of their citizens in the arts, but I truly believe St. Louis is one of the leaders of the pack. In my opinion this has a lot to do with our up to date and inspiring art education programs.

Architecturally Significant Religious Buildings and the Arts
Aired December 07, 2012
Mary Stiritz says in her book, Historical Churches and Synagogues of St.Louis, "There are many ways to look at ecclesiastical buildings: method of construction, materials, ornament, stained glass, etc. The rich variety of styles chosen for religious buildings in St. Louis generally followed the national trends which were fashionable in any given period."

Libraries
Aired November 02, 2012
St. Louis certainly has an abundance of libraries. Some are architecturally significant. Others have quite a history, but most are keeping up with the times technologically and have wonderful educational opportunities and programs.

Video Art
Aired October 05, 2012
Just when I think that I've talked about most major art disciplines, I realize that I've omitted a major genre.

Lately I've been invited to attend art exhibitions featuring video art, which is somewhat hard to define.

Grand Center - A Sign of St. Louis Progress
Aired September 07, 2012
I see and feel a lot of spirit and new life in the Grand Center district between these media institutions and the other arts institutions and schools in the area. At one time each arts institution was an isolated being, but now there is a great sense of the whole being a dynamic sum of the parts.

Technology and Arts Education
Aired August 03, 2012
I've been involved in the docent program at the St.Louis Art Museum for well over 30 years and have noticed that new technology has made a drastic difference in the teaching methods used to train the docents as well as the methods of giving a tour. One can see on the internet in ten minutes what might take two hours to see at the museum and so educators are challenged with getting the audience to have a fulfilling experience that is more than a slide lecture or internet viewing.

The Spaces Where the Arts Live in Our Region
Aired July 06, 2012
There are many new architecturally significant buildings that have been built to house the arts in our city as well as several more about to open or are in the process of being renovated.

Food and Art
Aired June 02, 2012
There's an incredibly long history of food as a theme in the visual arts.

Archaeologists have found drawings of food on the walls of Egyptian pyramids. In ancient Egyptian culture it was believed that those drawings, through magical properties, would nourish those gone on it to the afterlife.

During the Renaissance still life objects were incorporated into paintings with other themes and in the 16th and 17th century there was increased interest in scientific examination, and as a result, inanimate objects were studied and depicted by artists in their most realistic form.

Historic Homes
Aired May 04, 2012
There are many opportunities for St. Louisans and visitors to our city to see one or dozens of historic homes and take a backward glance at St. Louis's rich history.

Visual Arts in the Region
Aired April 06, 2012
St.Louisans have many options when it comes to seeing the visual arts up close and personal and not just online.

We have an abundance of arts institutions such as The St.Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Craft Alliance and other arts organizations such as Art St.Louis, The St.Louis Artists Guild, The Foundry in St.Charles and The Jacoby Arts Center in Alton. Of course these are just a few.

But along with all of these tried and true art spaces, I'd be remiss not to give a major salute to the young movers and shakers about town who are presenting the arts in new and unique ways.

Performance Art
Aired March 02, 2012
A New York Times article written by Ken Johnson, "If It Involves Performing, Does That Make It Art?" got me to thinking and asking the same question.

Media Literacy Post McLuhan
Aired February 03, 2012
With all this new technology and ways of learning that McLuhan in his seer-like fashion predicted, I am more fine tuned into noticing the media in which we learn in the arts. Not so long ago, in a much more elemental way when technology wasn't nearly what it is today, major changes in viewing, hearing and interpreting art were still being made.

Textiles
Aired January 06, 2012
St Louis regional artists and arts institutions have shown that the arts are really alive and that collaboration is the name of the game. We don't need to wait another year and a half to enjoy the richness of fiber arts and textiles. They are being exhibited in one venue or another regularly.

Dance Across The Region
Aired December 02, 2011
It's time for the Nutcracker again. Every year I wonder if I can sit through it another time and then I take my grandkids to see Gen Horiuchi's marvelous St.Louis Ballet's performance at The Touhill and am enraptured once again. This year one can see The Nutcracker performed by the Moscow Ballet at the Peabody as well as a performance by the Alexandra Ballet at the Purser Center in Chesterfield.

Even if it’s not Nutcracker season, one can see dance in all its forms in our wonderful art filled city.

Dogs
Aired November 04, 2011
In an article on the internet by author Tamsin Pickeral states: "It was with some hesitation then that the dog, our most beloved companion, first started to appear in the arts, but after an initially slow start, the dog became one of the most frequently painted animals. They appeared at first as subsidiary to the primary subject of art works, slinking into the canvas to hover up crumbs from beneath laden tables, licking clean the feet of religious figures or accompanying bold warriors on hunting expeditions and dogs were frequently included in paintings to convey a symbolic message, most often being representative of qualities such as fidelity, love and servitude."

Arts and Well-Being
Aired October 07, 2011
No matter how you look at the arts, we are finding that they are not just extra-curricular fluff but a powerful force capable of nourishing us both in body and soul.

Water, Water, Everywhere
Aired September 02, 2011
The human body is made up of 50 to 80% water and salt water oceans comprise 71% of the earth's surface and that doesn't even count all the fresh water lakes, rivers and glaciers that cover the land. No wonder we are thinking, talking and making music about water.

But water is also a theme in all the other art disciplines.

The Humanities
Aired August 05, 2011
We often hear about the arts and humanities, but rarely do we think of the true meaning of the humanities.

The Center for the Humanities at Washington University defines itself as dedicated to the promotion and preservation of humanistic thinking and the pursuit of letters of essential activities in the intellectual, political, and artistic life of the University, the community it serves, and the world. Still we ask “what are the humanities?”

Black History, Arts and Culture
Aired July 01, 2011
It isn't February, the month we celebrate Black history and culture, but I think we should be thinking, watching and reading about the rich Black culture and art in the greater St Louis region.

Sports, Games and the Arts
Aired June 03, 2011
Dominic Malon, Chief Curator of the Contemporary Art Museum, said, "People appreciate art because it provides an important alternative form of communication about who we are, where we come from, where we ought to be going, and what the world looks like or should or could look like. People watch sports because it too is a visual spectacle that is simultaneously part of and separate from our lived reality”.

The Arts and Age
Aired May 06, 2011
Don't assume that seniors are ready for the rocking chair. Look around our own city and don't be surprised if a play, concert, or art opening was made possible by a vibrant old master of the arts.

Fine Art Photography
Aired April 01, 2011
During the 20th century, both fine art photography and documentary photography became accepted by the English speaking art world and the gallery system. In the United States, a handful of photographers, including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Edward Weston and others spent their lives advocating for photography as a fine art.

Here in St Louis we can boast of a wealth of opportunities to view fine art photography, learn to become a serious photographer, or collect fine art photography.

Collaborations Between Arts Organizations
Aired March 04, 2011
Collaborations between arts organizations in the St. Louis region benefit both the audiences and the organizations.

St. Louis Storytellers Carry On a Long-Standing Tradition
Aired February 04, 2011
When I’m giving a tour at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and I feel as if I'm losing the tour group’s attention I often find myself saying, "Let me tell you a story", and they are back with me in an instant. I use the same strategy with my grandchildren and even my friends.

Choirs Abundant in St. Louis Region
Aired January 07, 2011
I opened my November copy of St Louis Magazine and read an article on the great music festival that recently took place here in town. Stefene Russell states, "Two years ago, the phrase ‘choral music’ would've evoked the image of people in blue polyester robes, swaying and fanning their hands and singing ‘Oh Shenandoah.’ Now,thanks to Glee, it's cool to be a choir nerd."

Grand Center - Once a Dream, Now a Reality
Aired December 03, 2010
A few years ago, I wrote a commentary on Grand Center. Even though the art world was well aware of most of its components such as The Contemporary Art Museum, The Pulitzer, Jazz at the Bistro, The Fox Theatre, The St Louis Symphony Orchestra, The Grandel Theatre and the Sheldon Concert Hall, the average St Louisan really didn't know exactly what Grand Center was.

Well folks, Grand Center is now on the map and going strong and growing stronger on a daily basis.

St. Louis - A Musical Theatre Mecca
Aired November 05, 2010
We all know of The Muny, our nation’s oldest and largest outdoor theatre, founded in 1916. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis usually produces a musical production. The nationally known Black Rep always includes musicals and Stages St. Louis produces terrific musicals, such as last summer’s Promises,Promises and State Fair. The Fox Associates presents and produces Broadway Shows and have even won several prestigious Tony Awards.

The longevity of some of the community theatre groups is also amazing. The Hawthorne Players of Florissant is over 60 years old and the Kirkwood Theatre Guild is 80 years old. Alton Theatre just began its 77th season. The quality of the productions of most the musical theatres is on a very high plain.

Murals: Reflections of Socitey
Aired October 01, 2010
Murals reflect the many aspects of our environment and society. They show both the good and the bad sides of our world and are a great way to involve people of all ages in expressions of their feelings through art.

Home Is Where the Heart Is - Right?
Aired September 03, 2010
Philip Barnes, the artistic director and conductor, has been on a sabbatical in his native England. In reference to the program he writes, "While I have spent much of the year away from St. Louis, thoughts have frequently returned to the Chamber Chorus, its members and friends. Home is clearly a flexible concept, and one can feel a home in different places, surroundings and circumstances. Similarly, abroad can be interpreted on more than one level, from the purely topographical to the metaphorical, when we find ourselves adrift or isolated from that which is known, and perhaps comfortable.

Humor in Art
Aired August 06, 2010
Bryna Campbell, PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Washington University, says of an exhibition that she has recently curated, "While we tend to associate visual humor with the pleasures of escapism, it also frequently serves as one of the most effective (and entertaining) modes of social criticism. Jokes can have the uncanny ability to catch us off guard, rendering us quite literally speechless. And in that moment of laughter, we often experience a shift in attitude of understanding. By creating a new sense of awareness, humor has the power to impact or, at the very least, challenge the way we come to see the world."

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Nancy Kranzberg

Nancy Kranzberg

Arts Aficionado Nancy Kranzberg has been involved in the arts community for some thirty years. She serves on numerous arts affiliated boards, including The St. Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park where she is the Co-Chair, The Sheldon Arts Foundation and the Sheldon Art Gallery Board, Jazz at the Bistro, The Missouri Mansion Preservation Inc., The Mid American Arts Alliance, and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Nancy was named Women of Achievement and was awarded the Distinguished Alumnae Award at Washington University Nancy is a docent at the St. Louis Art Museum and is an honorary docent at Laumeier Sculpture Park. At age 60 she became a Jazz singer. She performs with the Second Half which features Chancellor Tom George on the piano.

More Nancy Kranzberg Commentaries