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Experience Eco-Art at STLCC-Wildwood's Interactive Spring Art Exhibition

March 15, 2010

If you are looking for a unique way to celebrate the environment this spring, look no further than St. Louis Community College’s green campus in Wildwood. The College is hosting “Sustainability: It’s an Art,” a free interactive exhibition to bring its focus on sustaining the environment to the public. This event is supported by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency and co-sponsored by the Cities of Chesterfield, Ellisville, Eureka, Pacific and Wildwood.

The event will begin early in the week with a special “green themed” art show comprised of works by talented local high school students from Lafayette, Marquette, Eureka , and Pacific. These special art pieces will be on display at the College from April 5-10 and will be judged by Jeffrey Sippel, a printmaker whose work has been featured in 17 solo exhibitions and over 200 group exhibitions over the course of a 25 year career. Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to select their favorite piece of art by voting for the “People’s Choice Award.”

On Saturday, the public is invited to visit with notable eco-artists from the St. Louis area and discover how and why they create their work. Among these artist-demonstrators are Agnieszka Gradzik and Wiktor Szostalo, creators of the Tree Hugger Project. The two artists create playful life-size sculptures of people that literally embrace trees from twigs, branches, sticks, vines and other natural materials. As the artists say, “Has anyone ever climbed a tree without hugging it?” Ms. Gradzik and Mr. Szostalo’s work has been featured in Poland as part of the UN Conference on Climate Change, England, Austria and the United States, with local installations at Washington University, Forest Park and Jefferson City. Jessica Witte, a nationally-exhibited, award-winning artist whose multi-media work has been included in over 50 exhibitions, will also be on campus creating and speaking about her “birdseed doilies,” intricate geometric designs created from birdseed. Joe Chesla, Associate Professor of Art at St. Louis Community College, will demonstrate how he created his beautiful contemporary sculpture with algae-inoculated bags of river water. Other demonstrators will also be on hand sharing their artistic insights. Visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on art projects of their own.

In addition to emphasizing the College’s focus on sustainability, the festival also complements the Art Department’s programs and course offerings. The Wildwood campus provides an engaging environment both in developing essential skills for advancement in the creative arts through formal degrees such as Associate in Fine Arts (General), or with concentrations in Art Education, Graphic Communications or Photography or through opportunities for personal enrichment. The department recently opened the College Arts Annex for ceramics classes.

The exhibition will run from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 10 at St. Louis Community College’s Wildwood campus located at 2645 Generations Drive, conveniently located near the intersection of Highway 109 and 100 behind the Wildwood YMCA. For more information, please contact Debbie Ward or call 636-422-2241.