Sunday, June 15, 2008

STL Spotlight: The Good Stuff, v. 2

Taking shape in a complex of abandoned factory spaces in nearby Sauget, IL, the St. Louis Building Arts Foundation is slowly giving a home to founder Larry Giles' impressive collection of architectural salvage. Hosting a variety of fundraisers recently, the BAF is just hinting at a more public future, with some interesting events planned for the fall. In the meantime, you can visit the organization's site, which "bring(s) together historical awareness with a contemporary concern for the ongoing well-being of the built environment of St. Louis and its surrounding region." You can also visit the Museum's flickr page, which has a variety of fun odds-and-ends, relating to St. Louis' storied past, ala postcards and news clippings. Neat.

A quite new concern, is a website offering St. Loiusans a chance to explore local, environmentally-sound products and services, as well as a nice blog with helpful hints for day-to-day environmental measures.

Bill Keaggy. His day job is at a hip Downtown "visual thinking company" called Xplane, but his public passions can be seen at his one-of-a-kind website. Bill Keaggy's collections become obsessions, which are then packaged for you to add to your own list of curiosities and hobbies. The man's published two books in the last year-and-change, one on found grocery lists, the other on unloved, tossed-away chairs. And while those pursuits might give you a hint at his eclectic personality, the site, loaded with myriad lists, compilations and projects, deserves a quick glance, at least; though, we warn you, you will be sucked in, so don't visit this site at work, unless you've got some time to kill.

Ordinarily, we'd recommend you use public transit to kick around St. Louis, for your errands and tourist needs, but even though the Scott Joplin House is located not very far from America's Center, a quick cab jaunt might be the best way to take in this off-the-grid-but-in-the-middle-of-the-city State Historic Site. While the home itself is a bit modest, there's a good amount of history here: about St. Louis ragtime, about St. Louis at the turn of the last century and about our shared history, shaped by race, class and passing time. These days, the companion building, the New Rosebud Cafe has been adding live performances to its schedule, often by...

The Black Artists Group. An organization that originated here, BAG was quite active in STL during the late '60s and early '70s, before members emigrated far and wide, joining cultural movements in New York, Chicago and Paris. While BAG was a historical entity, only, for about three decades, a core of musicians and multi-media artists have recently started to perform again, under the BAG umbrella. No two shows are ever the same; the group will, in fact, be performing during GTH, with a Rosebud show on Sunday, June 22, from 7-9 p.m.. You can sample just a touch of their music at their Myspace page here.

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