Here at Riverfront Times, I like to think we look at St. Louis from a slightly skewed angle. We relish the unpredictable — the counterintuitive story, the exception that questions, rather than proves, the rule. Still, I can't say that when we introduced the MasterMind Awards back in 2008 and broke them into four discrete categories only to add a fifth — "Other" — we were being consciously quirky.
It was more along the lines of an afterthought.
So much of an afterthought that I didn't even think of it that first year when we gave our "Literary Arts" award to an illustrator and graphic novelist. Or last year, whose winner in that same category runs a writing workshop for at-risk kids.
This year, though, I think I figured it out.
Allow me to introduce the MasterMinds Class of '10:
2010 MasterMind: Stan Chisholm
2010 MasterMinds: Maggie Ginestra and Amelia Colette Jones
2010 MasterMind: David Schuman
2010 MasterMind: Autumn Wiggins
OK, for the first time ever, we give the nod to a straight-ahead fiction writer (Schuman). Beyond that, though, things get murky. Chisholm's a visual artist, but he's also a DJ and he's now begun to incorporate music into his installations. Wiggins developed a brilliant scheme to mutually benefit crafters and the folks who buy their work. And Ginestra and Jones raise funds and dole them out to deserving artists and other creative types via monthly soup dinners. Name a category for that.
Better yet, don't.
Instead, please join us this Thursday (August 26) for Artopia, a showcase and celebration of St. Louis' art community. We'll snack on hors d'oeuvres, down a few drinks and present this year's MasterMinds with no-strings-attached checks made out for a thousand bucks apiece. There'll be a fashion show, fire eaters, live art and (scantily clad) body painting, not to mention a photo booth and a DJ.
Artopia takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. at the St. Louis Artists' Guild in Clayton's Oak Knoll Park. (The Guild occupies the old stone house in the park, which is located on Big Bend Boulevard just north of Clayton Road.) Tickets are $20 each or two for $30 and include apps and three drinks (followed by a cash bar if you're still thirsty). Find more information at http://microapp.riverfronttimes.com/artopia.
Tom Finkel, Editor