Most St. Louisans don't have an opinion about Richard Serra the man. But ask one what they think about Twain, his eight-panel steel installation on the Gateway Mall downtown, and you're sure to get an earful. There is no middle ground when it comes to Serra's work: It's either loved or hated -- but it's also misconstrued. Serra's body of work contains more than enormous metal constructions, and St. Louis is home to a staggering range of Serra's artistic output. The Sheldon Art Galleries are displaying Richard Serra: Rounds, a series of six etchings inspired by jazz musicians; the St. Louis Art Museum is home to Untitled, a cast-rubber floor sculpture; Laumeier Sculpture Park features Serra's subtle installation "To Encircle Base Plate Hexagram, Right Angles Inverted"; and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts is hosting Sculptures and Drawings by Richard Serra to accompany its permanent Serra sculpture, "Joe," which was commissioned specifically for the space. In addition to all the work, the Pulitzer and the Art Museum are co-presenting the artist himself for a public dialogue at the St. Louis Art Museum Auditorium (Forest Park). Serra and art scholar Hal Foster will discuss Serra's St. Louis art at 6:30 p.m. in this free event. Call 314-721-0072 for more info.
Thursday, May 8
Bill Harris' Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil is more than just a recitation of the legendary bluesman's life and strange death; it is an attempt to untangle the knotty facts from the myths about Johnson's talent and his art and to determine what Johnson's legacy means to different cultures. Was he a black bogeyman who traded his soul for fleeting success or a genius bound by the racial restraints of his time? The enduring power of Johnson's music is proof that great art transcends the arbitrary designations of era, fashion and prejudice. The myth of Johnson may obscure the man, but his music continues to affirm his humanity. The Black Rep's production takes the stage at 8 p.m. at the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square). Single ticket prices range from $22.50 to $35. Call 314-534-3810 for seats.
Friday, May 9
Whether you're a yuppie biker, a puppy (poor urban professional) biker or a hoosier-on-a-chopper biker, you're invited to barrel into the Harley-Davidson Traveling Museum, stopping at Doc's Harley-Davidson today and tomorrow. This walk-through display, housed inside one of those eighteen-wheelers that unfolds to become an exhibit, features eleven vintage motorcycles, bike memorabilia and rare images from the H-D factory archives. The warm staffers of Doc's will be giving away complimentary food and drinks next to the porta-museum tomorrow, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first Harley. Stop near the intersection of Lindbergh and Big Bend boulevards between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. today or 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. tomorrow. Call 314-965-0166 or visit www.docsharleydavidson.com for more details.
Saturday, May 10
At last year's Spring Photo Expo at Creve Coeur Camera & Video (11615 Olive Boulevard), some folks from KMOX-AM were giving away coupons for a free dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts to all comers, and CCC was handing out hot dogs and sodas. Though that should be reason enough to stop by the annual sale, you'll also find reps from camera manufacturers, a 35mm-camera clinic at which you can get your camera checked and cleaned for free, kids' activities and other giveaways. Another draw is the chance to witness the live broadcast of the KMOX/Hansen's Garden Hotline show with Mike Miller. Miller knows so much about flowers, shrubs, trees, seasonal changes, pests, pruning, grafting, lawns, moles, mulch, vegetables, weather and soil that even folks who thought they had no interest in gardening get sucked into the conversation. He'll be followed by a live broadcast of the KMOX Home-Improvement Show with Scott Mosby (11 a.m.-1 p.m.). Stop by the store and peer through the telescopes, eat the grilled dogs and ask Miller where to find four-leaf clovers from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 314-872-7557 for more info on the free fun.
Sunday, May 11
Something you may not realize about Craft Alliance (6640 Delmar Boulevard) is that among the national basketful of craft schools, it's considered one of the very best. This Mother's Day weekend gives you three cool ways to see why: The Student/Faculty Craft Sale offers pottery, jewelry, glass and textiles from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. today. The open house, noon-4 p.m. today, features demonstrations in the glass, fiber, metal and ceramics studios (that kiln is hot, baby!); tours; and displays. The gallery is showing Turned Multiples III, an exhibit of lathe-turned wooden artworks emphasizing the multiple product, Warhol-style. Call 314-725-1177 for more on the free events. Ask one of the do-gooders at the Alliance for a list of all the murals they've helped create in the St. Louis area -- then you can drive around town and see a small sampling of the public art, much of it made by children, with which they've beautified our community.
Monday, May 12
Consider the plight of the beleaguered male: His exclusive golf courses are under attack, there are now at least three (!) cable-television networks that cater to the entertainment needs of the "fairer" sex and Oprah continues to gain power exponentially. Where can a man turn to find solace and a sympathetic shoulder to punch? What's a dude to do? Ah, dude, weep not; The Dude Show comes for thee. On view at Gallery Visio through June 2, The Dude Show is an art exhibit that examines the "reaction to the reactions of male political correctness and the culmination of years of classification," to borrow from the press release. Young men, I charge thee: Go forth and examine what it means to be male in these troubled times. You owe it to your mother. Gallery Visio is located on the lower level of the Millennium Student Center, on the campus of University of Missouri-St. Louis (8001 Natural Bridge Road). Call 314-516-7922 for gallery hours or just to rap with a sensitive brother.
Tuesday, May 13
Who is that jolly fellow with a beard full of crusty barbecue sauce? Why, it's Rick Browne, host of the PBS series Barbecue America. He touches down at Barnes & Noble-Ladue (8871 Ladue Road) from noon-1 p.m. for a free grilling demo and cookbook-signing. On his TV show, Browne travels to festivals, cookoffs and restaurants across the land to showcase a variety of barbecue styles, and he grills up meat, poultry, seafood and veggies to show y'all how easily it can be done. At the bookstore he'll sign copies of his cookbooks, which include Grilling America and The Frequent Fryers Cookbook, and lead a little grilling demo, too. Call 314-862-6280 for more info, and make your next-door neighbor grab his hibachi and flee before your masterful manipulation of meat.