Cardinals Opening Day!

Well we’ve made it through the long cold winter and it’s finally time to dust of your jerseys and ball caps! Opening day is about to arrive!

The St. Louis Cardinals home opener against the Chicago Cubs will be held this Sunday, April 2nd at 7:35PM and will be carried exclusively by ESPN.

Looking to celebrate downtown?

Opening Day Block Party will be held from noon to 6:30PM and is free to attend. The rally will feature food, drinks, games and giveaways!

Head to Ballpark Village for the One Nation Pep Rally, which supports both the Blues and Cardinals. From noon to 4:45PM celebrate your favorite teams in the outdoor Busch II Infield Stage. Then head inside FOX Sports Midwest Live! to catch the indoor pep rally from 5PM until game-time!

Wherever you decide to celebrate, remember to wear your Cardinal Red.

Happy Opening Day! Go Cards!

St. Louis Spotlight – Soulard

Soulard is a historic French neighborhood in St. Louis. Lined with red-brick townhomes, this neighborhood houses many restaurants and lively bars, making it one of the most well-known neighborhoods of the city.

MARDI GRAS CELEBRATION

It’s been said that St. Louis hosts the second-largest Mardi Gras gathering in the country (second to New Orleans, of course)! If you’ve never been, you should experience it at least once. There is A LOT of fun to be had! Here are a couple tips to remember: arrive early, don’t drive, and it’s always helpful to know someone that lives in the neighborhood (because standing in line for the bathroom is no fun)!

MOLLY’S

Molly’s is a great place to grab some N’awlins inspired dishes and drinks while enjoying patio weather. They have seven bars and lots of TVs for watching the Cardinals and Blues – great for large groups!

FARMERS MARKET

The city’s most iconic market is open year round, Wednesday through Saturday. Here you’ll find local produce, meats, seafood, cheese, pastries, flowers, and spices. It’s a great way to support your local farmers while getting some of the freshest ingredients available!

JOHN D. MCGURK’S IRISH PUB & GARDEN

It’s almost patio season, and the expansive patio and garden at McGurk’s is simply the best! The garden features several water features and beautiful greenery, which make it a perfect spot for an afternoon bite to eat.

PIECES

Pieces is THE St. Louis Board Game Bar & Cafe! Gather your buds and choose from over 500 games to play. Can’t wait to visit this place!

Shop Small & Support Local Businesses!

Here’s a list of local shops to consider while out shopping this weekend, throughout the holiday season and anytime throughout the year! Some of these shops even offer free delivery to the St. Louis area – good to know!

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Circa Boutique:  A clothing and gift boutique in downtown Belleville, IL and also Edwardsville, IL! The shop also offers candles, artwork, and custom jewelry!

City Sprouts:  A one-stop, super cool shop for babies and kids featuring amazing clothes, eco-friendly toys, designer diaper bags, and modern nursery furniture and decor.

Fable and Lore:  Hand-crafted, infinitely wearable jewelry for the modern free spirit.

Future Ancestor:  A curated home decor shop specializing in handmade goods, vintage furniture, and unique gifts.

Left Bank Books:  The oldest and largest independently-owned full-line bookstore in St. Louis. They offer a full-line of new and used books, gifts, cards, magazines, toys and services.

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Lemon Gem:  This brand-new kitchen store is set for its soft opening this Saturday, 11/26. It will offer the basics – pots, pans, spatulas, spoons, bakeware, aprons, kitchen gifts – from a range of well-known brands to local artisans. The shop will also feature a community cookbook library – how great is that?!

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Moonbeams:  Located in the heart of Kirkwood this shop offers a variety of gift and home decor items that are truly unique and often one-of-a-kind!

Union Studio:  An independent and locally owned shop featuring a thoughtful, classic collection of St. Louis artists’ hand-crafted goods and fine art. Every item they sell—clothing, housewares and fine art—is handmade by nearby artists, our neighbors.

Urban Matter:   Home furnishings & gift shop featuring local makers, curated treasures & made-by-hand goods for both men & women.

Zee Bee Market:  Curated handmade & Fair Trade products from around the world – plus coffee, chocolate, tea, more. Their hand-crafted baskets are a personal favorite!

What are some other local gems that I missed – let us know where you like to shop in the St. Louis area.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING & HAPPY SHOPPING!

Home Sweet Home

As a designer I know the impact an environment can have on those living in it. So when I came across an article about Home Sweet Home, a St. Louis non-profit, in the Ladue News I knew I had to get involved. Next week many of us will gather around a table with family and friends and give thanks for the things in our lives that mean the most to us so I thought this would be an appropriate time to share the organization and my experience with you.

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ABOUT HOME SWEET HOME

Home Sweet Home is a local organization, based in midtown St. Louis, that works with case managers at partner agencies throughout the St. Louis region to provide clients access to new or gently-used furnishings and basic household items. The majority of the people they serve are veterans, those who are homeless, and survivors of domestic violence looking for a new start. This October they celebrated their first anniversary and in that short time they have served over 140 families in need in St Louis and St. Louis County.letter

“Just wanted to update you and your staff. And say thank you for all the work you do for us and the community. Home Sweet Home is a godsend and you and your staff are angels. My dad started to tear up when we brought the furniture in. In this day and time, when the world wants to take, I just want you to know that you guys gave me and my dad a home. Continued success and may God’s blessings continue for you and your families. This Marine is forever grateful. Semper Fi.”

HOW IT WORKS

Once referred by their case managers, clients are able to shop in their warehouse to select all of the furnishings and household items they will need for their new residence. All items are then packed, delivered and installed by Home Sweet Home volunteers. Their mission depends on furniture and household donations(they will come and pick up your items), volunteers(to help clients shop, pack, install, organize) and monetary donations.collage-1

“In order to effectively address homelessness in America and impact a long-term solution to this problem, people transitioning out of homelessness need help with stability. At Home Sweet Home, we believe part of that stability comes from establishing a first home stocked with the necessities for everyday life. Part of maintaining a home is usability and affordability. We can help make taking the first step to stable home life comfortable and accessible.”

MY EXPERIENCE

After reading the article and visiting their website, I contacted Betsy Reznicek, Executive Director at Home Sweet Home, to see how I could get involved.  On October 7th, I got the call! The client was a military veteran with a 4 year old daughter. Due to her work schedule and relying on public transportation she would be unable to come in and select her items. I was asked to come in and make the selections on her behalf then participate in the delivery and installation. Making the selections at the warehouse was an eye opening experience. While some of the clients they serve are in need of a few items this family was literally starting from scratch. When we arrived at the apartment for the install, it was completely empty except for a sleeping bag on the floor that the mom and daughter had been sleeping in together. That day we set up beds with linens and pillows, stocked the cabinets with plates, cups, and utensils, and arranged a small sitting and eating area. It doesn’t seem like much but to this family it was everything.12510406_485528648301571_1819704498813117248_n

I can tell you the entire process of loading the furniture at the warehouse to completing the install took no more than 2 hours. I can not tell you how many times the mom thanked and hugged each of us nor can I adequately express the emotions I experienced seeing her daughter jump into her very own bed with a pillow. I volunteered to make a difference in someone else’s life. I never expected the experience to make such a difference in mine.

 

If you are interested in learning more about Home Sweet Home, their volunteer opportunities and upcoming events, please visit their website or Facebook page.

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Saint Louis Artist – Chad M. Lawson

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GET FAMILIAR

Chad M. Lawson is a true creative soul living and working in downtown St. Louis! Chad is best known for his beautiful abstracts done on salvaged wood doors and his mixing of oils and acrylics to create unique textures and movement. Painting on a hard wood surface can pose quite a challenge but he has mastered the skills to do so. Each piece of art is striking, layered, and begs the viewer to take a closer look!

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BE INSPIRED

Chad finds inspiration in literature and music. Part of his process is to work on a few pieces at a time while listening to a specific musical artist or genre. The type of music influences the intensity of each stroke. One day he might add strong graffiti-like elements while listening to hip-hop and the next day add precise, delicate lines while listening to his favorite cellist.

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The sankofa symbol is another important element of his work. Based on a mythical bird with its feet firmly planted forward and its head turned backwards, sankofa signifies the wisdom in learning from the past to ensure a strong future. You can see elements of this symbol in several of his works (see below)!

 

SHOW ME MORE

Want to see more?! Chad currently has pieces on display at the Cortex as well as Whitebox Eatery! Be sure to visit his website to see more of his amazing creations.

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Chad is currently working on a collection investigating the journey and challenges within the adoption and adoptee narrative.  The collection features the adding and subtracting of layers, movement, and color in the search for identity, be it past or present. This work will be revealed at his February 2017 show.

Chad is also writing a book on growth for both ones art and building lasting relationships with clients. He draws on his over twenty years of curating his own work and others, with what would these days be called “pop-up” shows. Chad started doing this in the mid 1990’s in Miami, then St. Louis, and San Francisco. The book will also contain advice and questions for both new and established artists to help them better structure their time, finances, and resources. Be on the lookout for it early next year!

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Photos from my studio visit with Chad!

Viewings by appointment only.

chadmlawson@gmail.com | www.chadmlawson.com | @chadmlawson

Everything Fall

It is officially fall and today we are going to celebrate my favorite season!  I love everything about fall- the smells, the tastes, the decorations, the clothing and the events. When I think of fall I think of the smell of freshly fallen leaves, all things pumpkin spice, rustic elements rich in textures, dressing in layers and days spent at the pumpkin patch or winery and nights around a bonfire. I am so excited to share some of my favorite fall must-haves with you and hope this gets you in the mood to embrace the season!

THE SMELLS

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Leaves by Bath & Body Works

With notes of crisp red apple, golden nectar and warm clove spice this candle is sure to fill your home with the scent of Fall.

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Sea Salt Caramels by Samara & Mila

This handmade soy candle, “a sweet base of vanilla, maple and sea salt with creamed butter and silky smooth caramel”, sounds good enough to eat!

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No. 28 Pumpkin & Clove by Simpatico

Available locally at K. Hall Studios this scent is described as “sun warmed pumpkin blended with earthy and aromatic cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.”

THE TASTES

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Pumpkin Chai Latte

Homemade S'more with chocolate and marshmallow

S’mores

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Black Walnut Pumpkin Bread

THE DECORATIONS

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2016-09-232 Chrysanthemum | Burlap | Deep Purple Rose | Pumpkins & Gourds | Antler | Mercury Glass Jars | Hydrangea | Pheasant Feathers | Leaves | Sunflowers | Lanterns

THE CLOTHING

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THE EVENTS IN OCTOBER

Weekends at Eckert’s

Eckerts has something fun for the whole family. Their Pumpkin Jamboree is a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday in the beautiful autumn weather. This outing includes wagon rides, live entertainment, pony rides, a petting zoo and some fesival food favorites. They also have a Haunted Hayride and a Bonfire rental in the evenings. The hayride is a family friendly nighttime journey through the orchard with ghoulish surprises! Also offered is a Bonfire experience. Eckert’s has private bonfire sites available for rental that accommodate up to 40 people and include straw bale seating.

Ottertoberfest at the Zoo

The St Louis Zoo’s answer to Oktoberfest. Boasted as part German biergarten part outdoor classroom,this family-friendly spin features games, and activities centered around river otters.

Soulard Oktoberfest

The 2016 Soulard Oktoberfest is definitely happening. It will be held October 21-22 at Soulard Market Park. The announcement was just made last week when Soulard business owners came together after financial problems prompted the events board of directors to cancel this years festival. This will be the 13th year for the celebration. Click HERE for a link to the announcement.

Hermann Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is held every weekend of October in Hermann, Missouri. Visit the restaurants, shops, wineries and museums and enjoy a weekend full of food, beer, wine, music.

Twilight Tuesdays

This popular free concert series is held every tuesday evening at the Missouri History Museum. Picnic baskets, beverages, lawn chairs, blankets and pets are welcome. The concerts typically start around 6. Be sure to visit the Family Zone from 5:30-7:30 for face painting, make-and-take craft projects and a magician.

Best of Missouri Market

The Missouri Botanical Garden is transformed into an outdoor market the first weekend in October every year. The Best of Missouri Market features Missouri’s best crafters and food producers offering baked goods, handcrafted items, flowers, herbs, and custom jewelry. Live music and plenty of kid friendly activities are included.

Featured Image by JFM Photography

 

Songs 4 Soldiers Benefit Concert

Helping veterans with the sound of music!

Songs 4 Soldiers is a not-for-profit organization that raises money for local combat veterans with an annual benefit concert. These vets are either wounded, disabled, suffering from PTSD, or possibly just veterans who are down on their luck. The funds raised are used to pay for specific needs these individuals may have such as monthly expenses, home improvements, provisions for their family, etc. S4S is giving veterans the opportunity to take their lives in a new direction.

It all started in 2013 when combat veteran, Dustin Row, decided to make his dream a reality. Dustin served in the Iraq war in 2004 and 2005 and always had it in his mind that he wanted to help veterans when he returned home.

“Being a musician and a combat veteran I have been more than blessed in every phase of my life. After coming home from Iraq unscathed after a messy tour I was lucky enough to return to an amazing family, community and job.” states Row. “Once I was at a point to do something significant and beneficial with our band [Where’s Charlie], I knew I wanted to help fellow combat veterans. The original goal was to have a benefit concert and use the the money for four local combat veterans. Thanks to an amazing response from the community, our concerts grew at a much quicker pace than expected.” For many people Songs 4 Soldiers is a benefit concert and a charity, but for Dustin and the S4S team it has truly become a way of life.

After three short years Songs 4 Soldiers is about to hold its 4th Benefit Concert and they’ve already helped over 100 combat veterans and their families – wow! S4S also prides itself in that 100% of all donations and money raised goes directly to helping combat veterans. Make sure to mark your calendars for this great event that is fun for the whole family!

DATE:
September 10, 2016
Rain date: Sept 11th, 1:00-9:00 p.m.

TIME:
2:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

LOCATION:
Bolm-Schuhkraft City Park, Columbia, IL

BAND LINEUP:
ClusterPluck
The Dave Glover Band (all Beatles set)
PettyCash Junction
Joe Dirt and the Dirty Boys
Where’s Charlie?
SuperJam

$10 Suggested Donation for Admission
Kids Zone featuring bounce houses, balloons and interactive projects.

Please visit http://songs4soldiersstl.org for more information on the concert and how to purchase your tickets ahead of time to avoid the long lines! Read the stories of a few of the combat veterans S4S has helped so far and donate if you are able!

Labor Day in the Lou!

The Labor Day holiday typically signifies the ending of summer.  Kids are back to school, neighborhood pools are closing, the long days of sunlight will become shorter and we will soon get a break from the St. Louis heat.  Here is a list of events around the St. Louis area to help you end your summer with a bang!

Big Muddy Blues Festival

This iconic St. Louis event is in its 21st year!  Taking place on Laclede’s Landing, there will be 45 musicians/bands playing on 3 outside stages and 3 indoor clubs over the course of the weekend.  The local restaurants will be serving drinks and food.  The event starts at 3:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is $10.

Japanese Festival at MOBOT

The Missouri Botanical Gardens is celebrating the 40th annual Japanese Festival this year.  This 3-day cultural event features traditional music and dancing, martial arts, cooking demonstrations, guided tours of the Japanese Gardens, and so much more.  Check out their website for a full schedule of events.  Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children/garden members.

Greek Festival

St. Louis Greek Festival is in its 99th year – wow!  The celebration starts Friday, September 2nd at 11:00 AM and goes throughout the weekend until Monday, September 5th at 8:00 PM.  As one would expect, food is a huge part of this festival and an array of Greek favorites will be available.  In addition to the delicious food and drink, you can enjoy live entertainment, jewelry, art, and tours of the beautiful St. Nicholas Church.  Admission is free!

Midwest Wing Fest

Midwest Wingfest has become an annual showdown for local restaurants and organizations to compete for the title of “Best Wings in Town!”  This 2-day celebration is held in the parking lot of the St. Clair Square Mall in Fairview Heights, IL with proceeds going to Climb for PTSD.  This year national recording artist, Jon Pardi, will take the stage, as well as 3 other performers.  Other events include a 5k and wing-eating contest!  Admission is free but donations are welcome.

St. Louis Antique Festival

If you are into fine antiques and collectibles and enjoy “the hunt” you can’t miss this festival!  The event takes place at the Belle Clair Fairgrounds in Belleville, IL on Saturday (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM) and Sunday (10:00 AM – 4 PM).  Peruse over 30,000 square feet of unique pieces from over 90 vendors.  Admission is $6 and is good for both days.

Also, mark your calendars for Songs 4 Soldiers on Saturday, September 10th.  Full post coming next week about this great cause!

Schaub+Srote Architects | Latest Completed Projects!

I can’t believe summer is already coming to a close! We have been quite busy here at Schaub+Srote Architects | Planners | Interiors! We have so many exciting new projects in various phases of design. While planning, drawings, sample ordering, pricing, etc. are all important steps in the home building/renovation process, nothing is more exciting than seeing the final product! Seeing your vision and plans come to fruition is a magical feeling!

Here’s a peek at a few projects we have completed this year.

SACKSTON PRAIRIE

This home was built in a modern prairie-style. I love the exterior of this home with its strong horizontal lines complimented by natural stone and stucco. Inside, the floor plan is open and the decor is cool and contemporary!

LAUREL FARMHOUSE

The essence of cool. This modern farmhouse is clean and classic, yet modern and fun! Check out the floating staircase, beautiful planked fireplace and vaulted ceiling.

SUNSET HILLS OUTDOOR ADDITION

I’m sure this addition is getting lots of use this summer! It includes an extended garage with a large grotto located directly beneath it. Equipped with a bar, dining and lounge area, bathroom and changing room, this grotto has everything you need for a summer gathering.

TWIN FAWN CUSTOM

This custom spec home is currently FOR SALE!  It is situated on a 1 acre level lot and offers over 5,000 sq ft of living space. It was completed with neutral finishes with textural interest to create a relaxing interior and serve as the perfect backdrop for future home owners.

We have quite a bit more in the works so stay tuned for another update in the future!

The Art of Healing

Today we want to celebrate the healing power of art!

Art is the free expression of the human mind and senses and it allows one to feel liberated. It makes you see, smile, feel, think, it transports you to another place, and it connects people. Last week, we came across a very inspirational company (thanks to Elements of Style for sharing). We wanted to help spread the word about this company with a great mission and also share all the wonderful programs we have right here in St. Louis!

ARTLIFTING

The company is called ArtLifting! They empower artists living with homelessness or disabilities through the celebration and sale of their artwork. ArtLifting is about creating opportunity, empowerment, and validation. They offer artists the chance to secure their own income through the sale of original paintings, prints, and products. By showcasing and selling artwork via ArtLifting.com, artists gain self-confidence that permeates all aspects of their lives. Every artist earns 55% from the sale of their work; 1% from each sale goes to a fund, which provides art supplies to therapy groups nationwide; and ArtLifting uses the remaining 44% to further their mission. Amazing, right?! The company started in Boston in 2013 and has quickly spread to 11 states around the country. Below are a some art pieces available for purchase (click the picture to be taken to the link). There were so many great pieces to choose from, so make sure to peruse the whole site!

Charles Blackwell - Bass Thumping in Red Blue Set

Bass Thumping in Red Blue Set by Charles Blackwell

Jeff Roysdon - Crest

Crest by Jeff Roysdon

Andrew Weatherly - Heaven at Night

Heaven at Night by Andrew Weatherly

Michal Baksh - Still Life Pineapple

Still Life Pineapple by Michal Baksh

Shannon - 4 Horses

4 Horses by Shannon

While St. Louis is not currently involved with ArtLifting, there are several local programs with the same impetus that we encourage you to explore! These 5 companies are doing great work in our community and many of them host events throughout the year. We hope you’ll visit their websites and follow their social media accounts to stay in the loop!

ST. LOUIS ARTWORKS

St. Louis ArtWorks was founded in 1995 as a collaborative partnership with Grand Center Inc., the City of St. Louis, and the Regional Arts Commission. Since that time, ArtWorks has provided opportunities for thousands of young people, successfully helping to prepare them for future education and employment opportunities. ArtWorks bridges economic, racial and social divisions by providing under-served youth with arts education, workforce development training, and 21st century life skills, including fiscal literacy and professional communication. In 2015, ArtWorks proudly celebrated 20 years of creating opportunities for St. Louis youth. To learn more about their amazing artists, artwork, staff and programs visit St. Louis ArtWorks.

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FRIENDS OF KIDS WITH CANCER

Friends of Kids with Cancer is devoted to enriching the daily lives of children undergoing treatment for, and survivors of, cancer and blood-related diseases. Their mission is to be an advocate for these special kids and provide them and their families with the educational, emotional and recreational support needed as a result of the long hours of chemotherapy, illness and isolation. Through their art therapy program children are provided a creative outlet to release their emotions and help them sort through their feelings, confusion and fear.  In 2010, they introduced Art from the Heart. This special fundraising event centers around an auction of the art pieces created by kids with cancer in St. Louis. For more information on Friends of Kids with Cancer or to attend the upcoming Art from the Heart event please visit FriendsofKids.com.

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VISIONS FOR VETS

Visions for Vets offers free visual arts workshops to military veterans to help assist in the healing process, provide community and serve through art. They seek to bring the healing power of art to Veterans in need–whether it’s physical or mental healing that they need. Launched in November 2015, they offer interactive art workshops in a variety of visual artistic disciplines, including ceramics, sculpture, drawing and painting. Visions for Vets ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for Veterans and their families. If you would like to learn more about this organization or find out how to get involved please visit their Visions for Vets Facebook page.

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COMMUNITY COLLABARTIVE

The Community CollabARTive is an arts collaborative housed at Peter & Paul Community Services. This program generates cohesion among residents of transitional housing programs and staff members and connects them to the arts, culture, and creativity in a meaningful way. The program was founded by Con Christeson, artist, and Tom Burnham, shelter services director, and is funded by The Regional Arts Commission and Missouri Arts Council. Many local artists, students, volunteers, and neighbors have participated over 18 years! Participants work with artists in a variety of art forms such as creative writing, dancing, drumming, sculpture and painting. The residents and staff succeed and fail together and learn to relate to one another on a personal level. They are currently holding a mixed media art exhibit exploring the intentional conceptualization of self through reflection on personal goals, dreams and challenges. Stop by the Maryland Heights Government Center until August 20 to see the artist’s work! Learn more about Community CollabARTive here.

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ARTISTS FIRST

Artists First is a non-profit organization that fosters the growth of artists with disabilities through creative self-expression. Artists First offers art-based programs throughout the greater Saint Louis area serving aspiring artists of all ages whose lives are challenged by developmental disabilities, pervasive mental illness, and/or traumatic brain injury. Visit http://www.artistsfirststl.org/ for more information.

Artwork by Jeff Johnson

Artwork by Jeff Johnson

Artwork by Melelani Perry

Artwork by Melelani Perry

Artwork by Ricky Douglas

Artwork by Ricky Douglas

Are there any other local programs you know of in the St. Louis area?  Please share in the comments if you have any more information!

Feature Image via Art Lifting:  Bubbly Creek 3 by William Douglas