Young and old arrived in Foristell on July 24 to share their love for art.
The Seniors to Seniors Artist Showcase at the Renaissance Wine Garden was an opportunity to feature painting and sculptures from the area’s high school students, as well as senior citizens who participated in a six-week art class sponsored by the Warren County Fine Arts Council, and taught by August-based artist Marty Coulter.
Deb Hart was one of the senior citizens who participated in the class, and had her paintings featured in the showcase. The Franklin County resident wasn’t expecting to get a spot in the much-coveted class, but was grateful for the opportunity.
“I’m a self-taught painter,” Hart said. “I’m not a Warren County resident, but I was able to get into the class because there was a space remaining.”
During the six-week sessions, which were taught on Saturdays, Coulter wanted to push his artists out of their comfort zones produce works of art they didn’t even think they could create.
“The idea is to try to get people to loosen up and use one brush (to paint),” said Coulter, who trained at the Art Center School in Los Angeles with supplemental study at Florissant Valley Community College in St. Louis. “I like to use a pallet knife to paint sometimes myself, and I’ll try to get the students to use one.”
Coulter also held a question-and-answer session for guests and aspiring artists during the showcase.
The WCFAC also awarded a pair of $1,000 Renaissance Scholarship awards to two high school students for their artwork. Karli Patterson of Warrenton High School and Kalene Masters of the Wright City School District were the recipients. Patterson will be heading to Murray State University in Kentucky in the fall.
“I wanted to give back to high school students,” said John Cook, owner of the Renaissance Wine Garden and scholarship donor, who was awarded a scholarship for art and architecture as a senior in high school. “I got lucky when I was younger.
“What I want to tell young artists is don’t forget that drive. Pass it along to others.”
Cook also said not enough school teach art anymore due to budget cuts at the state and district levels, which is unfortunate.
“Over the last decade, money for the arts in schools has decreased,” he said. “Fewer and fewer teach art now.”
In addition to the artwork of the senior citizens and high school students featured at the free event, the sculptures of Wright City native Harry Weber were displayed. The world-renowned Weber is best known to St. Louis Cardinal fans for his bronze statues of legends Bob Gibson, Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Dizzy Dean, Rogers Hornsby, Cool Papa Bell, George Sisler and Ozzie Smith at Busch Stadium.
Coulter also had several of his works on display at the showcase, including impressionist paintings he created over a four-decade career.
“I’ve been super-lucky to have the support of these great artists,” Cook said.
“I knew early on that I wanted to be a painter from a very early age,” Coulter said. “I was commission to several pieces of a wedding event, but they wanted impressionist works done.
“They love doing a lot of weddings here (at the Renaissance Wine Garden), and they love featuring my work.”
The WCFAC also hosted a Summer Art Camp for children one week earlier that featured students from Lincoln, St. Charles, Warren and St. Louis counties.