We arrived in St. Louis on a cold rainy Sunday when most shops and restaurants were closed, but were rewarded with a visit to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis where we caught the eighth iteration of Great Rivers Biennial: Addoley Dzegede, Sarah Paulsen and Jacob Stanley, Amy Sherald, and a stunning mural by Swiss artist Claudia Comte titled Electric Burst (Lines and Zigzags). Comte had done an earlier version of this titled Curves and Zig Zags, installed in Palm Desert for Desert X, with superimposed graphic painting onto a moiréd three-dimensional structure. 

On recommendation from an artist friend in Los Angeles, we visited the studio of Harley Lafe Eaves who has taken residency at Washington University St.Louis. Eaves was mostly working on paintings that incorporated Halloween symbols like black cats, witches, candles and skulls. In a separate studio nook, he had exhibited tapestries made of felt which also carried these motifs and emphasized his interest in what he identifies as psychedelic and camp aesthetic and an interest in drug folklore, love, occult conspiracies, and cultural phenomena.

Just steps away, artist Jon Young had several large, metallic panels, pillowy to the touch and imprinted with figures from folk mythology like the armadillo, cactus, and the horse, leaning on his studio walls. He calls them “Waymark Margins”, as a way to give voice to unique locations existing in the margins. Young has also been specially sourcing sand from places around America that have sentimental meaning for him to incorporate in his new work.