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Schmidt's show at PSTL is deeply personal

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 3, 2010 - As gallery owner Jim Schmidt was organizing an exhibit of his needlepoint works for PSTL Gallery, he realized there was a bigger story asking to be told. And so the exhibition turned into "Remembering Teddy," a remarkable commemoration in art, photographs, music and memorabilia of Schmidt's four-decade friendship with Carla Rand Trova.

In the 1960s, Schmidt became the assistant to famed St. Louis sculptor Ernest Trova, who would have a profound affect on the direction of Schmidt's career; Schmidt also developed a special bond with Trova's wife, "Teddy." In Schmidt's exhibition statement, he recalls the ways in which Teddy changed his life -- teaching him to cook, to needlepoint, giving him a camera, and sharing her "remarkable spirit."

That spirit is manifest throughout this exhibition, which includes objects made by Teddy (her collage, "Junior," is a portrait of Ernest) alongside works by Schmidt (his "Junior II" is a needlepoint homage to Teddy's work).

Many of the works on view were gifts exchanged between Schmidt and Teddy; all of them are the result of intertwining interests and inspirations, testimonies to their deep friendship.

The relatively recent loss of the Trovas (Ernest passed away in 2009, Teddy in 2008) is still keenly felt in the St. Louis art community. With "Remembering Teddy," Schmidt generously revives memories in which we can all share.

Ivy Cooper, a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the Beacon art critic.

Ivy Cooper
Ivy Cooper is the Beacon visual arts reviewer and a professor of art at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.