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Love As A Theme In Art

Credit Yinka Shonibare, MBE. Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York and Shanghai. © 2012 Yinka Shonibare, MBE

It's February and love is in the air .The first song that pops into my head is Cole Porter's,  "What is this thing called love"(I will sing a line).Every other song, poem, book, dance, symphony, aria, etc. seems to have love at the core, let alone the movies, plays, and the visual arts. The first piece of visual art that comes to mind is Robert Indiana's iconic piece of sculpture "LOVE' which depicts the word love in upper-case letters, arranged in a square with a tilted letter O. The iconography first appeared in a series of poems originally written in 1958, in which Indiana stacked LO and VE on top of one another.

Of course there's romantic love, familial love, and love for human kind and love of God.

Right now in our own city, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts features an exhibition entitled, "The Progress of Love" As part of an unprecedented transatlantic collaboration, The Progress of Love is one of three concurrent but unique exhibitions that together address the narrative arc of love. The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, the Centre for Contemporary  Art in Lagos, Nigeria, and The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in  St. Louis, Missouri will each explore an aspect of love: love as an ideal, love as a lived experience, and love as something lost.

On a lighter note, on February 9, 5:00 -8:00 p.m., Laumeier Sculpture Park will host LOVEmeier, a family -oriented winter gathering celebrating art, love, and Laumeier. LOVEmeier will feature hands-on art activities for all ages inside and outside the museum. Fire pits will warm the chill and guests will enjoy hot drinks and sweet and savory treats. Special guided tours of sculptures in the collection that reference affection, will be dramatically illuminated in the park.

One also thinks of the color red and hearts and flowers during this Valentine month. Variety, the Children's Charity uses the heart and the color red as its symbol. Variety of St. Louis has been helping children with physical and mental disabilities reach their full potential for 80 years. And what big hearts many have shown in giving to this wonderful children's charity.

This past fall, the organization produced the fourth theatrical production, "Annie." What do you get when you combine resources from the entire St. Louis performing arts community with professional actors and children of all abilities? The result was an unforgettable experience for theater goers, cast and crew alike.

One way or another, love really does make the world go around.