Freida Wheaton’s sense of occasion and community brings together a diverse and accomplished group of creative and business people that are always a pleasure to meet.
Last year we gathered to celebrate the victory and promise of Barack Obama’s new administration. This year we gathered again to remember Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy as it continues to grow in our lifetimes.
A woman who attended the inauguration last year told stories about crowds so dense that it moved as one body. The struggle not to drink so as not to pee. Such a strong sense of unity! An older white woman in an elevator adjusted P. Diddy’s tie and patted him on the shoulder without knowing who he was.
Eugene B. Redmond, Poet Laureate of East St. Louis, told about donating his papers and correspondence to Southern Illinois University. As a poet, playwright, critic, editor, educator, and important figure in the 1960s black arts movement, you can imagine the wealth of African American art history Eugene Redmond’s collection will reveal.
Any Salon 53 gathering stars the art in the gallery. Among other artists represented was the father-daughter team of Najjar Abdul-Musawwir and Mekka Abul-Musawwir. Najjar teaches painting, drawing, and art history at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. His work has been exhibited throughout the world. Mekka, his 14-year-old daughterhad her first exhibit at six. Just think of the promise ahead of her!
Underneath Najjar Abdul-Musawwir’s painting of Obama in history a black and white cake was frosted with the same decoration.
Freida Wheaton and Salon 53 are favorite guests on Riehlife since I moved to St. Louis in 2007. Here is an archive.
September 3, 2007 Salon 53 opens. Home is where the art is.
December 22, 2007 Savoring a holiday party home.
March 11, 2008 John Rozelle’s Sanga Series
April 14, 2008 Freida Wheaton’s bonus poem during National Poetry Month
October 25th, 2008 Dance St. Louis Dracula
January 19, 2009 www.riehlife.com/2009/01/19/happy-happy-martin-luther-king-jr-day/
September 7, 2009 Mavis Thompson feted