Story by Sierra Hancock and Natalie Martinez
Two vacant homes on Big Bend Boulevard in Webster Groves have been transformed into art house galleries. The Webster House Galleries will host an opening reception and exhibit on April 5. Owner and Managing Director Maria Gianino said she looks forward to displaying Webster University student artwork at the venues — located at 7522 and 7526 Big Bend Blvd
Work by Webster University alumnus Evan Honerkamp will be on displayed at the reception alongside the art of other local, regional and national artists. Honerkamp graduated in 2012 with an art therapy and studio art degree. Former colleague and art major Madeline Brenner said she is fond of Honerkamp’s art.
“His work is very detailed, very intricate and time consuming,” Brenner said. “In a sense he’s kind of meticulous in his work and you can tell by the layers, the colors and the attention to detail; it says something about his personality.”
Honerkamp has had some positive and eye opening experiences showing his work in galleries. He believes it opens opportunities to network with other artists and art seekers. He enjoys seeing the work of others and having his own work supported. Honerkamp encourages artists to try new things when creating art.
“Do not hesitate to obsessively feed your curiosity of something that is indeed a creative process. Honerkamp said. “You can never foresee the heights it can take you so long as you are authentically interested and fascinated by it.”
Honerkamp’s work consists of paintings, prints, photos, and some sculpture and digital work. The concept of his work determines which form he uses to create it. He advises artists to take any opportunity they can and to be confident.
Gianino said she spoke with Webster Assistant Art Director Jeff Hughes about using the galleries to exhibit more student work. She said Webster has a great art department and she looks forward to working with the department.
Gianino said she does not make any of her own art, but wants to help artists promote themselves. Gianino’s background is in marketing and business.
Gianino said while there is a lot of creativity in the Webster community, nothing compares to her art galleries.
“We’re different because a lot of the galleries are trying to sell rental space,” Gianino said. “We focus on selling the work of the artists.”
Twenty artists will showcase three pieces of work each during the reception. Prices for the work will range from $20 to $1,000.
Students are not required to submit their work to the galleries, said Tom Lang, chair of the art department. But he said those who are serious about their profession do submit their work.
Honerkamp encourages students to seek out shows and present their work. He says to be realistic about artistic goals. Taking advantage of the students and teachers on campus to help build a network is beneficial.
When Brenner attended Webster, she was not required to display her art in galleries. She is excited to see how proactive Webster students are to enter the professional field.
“Evan deserves it,” Brenner said. “He’s one of those people who works hard and has the talent to show it.”