Every month, Third Degree welcomes a new artist to showcase their work as a part of our Third Friday open house. This month, the East Gallery is lit up with the illuminated mid-century imagery by St. Louis artist Maren Leonard.
“After World War II, The Greatest Generation built a new America. They embraced chrome and sharp angles. Everything was shiny, new, and distinctively modern. Now, the chrome is tarnished and the rooftops bow under the weight of the post-modern world. The Greatest Generation’s masterpiece of modern culture is regarded as outdated and tacky; it’s kitsch … and it’s vanishing.
“Although mid-century modern designs are appreciated by some contemporary subcultures, a mix of indifference and progress is surreptitiously eliminating mid-century modern artifacts from mainstream America. While the newest technology and conveniently located Starbucks can physically replace the relics of a modern America lost, when they’re gone, nothing will fill the cultural void. Save them — for yourself, for future generations, and for the legacy of the men and women of The Greatest Generation.”
About the Artist:
By day, Maren Leonard is an English teacher. However, by night (also by weekend, summer, and the occasional national holiday), she’s an artist and an explorer.
Much of Maren’s artistic inspiration comes from the history of St. Louis and its surrounding communities. From nationally recognizable landmarks to decaying Route 66 motel signs, St. Louis has a history worth documenting and preserving. She collects the vintage items she can afford, from clothing to furniture, and settle for photographing the vintage cars and historic buildings that she covets. These aging treasures are the inspiration for her “modern kitsch:” Danish modern plywood light boxes illuminating translucent images of mid-century modern Americana.
More images of Maren’s work can be found on her website.
Come see this amazing showcase, and take one of these pieces home for yourself! Modern Kitsch will be on display until Wednesday, April 18.
Our gallery open 10:00a-5:00p Monday-Saturday and 11:00a-4:00p Sunday.