Tower Grove Park, one of my most favorite parks (and places) had an anniversary picnic on Sunday, and the board of directors put on an art show to go with the food trucks and concerts. What a beautiful idea. I really wanted to go, since I love making art in that park, and it was fun to get to show it right there. Thanks to the park board for letting this Memphis girl crash the St. Louis party.
My friend and fellow artist Bonnie Hopkins was kind enough to ride up with me for the night, help tote stuff, and just keep me company. I was so glad to have her along. And I was also really grateful for seven of my dance friends who made the effort to come out on a Sunday night and support me.
In between visits, I did a small sketch of one of the original composers' busts that circled the 1870's band stand in the park. It's now inside the Piper Palm House, where the exhibition was.
Below are two sketches that were in the show of the Palm House. It was originally a Victorian greenhouse to supply plants for the park, complete with stained glass at the top of the arched windows. Amazing. They have a Sunday brunch inside it each week, and otherwise it can be rented for weddings to support the upkeep of the park. A perfect venue.
More of my Tower Grove watercolors are here, along with a bunch from the Missouri Botanical Gardens as well, both of which were founded in the 1870's by Henry Shaw, one of my heroes.
Karen Jackson and Dan Klarmann were two of the friends who stopped by, and Dan took this of Karen and me talking. I love how it captures the afternoon light and the way the stained glass paints the floor in the afternoons.
At the end of the show, Bonnie and I visited the food trucks and sat outside in a gorgeous evening to hear the last few songs of the jazz band. Perfect. I took a food truck self portrait.
Then we took advantage of the late light and perfect temperature to walk a circle of the park, especially since Bonnie had never been there. Here's a catalpa tree we stopped to visit with as we walked. It's one of my favorites.
The new moon was rising over the bandstand as we circled back to our car.
Finally we joined the rest of St. Louis in treating ourselves to Ted Drewes frozen custard. They talk about it every single night on the baseball radio broadcast, and I always go when I'm in St. Louis. Amazing stuff.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.