I recently had the opportunity to visit the World Chess Hall of Fame and was completely captivated by everything I saw in the dramatically renovated historic building of the Central West End.
Everyone knows that chess is one of the oldest and most popular two-player games played worldwide, but what is less well known is the cultural and artistic significance chess has on our community. The World Chess Hall of Fame interprets and preserves this cultural and artistic impact through their unique exhibitions. They are a perfect partner for HEC-TV as their presence in St. Louis truly extends the scope of our arts and education community by making chess relevant to diverse audiences.
Take the current exhibit Screwed Moves, for example. Described as “an interactive, imaginative, super-sized spontaneous mixed media arts experience,” Screwed Moves features the collaborative street-style artwork of nine St. Louis artists known as the Screwed Arts Collective.
I was immediately drawn to the vibrant hues of traditional and non-traditional mediums on plywood adorning all four walls of the gallery. What was even more astounding was that the Screwed Arts Collective seemingly had no trouble making connections between the game of chess and their distinct urban artistic style. I could spend hours admiring and interpreting each of their impromptu chess metaphors.
“The members of The Screwed Arts Collective have transformed our first floor gallery into a working studio and community space exploring the seemingly disparate worlds of art and chess, and how they have uniquely impacted St. Louis’ cultural life by offering new rules to break in art, music and the spoken world,” – Susan Barrett, director of the WCHOF.
Screwed Moves will be showcased through February, with two special music series events on December 6 and January 17. I am looking forward to attending the music event next week and having the opportunity to witness the Screwed Arts Collective members compose artwork inspired by the live music of the evening. Stay tuned!