Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Ties That Bind': All about Aprons

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Ties That Bind': All about Aprons

Article excerpt

YOU MAY THINK you've cut the apron strings, figuratively speaking, but take a minute to think about actual aprons, and amazing things may happen.

You may find your mind wandering into your grandmother's kitchen, or maybe suddenly you're helping your mother pick out which of her "dressy" aprons to wear for a party. Or maybe you're just wishing you had an apron, as you notice the jeans you're wearing are streaked with flour where you've wiped your hands while baking bread.

Joyce Cheney of St. Louis says that aprons "hook people emotionally" - and now she's out to hook us all.

"I like aprons because they are such ordinary things, but at the same time they are folk art. Aprons also are expressions of relationships - a lot of aprons were given as gifts," Cheney said. "Also, of course, aprons are eminently practical garments."

Cheney, 45, is the curator of "Apron Strings: The Ties That Bind," an exhibit of more than 200 aprons dating from the turn of the century to the present day. The exhibit opens from 6 to 8 p.m. March 1 and then runs through April 6 at the Center of Contemporary Arts, 524 Trinity Avenue in University City. The gallery at COCA is open from 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and from noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is free.

Cheney said a rack of aprons would be available at the show for visitors to try on. Instead of a gallery book, there will be a recipe box with index cards for visitors to write their names and any stories they might have about aprons.

On March 24, an auction of aprons decorated by celebrities, politicians, homemakers and food professionals will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. in the gallery at COCA. Proceeds will go to COCA's art outreach programs for adolescents and youth and to a program sponsored by the Older Women's League for women experiencing divorce after 20 or more years of marriage.

"The auction will be a hoot," Cheney said. "We sent plain aprons all over the country, to anybody we could think of." Among those who have responded are Bella Abzug, Margaret Atwood, all the female state legislators and Michael Keaton. …

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