St. Louis photographer to open new show

February 21, 2018 by  

Dario Calmese, a St. Louis native, is about to open his photography exhibit, ‘Amongst Friends’. This is one of the artist’s first solo exhibits in the country, and the first to be held in his hometown.

Calmese has been interested in the arts since he first discovered theater in seventh grade at Hazelwood West High School. He pursued his interest in acting, appearing at the Muny, but graduated from Rockhurst University with a B.A. in psychology. He headed off to New York to pursue an acting career, with photography not interesting him at the time.

That changed when he took his first trip to Europe. As he learned photography, he saw the craft as a way to combine art, education, and what he calls his analytical mind. In 2012, New York’s School of Visual Arts graduated him with a master’s degree specializing in fashion photography.

Among the photos in his collection are those of Lana Turner, a Harlem socialite, whom he styled using hats and accessories from her own closet. Calmese believes fashion can build bridges in St. Louis, and hopes his work will bring African-Americans to a gallery they may not have visited before.

No doubt of interest to those with a love of graphic design and art, ‘Amongst Friends’ opens today and runs through the end of March at the Projects + Gallery on McPherson Avenue.