St. Louis' bustling arts scene may come as a surprise to our friends on the coast, but in the Midwest, STL is known as a cultural hub. We're lucky to have access to many great cultural institutions, arts- and culture-centric publications like All The Art and ALIVE Magazine, festivals like St. Lou Fringe and the Laumeier Art Fair and educational resources like COCA and Craft Alliance.

As St. Louis aims to create inclusion in a deeply segregated city, H;U looks to the many free cultural institutions who open their doors - and arms - to any- and everyone. Organizations like the Contemporary Art Museum foster a diverse and inclusive art community through a free model and accessible events including but not limited to Open Studios STL and Art: 314. These initiatives highlight local talent while taking intimidation out of art and art collecting. CAM's efforts to influence the community to take an interest in art regardless of class, color, age, lifestyle or budget, create a cyclical support system that nurtures local artists while creating art enthusiasts and collectors, expanding individual perspectives on art.

Work by Lauren Cardenas in Museum Blue during Open Studios STL 2015. Image by Sarah Stallmann of Wicked Wallflower. 

Work by Lauren Cardenas in Museum Blue during Open Studios STL 2015. Image by Sarah Stallmann of Wicked Wallflower

Art:314 returns tonight after a second year. Starting at just $35-per-ticket, the event includes a silent auction featuring extraordinary work by more than 40 diverse and talented St. Louis artists at a range of price points. Post-auction, the evening continues with a DJ, open bar, and dance party. The event benefits the Museum’s annual celebration of local artists—Open Studios STL—and the Front Room exhibition series, highlighting national emerging artists. Tickets can be purchased at

Participating artists include Caitlin Aasen, Gina Alvarez, Jessica Andersen, Brandon Anschultz, Jennifer Baker, Lyndon Barrois, Carrie Becker, Heather Bennett, Nanette Boileau, Martin Brief, Bunny Burson, Christopher Campbell, Lauren Graciela Cardenas, Colton Carter, Jessi Cerutti, Juan William Chavez, Stan Chisholm , Alika Cooper, John Early, Jennifer Everett, Tate Foley, Jordan Gaunce, Gina Grafos, Sarah Harford, Cheri Hoffman, Kahlil Irving, David Johnson, Grace Kubilius, Alicia Lachance, Andrea Land, Sarah-Marie Land, Cole Lu, David Moore, Leah Nguyen, Norleen Nosri, Patricia Olynyk, Sarah Paulsen, Tom Reed, Davey Rocco, Edo Rosenblith, Nick Schleicher, Megan Singleton, Zack Smithy, Buzz Spector, Danielle Spradley, Mario Trejo, Carlie Trosclair, Mel Watkin, Julie Weinberger, and Rob Zungu.

Purchase tickets at and use code heartlandunderdog to save $10. 

places | old bakery beery company

places | old bakery beer company
Alton | IL | STL Metro

dishes to try | kale salad, grilled cheese, meatloaf
beer of the moment | yellow beer

Special appearance by Yelp St. Louis
Images by Ashley Kuenstler

James Rogalsky, Master Brewer

James Rogalsky, Master Brewer

Visit for more information.

The Old Bakery Beer Company is a sustainable craft brewery located in downtown Alton, IL.  All of our beers are made with 100% American, USDA-certified Organic malts and hops.  Our restaurant and tasting room features a menu of seasonally-rotating sandwiches, salads, and soups, designed to pair well with beer and highlight the vast array of produce and artisan goods available in Southern Illinois & Eastern Missouri.  

The Old Bakery Beer Company was born in early 2014 after we were introduced to the beautiful old Colonial Bakery building in downtown Alton, IL.  Part of the building started its life as a bakery in the late 1800's.  After a fire in 1929 and a series of remodels, additions, and changes in ownership, the building remained a bakery until the early 1980's when it shut down.  We have tried our best to keep the building's history alive, and our name is just a small piece of that endeavor.

projects | FORM Contemporary Design Show at The Luminary

Project: FORM Contemporary Design Show by The Luminary
luminary (n.) is a leader in the field. 
The Luminary is an incubator for new ideas in the arts.

The Luminary is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit founded in 2007 as a forum for artistic research, production and presentation, conceived in response to both our immediate and international community, alongside our audiences, and in dialogue with artists.

The Luminary is a constellation of ideas and activities: a physical site that opens onto a larger cultural and conceptual space; exhibitions that move through multiple timelines, spaces and forms; music explored as a practice, presence and experience; an equipment library that redistributes tools and creates tangible means for experimentation; residencies with artists, curators and critics meant to test boundaries and continually push forward their individual and collective practice; and wide-ranging projects that critically engage emerging ideas and stretch the definition of the institution itself.

A few questions with The Luminary founder Brea McAnally...

What is FORM?

FORM is an annual furniture, functional object and architectural design show that functions as both an expo and a marketplace for exhibitors to display some of their grand ideas and sell their wares on the spot. 

When was FORM founded and why does FORM exist?
FORM was founded in 2010 both as a fundraiser for The Luminary and a way to connect exceptional designers with each other and an audience of supporters. In 2010 we saw a need in the design community for a place to gather together and a way for individuals to meet and support individual designers and architects. We also saw a big gap between the art and design communities and wanted to find a way to address that. 

How does The Luminary decide who participates in FORM?
FORM is a juried show and we make selections based on variety, quality of work and location. 

If H;U readers missed FORM, what’s coming up next?
The Luminary has a lot of amazing concerts coming up this month and our next exhibition, A New Use of the Self, opens on June 12th! 

photographed by ashley kuenstler
written by lindsay pattan

photo terms | all photos are property of heartland;underdog. to use an image online or in print, please email use of any image taken by heartland;underdog warrants a photography fee. digital copies and prints of h;u images are available for a small fee.


#HUMANTRA | Saturn returns

Something wonderful is coming.

Summer before last, a group of decidedly driven women came together on a Saturday morning to learn together. What happened was worth so much more than the ticket price, venue fee or the cost of morning bagels and mimosas. These women accidentally solidified what was otherwise just an emerging community. They came as strangers and left as friends. Little has changed in that realm, but every one of us has grown - and a lot of us have grown together. It's been a really beautiful thing.

Photo by the talented, smart, hilarious, down-to-earth and all-around wonderful Kristen Linares.

Photo by the talented, smart, hilarious, down-to-earth and all-around wonderful Kristen Linares.

There is something powerful about a group of people, but especially a group of women, intentionally and thoughtfully contributing to a conversation where no single person's opinion is more important or more right than another's. Technically, I was leading this class, but I left having learned much more than I taught. I spoke on a few sub-topics, but the agenda consisted mostly of blogging-related business content. I regretted, poignantly, a few things about that. I regret that we didn't spend more time on each woman as a group. I wish I'd asked more questions.

In the year-and-some since the event, these women have played recurring roles in my life - and in each other's. Though passive at times, they have taught me many things: 

It's so easy to miss the impact someone has made on your life. By taking a genuine interest in someone else - for no reason other than your  urge to do so - you often find a piece of yourself you've never known. The most beautiful humans I've met tend to so fully embrace the art of loving strangers out of instinct, that they've achieved a mindset most are never privy to. Some of the most supportive people you will ever know will come in and out of your life never asking for anything but leaving the gift of perspective. You may receive their gift right away - or years later in the moment when you need it most, and the realization will move you.

Just by being your genuine self, you are teaching others to do the same. You are not just encouraging others to be present, you are clearing a pathway to authentic happiness for you both, and to a certain type of peace that can only be found in clarity. Overbearing by nature and only as self-aware as I am oblivious, I am pretty prone to alienating people. It is fairly rare that another person finds their way behind the curtain - but there is a certain type of person who can. And when they do, they give me the one thing that I have the hardest time giving myself. I am learning to live and love more like they do, and I am grateful for them every day.

2014 was full of contemplation. I expected to find clarity, but I didn't. I found messes upon messes upon messes. My Saturn officially begins its formal return this month and (here it is) ends in November, though I've been feeling the effects of its looming presence for a year and a half. I haven't found my balance just yet, but I finally feel like I have the clarity to find clarity. It makes sense, I promise. In this moment, I am enjoying the decision to embrace my Saturn Return fearlessly, no matter the havoc it wreaks. Here's to seeking our true identities and finding our authentic voices. 

On March 3rd, I'll have the chance to join many of the women who attended the business-of-blogging workshop in 2013. The upcoming workshop, The Craft of Storytelling, is free and open only to members of the Midwest Influencer Network. A group of inspiring storytellers will guide attendees through the beautiful experience of finding your voice and telling your story.

 I am so grateful for the opportunity to sit in as another seat at the table and just listen. Though, I do plan to ask a lot of questions.

For more information, visit 

A Look Back at 2014.

There are just 1.5 days left of winter break, so, naturally, I'm reflecting. Enjoy a recap of 2014 and expect edits as I remember other awesome moments that are just begging to be worked in. Also, consider this fair warning: I totally did not even proof this.

I kicked off the year with a few of my favorite things, a detox, a recap of 2013, a list of bloggers to follow and a massive NYFW calendar shared with a few of my favorite people. I also teamed up with Pulitzer Arts in promotion of Re-Set and discovered one of my favorite watch brands, Rakani, through a fun collaboration.

White Watch Leather Band Surreal Watch Face

The usual trip to NYFW became a family affair when my Dallas-based bestie Michelle was able to join me, Felicia and Marisa for some close-quarters fun. We stopped by one of my favorite NYC show rooms, Style House PR, for a quick inspection of Spring collections from Oasis and Warehouse. Felicia and I went backstage with Tommy Hilfiger for an exciting Instagram collaboration and I sat behind Anna Wintour, which was a NYFW first for me. Another first was a visit to Milk Studios, which I hadn't done in 5 seasons attending!

Anna Wintour Tommy Hilfiger Front Row NYFW FW 2014

Later that month, I hosted Business of Blogging 101 where I got to share what I look for from the brand/client perspective and what I've learned in what little blogging I've done. It was such a success and I'm so excited to help launch a series of quarterly workshops in 2015. More on that soon!

To wrap the month, I teamed up with Testosterone Footwear and Bronx/Diba to show off their incredible boots.

Saint Louis Fashion Week planning took over in March and I spent most of my time in Nikes and a cozy tweed coat courtesy of Oasis and Style House PR. One little thing that made a HUGE impact, was the discovery of The Emerging Designer, an amazing website that led to Harbison hitting the STLFW runways twice in 2014. The Founder of, Melissa Hall, also made an appearance in STL in 2014, after helping select the finalists for the Emerging Designer Competition.

In April, I managed a quick interview with Ela & Martin Aldorsso before launching full-force into STLFW's Spring season. We welcomed Harbison and Novis for a beta test on the runways of Union Station. The season was merely a prelude to Fall.

Sometime in April, ALIVE also launched a weekly segment on Show Me St. Louis in collaboration with KSDK Channel 5. I started as a sub and now, for a while, go on every Friday to share what's happening in STL over the weekend!

May brought some downtime and warm weather, which I happily spent with some fellow bloggers, snapping looks on the streets of beautiful Downtown STL. I rounded out the month with a quick collab with Levi's 501.

easy weekend outfit - cashmere and chambray

Things got a little heated in June and personal style fell to the wayside as I tried to keep my cool and not look like a hot mess. It almost worked.

I took a break in July and spent a week in Michigan with my love and our pup, which was heaven-sent. No blogging, just reflection. It was glorious.

I also had the chance to work with Ruth's Chris on a couple great influencer events, including a 5-course dinner for 30 at their Downtown location. It was such an awesome night and I'm so excited to do it again in 2015!

On August 9, just 20 minutes away from Downtown St. Louis in Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, was shot to death by a police officer and left in the street for over 4 hours. This changed everything I canceled two collaborations and postponed one in an effort to focus on raising awareness. I did what little I could (although never enough) through protesting, blogging, helping get the Reinvest North County fund online and encouraging all of my friends to consider getting involved.

It was admittedly difficult to think about anything other than Michael Brown, his family and the countless black youth affected by implicit, institutional, societal, systemic racism every single day. Later in August, I found a bit of balance in choosing to leverage what little online influence I have to, if nothing else, keep the conversation going. Work, the blog and a little bit of play, although they now seemed trivial, found their way back into my life.

Ways to Help Ferguson Right Now #JusticeForMikeBrown #NoJusticeNoPeace

In late August, I collaborated with Madewell to help St. Louis get ready (and dressed!) for LouFest. After 3 years of hosting and managing LouFest's official Best Festival Wear program (Remember when we brought Tres Awesome in?!), I decided to watch from the sidelines. It was fun to team up with Madewell - a brand that I LOVE - and to actually get to think about my own outfits! We hosted an event where 25 of my favorite buds and about 50 of Madewell's loyal shoppers noshed on Salt + Smoke, sipped on Skinnygirl Prosecco (Thanks Skinnygirl!) and styled each other for the festival.

Madewell St. Louis Location Fashion Blogger LouFest Festival Fashion

After August, things get fuzzy. Michael Brown's death surfaced a lot of feelings. Feelings like "Why am I talking about my outfits?" and "Are all of these people in my Facebook feed really that racist?!" or "Why does ART feel so IMPORTANT right now?!". Our city is still reeling and so am I. I think a lot about love, health, art, peace, compassion, empathy, equality, human rights, civil rights, conversation, resources and the list goes on. I decided in August that it was time to take a break from the blog. The blog has always been entirely secondary to everything else in my life (namely work and my little family), but it was time to cut the cord, at least for a while.

Despite the hiatus at HU HQ, the year went on...

September kicked off Saint Louis Fashion Week with the St. Louis Fashion Blog Awards presented by Well Dressed Midwest. The local lifestyle blogging community grew; not in numbers, but in energy. This video from the second annual awards really captures the closeness. We are LUCKY, STL! Through just the awards, bloggers sent over 15,000 unique visitors to, playing a HUGE part in making this season so groundbreaking.

The event featured a presentation from Craft Alliance Artist-in-Residence, Grace Kubilius. She blew everyone away. Also, we ALL own her famous block and tassle necklaces. All. Of. Us.

Photo by ALIVE Magazine

Speaking of a groundbreaking season, I can hardly put into words, so instead just watch. In collaboration with the Saint Louis Fashion Fund and Brown Shoe Company, STLFW awarded emerging designer Daniella Kallmeyer $15,000. To read more about STLFW and all of its special guests, check out this feed from ALIVE Magazine.

With STLFW underway, the blogger events had just begun. Shirt Kong always does an incredible job capturing STLFW, and I just love this video from the second bi-annual Well Dressed Midwest VIP Blogger Lounge. Naturalizer gifted some lucky ladies a few pairs of free shoes before sending them to lunch at The Restaurant at The Cheshire. To wrap STLFW, the team produced the first ever Midwest Fashion Conference hosted by Washington University's Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts (which was so good I might cry just thinking about it). To wrap the week, I joined the blogger ambassador crew and special guests Tracy Kennard and Melissa Hall for dinner at Basso.

Before it all ended, the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission hosted a tour of St. Louis (transportation courtesy of the amazing Fun Tyme Limo!). It was a GREAT day and you should DEFINITELY check out these posts from Plan-T-Style, Pretty Connected, TF Diaries, The Wanderlust Girls and ALIVE Magazine. (Don't forget to check out posts from 2013 by Keiko Lynn, Calivintage, Delightfully Tacky, Selective Potential and Orchid Grey!)

I could go on and on with STLFW... but I will spare you. Just click through the above links for plenty of amazing content!

With STLFW wrapped and nary an ounce of sanity left, I dove into ALIVE Magazine's last signature event of the year: Well Crafted (AKA my work baby). A passion project to say the least, Well Crafted was inspired by an event Patrick and I started in 2012, Gentleman's Emporium. It continued in 2013 as Beer, Bourbon, Bikes and Bacon and was reborn this year as ALIVE Magazine's Well Crafted: A Carefully Curated Experience for the Refined St. Louisan. It was AMAZING and all thanks to a long, long list of influential city dwellers that keep STL on its toes. See the list of featured presenters, speakers and fellows here and watch this video by Shirt Kong to get a feel for the event.

November also held a fun collaboration with the Contemporary Art Museum through ALIVE's Midwest Influencer Network. It was fun to work with 15 local bloggers in promotion of Art:314, CAM's Young Friends Fundraiser. If you're not a member, stop by the museum of join here!

December brought a series of fun events (as usual) including ALIVE's Holiday Party, the Thirteenth & Washington Holiday Party (which Patrick sponsored!) and Nelly's Black & White Ball. December also included the launch of the first ever nameless networking friendworking event I hosted with Kristen Linares at her Creative Space. Making friends with amazing women, eating pho and mixing up cocktails? It was my favorite.

I ended the year with a 12-day break and I'm feeling relaxed and energized - and ready to take on 2015! I'm so grateful for my family - my little trio, my parents, my sister, my pseudo in-laws. I'm lucky beyond belief.

Wishing you warmth, love, light and perspective in 2015.