Thirty-six resident artists display their work at Green Door Art Gallery in St. Louis.

In the Heart of Webster Groves, Green Door Art Gallery Celebrates Local Creatives

Monday December 18, 2023

By Rachel Huffman

Located in the heart of historic Webster Groves, Green Door Art Gallery feels like an indoor art fair, where you can buy work from some of the best artists in the St. Louis region. Around every corner, you’ll find marvelously unique pieces – think landscape fiber art from Ana Sumner, inspirational acrylic paintings in which Janice Scherer gives every character “stripy arms,” special moments recorded in watercolors by Marilynne Bradley, pottery that Jerry C. Williams embellishes with Native American-themed imagery and Marilyn Callahan’s brilliant birds, which will instantly put a smile on your face.

Famous for her distinctive illustrations featured on best-selling calendars, children’s books, greeting cards and accessories, Mary Engelbreit also exhibits at Green Door Art Gallery. Her original drawings – only available for purchase here – often contain tongue-in-cheek sayings such as “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”

Mary Engelbreit's original drawings are only available for purchase at Green Door Art Gallery in St. Louis.
Photo by Mark Hermes

“Our 36 resident artists make Green Door special,” owner Mary Martin says. “They all live within 50 miles of the gallery, and they all have their own extraordinary style. Pat Tuholske assembles wild wreaths from flowers and grasses that grow on her land in Missouri, while Anthony Scheffler uses exotic wood to build wall sculptures – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Mary Martin, owner of Green Door Art Gallery, poses in the beautiful space.
Mary Martin of Green Door Art Gallery | Photo by Mark Hermes

If you want to take home a piece of St. Louis, make a beeline toward Michael Anderson’s oil paintings. Known for his plein-air painting, Anderson’s images of Forest Park, Lafayette Park, Tower Grove Park and beyond feature a bright, modern color palette that fits in any room.

Michael Frank’s acrylic and oil paintings depict scenes of the Gateway City, as well. With 40 years of experience, his attention to detail, coloring and strong direction of light transport viewers to an enchanted time and place. “I love to create,” he says. “It gives me the power to bring back fond memories, to alter a bad mood, to make people aware of their beautiful surroundings.”

Leah Merriman has also explored techniques that allow her to paint deeper – literally and figuratively – and six years ago, her love for encaustic painting took shape. “She mixes oil paint with hot wax and then spreads it on cradled wood to create layered abstract landscapes,” Martin explains. “She also draws images of St. Louis, cuts them out and incorporates them into the different layers of wax. In winter, her snow scenes are extremely popular. Imagine sledders flying down Art Hill, with their tracks carved into the wax.”

Michael Frank’s acrylic and oil paintings depict enchanted scenes of St. Louis.
Photo by Mark Hermes

Martin, who is one of the 36 resident artists, worked as a physical therapist for 38 years, but when she began art lessons in 2005, she fell in love with mixed media. She first exhibited her work in 2012, and she became a resident artist at Green Door Art Gallery in 2017. Two years later, she took the reins.

“Since taking over Green Door, I’ve tried to make the space an oasis of peace and beauty,” she explains. “Whether you want to purchase artwork or not, you’re welcome to explore the gallery – it’s the perfect place to escape from reality.”

Green Door Art Gallery sells handcrafted ornaments.
Photo by Mark Hermes

Martin enhances the experience at Green Door Art Gallery with temporary themed exhibitions that spotlight guest artists. Visiting the gallery between Jan. 10 and March 2, you can see Hooked on Fibers: The Art of the Stitch.

“I based the upcoming exhibit on a particular artist that I saw at Art Saint Louis,” Martin says. “She uses the craft of rug hooking to fashion textile artworks, which are more like tapestries because we display them on a wall, but they also work as rugs.”

Other fiber artists, including Chris Burton, Liz Davidson and resident artist Ana Sumner, will be part of Hooked on Fibers, too.

You can see art through the window of Green Door Art Gallery in St. Louis.
Photo by Mark Hermes

After you peruse Green Door Art Gallery, treat yourself to dinner at Olive + Oak. The menu changes every day, but the brilliance of executive chef Jesse Mendica and the warm hospitality of the servers is perpetual. Note: Despite opening in 2016, this is still one of the hottest tables in town, so make sure to secure a reservation.

If you’re looking for other things to see, do, eat and drink in Webster Groves, check out our neighborhood guide.