Chandler Branch's Blog

With Gratitude

ASL volunteers going above and beyond, painting the gallery for three days in the dark with only a few work lamps and daylight shining through our front windows! Photos by Robin Hirsch.

Over the last several months, we have rounded an important corner in the life of Art Saint Louis, thanks to the support of many people in our community. Our move to the Park Pacific building downtown is nearing completion this week as we put finishing touches on plumbing and electrical work and await inspections.

Our organization has never been more indebted to the kindness of our members, volunteers and donors than we are at this moment. Since January, over $76,500 has been committed to this project, a figure nearly equal to 40% of our entire annual budget.

Equally significant is the amount of sweat equity poured in on top of the financial support. Volunteers helped move boxes, wrap pedestals, paint walls, clean floors, move furniture in and out of storage, and many other important but otherwise menial tasks. The long list of volunteers from the last two weeks alone represents but a slice of those who stepped up to help with this project: Greg Barth, Scott Beaty, Anne Branch, Robert Boettcher, Lon Brauer, Jim Burwinkel, Matthew Csernansky, Stephen DaLay, Daniel Fishback, Carol Fleming, Sheri Goldsmith, Sarah Harford, Greg Kluempers, Paul LaFlam, Rosemary Melton, Dawson Morgan, Frank O'Brien, Manda Remmen, Christopher Ruess, Mark Steinhoff, Michelle Streiff, Joe Vogl, and Rebecka Wyrde.


Movable walls

One of the distinctive features of the new gallery/café hybrid will be custom-built modular walls for art display. These I-shaped walls are designed to help maximize the exhibition capacity of the gallery while allowing for easy repositioning within the space, in keeping with our aim to maintain a fresh feel as we change out exhibits.


We’re looking forward to debuting three of these walls in our inaugural exhibition next month, Honor Awards 2013, the opening reception for which will take place on Saturday, July 13, 2013, at 6 p.m. (Click here to check out the roster of award-winning artists and sample some of their artworks.)

Art Saint Louis owes tremendous thanks to our volunteers on this project, artists Stephen DaLay, Jim Burwinkel and Matthew Csernansky. These gentlemen have given generously of their time and talent to design and build these walls. And it is hard work! Here’s a video I shot of the work in progress last week. 


So close we can smell it

June 6, 2013 - New ASL gallery/café under construction. Café area is to the right in this photo. Thanks to Linda Mueller for photo documenting our progress!
We're nearing the final stages of building our new gallery/café hybrid at 1223 Pine Street in downtown St. Louis. I'm more convinced than ever of what a huge amenity this project will yield for artists and audiences in our community. Seriously, I find myself at a loss for words (if you can believe that) to relay my enthusiasm and growing sense of anticipation. So I'll just put it this way: I think we're creating something very special here, a place our community is going to love--and I use the word "love" deliberately as I believe that's how people will feel about this place. Even in a city blessed with an abundance of arts destinations, this will be utterly unique, a place where local talent is continually celebrated in an inviting way.

Next week marks the launch of an exciting Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign we've prepared to sprint to the finish in our fundraising efforts for this project and to build awareness for our opening in July. Part of what makes Kickstarter unusual and exciting is that it's an all-or-nothing funding platform. Art Saint Louis must collect enough pledges through Kickstarter to reach our goal by July 13, 2013, or else our donors' credit cards will not be charged and no funding will be generated. But that's not going to happen! We're confident in the generosity of the St. Louis community and the value of this project.

The idea with our Kickstarter effort is to earn interest and support from a broad slice of our community, mostly in the form of small campaign pledges. The average campaign pledge on is $25. And thanks to our café partners, Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters, we'll be offering some fantastic perks to our Kickstarter backers (rewards are an important part of the Kickstarter culture). Pledge levels start at $20 and include FIVE delicious, locally-roasted coffee beverages--hot or iced, lattes, dark or light roasts.... And many other rewards await Kickstarter backers who pledge more.

Stay tuned...

Art Saint Louis │ 1223 Pine Street │ St. Louis, MO │ 63103 │ p: 314-241-4810 │          

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