Pop-Up Program Showcases Regional Art in Available Storefront Spaces

Pop-up gallery at 1204 Washington Avenue. Photo by Emily Amberger.ST. LOUIS—Workers, visitors and residents of downtown St. Louis are discovering the work of local artists in unexpected places as vacant storefront spaces are transformed into temporary art galleries. The transformation is being made possible through a new program produced by Art Saint Louis with assistance from The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis and sponsored by U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a St. Louis based subsidiary of U.S. Bank. The program, Pop-Up STL, is modeled after the Chicago Loop Alliance’s popular Pop-Up Art Loop program, now in its fourth year, and is similarly aimed at celebrating the work of contemporary artists while strengthening businesses and catalyzing urban renewal.

Pop-Up STL provides artists with exposure to downtown audiences through window displays and walk-in galleries in otherwise empty storefronts. These pop-up galleries beautify the cityscape at no cost to the artists or property managers involved. Property owners are free to give notice for the removal of the gallery as commercial tenants are secured, and meanwhile are welcoming the program’s help in heightening visibility and foot traffic around their available properties.

“We’re happy to take part in the project,” said Anthony Thompson, Chairman and CEO of the Kwame Building Group, owners of a 7,000 square-foot retail space at 1204 Washington Avenue. “We traded dark, covered windows for a striking display that lights up the sidewalk. That’s a win for us and for the neighborhood.”

Downtown audiences are invited to engage with the art on display through information on show tags in each gallery and online, including a Twitter contest to award prize money to exhibiting artists. New collections of artists and exhibits will appear in each gallery throughout the program. Art walks, receptions and other events are also being planned, beginning with a tie-in to the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis’ annual Downtown Living Tour, on Saturday, April 20 (details online at www.downtownstl.org/Live/Explore/DowntownLivingEvents.aspx).

“We’ve been interested in seeing something like this take shape downtown for quite some time in order to increase foot traffic and market available properties,” says Bill Bayer, Director of Tax Credit Syndications and New Business Initiatives for U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the program’s lead sponsor. “Street-level activity continues to grow downtown, especially on Washington Avenue, and we believe this program will add to the city’s appeal in a distinctive way.”

The first five galleries appeared on Washington Avenue last month, featuring works by a collection of St. Louis-based artists, including photographer Greg Barth and painters David Dolak, Mark Horton, Paul LaFlam, Megan Rieke and Brian D. Smith. More galleries are envisaged, including installation and performance art, generated by public requests for proposals from artists and property owners.

Art Saint Louis aims to eventually activate a large number of commercial spaces downtown and in the surrounding metropolitan area, entirely through the work of local artists. Executive Director Chandler Branch cites results from a recent survey of St. Louis’ creative community conducted by the Regional Arts Commission wherein 40% of respondents, over 1,200 people, identified themselves specifically as visual artists. “That’s more than three times the national average,” notes Branch. “It’s exciting to have such a concentration of talent in visual art and to consider what a resource like that could mean for St. Louis with a project like this.”

Information on the pop-up program is available online at PopUpSTL.com.

About Art Saint Louis
Art Saint Louis has promoted the work of contemporary visual artists in and around St. Louis for over 28 years. Core services include a year-round series of exhibitions in the organization’s gallery in downtown St. Louis as well as a number of rotating exhibitions in offices and public spaces elsewhere in St. Louis.

About The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis
The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis serves as the catalyst for creating and promoting a vibrant downtown—a nationally celebrated asset that attracts investment and economic activity at the hub of our region. The Partnership also manages the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District (The CID) that provides enhanced services to make downtown St. Louis a cleaner, safer and more vibrant place.

About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
With more than $10.9 billion in assets as of March 31, 2013, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, provides innovative financing solutions for community development projects across the country using state and federally sponsored tax credit programs. USBCDC's commitments provide capital investment to areas that need it the most and have contributed to the creation of new jobs, the rehabilitation of historic buildings, the construction of needed affordable and market-rate homes, the development of renewable energy facilities, and the generation of commercial economic activity in underserved communities. Visit USBCDC on the web at usbank.com/cdc.

In Review: Mussorgsky in Reverse

An energetic crowd gathered at Powell Hall on Saturday evening, January 26, 2013, to enjoy a mix of music and visual art presented by the St. Louis Symphony and Art Saint Louis, beginning with a pre-concert Meet the Artist reception in the Symphony's Grand Reception Hall. Saturday’s event was the centerpiece of a three-concert weekend series centered on connections between music and visual art, including new artworks by 12 St. Louis regional artists in our exhibition, Mussorgsky in Reverse.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch highlights "Mussorgsky in Reverse"

Michael Anderson, Belleville, IL . Rehearsing Strauss. 2012. Acrylic on Canvas, 30”x40”. One of twelve artworks featured in "Mussorgsky in Reverse."The Sunday, January 20, edition of the St. Louis Post-Dipatch included a feature article by classical Music Critic Sarah Bryan Miller highlighting collaboration between the St. Louis Symphony and Art St. Louis. Click here to read the article and view artworks in the new exhibit, Mussorgsky in Reverse.

You can also find the exhibition featured in the January 23 edition of the St. Louis Beacon written by Elizabeth Harris Krasnoff. We are so grateful for this wonderful media coverage!

Mussorgsky in Reverse

Art Saint Louis and the St. Louis Symphony present Mussorgsky in Reverse, an exhibition on view at Powell Hall during the Symphony's January 25-27, 2013 performances of Mussorgsky's programmatic suite Pictures at an Exhibition. As Mussorgsky’s famous composition was inspired by an exhibition of contemporary visual art, several St. Louis regional artists recently explored this same creative connection in reverse order.

Artwork by Michael Anderson

At a private rehearsal of the St. Louis Symphony in November 2012, Art Saint Louis member artists were given the opportunity to observe and absorb musical aesthetics, the acoustics of Powell Hall and interpersonal dynamics of the musicians. This experience formed the basis for a subsequent call for 2-D visual art in all styles. Works were juried by Art Saint Louis’ Artistic Director, Robin Hirsch, and the resultant symphony-inspired exhibit will be proudly displayed at Powell Hall January 25-27, 2013.

Mussorgsky in Reverse features 12 original artworks by 12 St. Louis regional artists from Missouri and Illinois, including:

Michael Anderson, Belleville, IL
Tim Bottchen, St. Louis, MO
Kathy Czopek, Bridgteon, MO
Renee Bearden-Williams, Columbia, IL
John Goessmann, St. Louis, MO
Sheri Goldsmith, St. Louis, MO
Donna Hasegawa, St. Louis, MO
Liz Jones, Richmond Heights, MO
Erin McGrath Rieke, St. Louis, MO
Annie Scheumbauer, St. Louis, MO
Russell Vanecek, Swansea, IL
Peggy Williamson, Kirkwood, MO

Featured artists will be on-hand on Saturday evening, January 26 for a pre-performance Meet the Artist event 7-7:50 p.m. Tickets to the performances are required to view the exhibition. The St. Louis Symphony has extended a 2-for-1 ticket offer to friends of Art Saint Louis for this concert series. To take advantage of this special offer, visit www.slso.org/artstlouis or phone the Symphony box office at 314-534-1700.

Michael Anderson, Belleville, IL . Rehearsing Strauss. 2012. Acrylic on Canvas, 30”x40”.

Tim Bottchen, St. Louis, MO. Powell Stones. 2012. Photograph, Giclee Print, 24"x30".

Kathy Czopek, Bridgeton, MO. Musings of Mussorgsky. 2012. Watercolor, Ink, Pencil on Paper, 30”x36”.

John M. Goessmann. St. Louis, MO. In Seven Days. 2012. Oil, Beeswax on Canvas, 30”x30”.

Sheri Goldsmith. St. Louis, MO.  Genesis 2012. Encaustic Wax, Oil, Wood, Copper, Paper, Photographs, 24”x18”. 

Donna Hasegawa. St. Louis, MO. Inspired by Mussorgsky. 2012. Oil on Canvas, 30”x40”.

Liz Jones. RIchmond Heights, MO. Golschmann Conducts Pictures. 2012. Pastel on Paper, 24"x36".

Erin McGrath Rieke. St. Louis, MO. Conception. 2012. Acrylic, Latex on Canvas, 36”x36”.

Annie Scheumbauer. St. Louis, MO. Rehearsal-St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. 2012	Pen & Ink on Paper, 26”x30”.

Russell Vanecek. Swansea, IL. The Music Makers. 2012. Pen & Ink on Paper, triptych: 24”x28”.

Renee Bearden-Williams. Columbia, IL. Untitled. 2012. Mixed Media on Canvas, 24”x30”.

Peggy Williamson, Kirkwood, MO. A. Molto #1. 2012. Acrylic on Canvas, 37x31”.

Present in partnership with the St. Louis Symphony and funded in part by the Arts and Education Council


Music and Art in the Gallery

Join us in the Art Saint Louis Gallery on Monday, January 14, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. as violinist Lorraine Glass-Harris and bassoonist Hank Skolnick perform George Frideric Handel's D Major Sonata for Violin with Bassoon Continuo, with the new exhibition Misperception on view as the backdrop to this unique, one-hour moderated performance.

Hande's 4-movement sonata for violin and bassoon is a work with clear and contrasting emotional affects. Each movement is approximately 2-3 minutes long. The musicians will repeat each movement several times with differing instructions to the audience and guest moderator, visual artist Erin McGrath Rieke, will lead the audience through the musical work and talk about the combination of music and art.

The public is warmly invited to this free event and audience members are encouraged to bring sketchbooks, watercolors and paper, cameras (NO FLASH), or any other small art making materials to create artworks while the musicians perform.

Seating is limited--50 guests maximum. Children over 10 accompanied by an adult are welcome. RSVP required by January 12, 2013 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 314/241-4810, 2#.

 Present in partnership with the St. Louis Symphony and funded in part by the Arts and Education Council







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