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St.Louisans have many options when it comes to seeing the visual arts up close and personal and not just online.
We have an abundance of arts institutions such as The St.Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Craft Alliance and other arts organizations such as Art St.Louis, The St.Louis Artists Guild, The Foundry in St.Charles and The Jacoby Arts Center in Alton. Of course these are just a few.
There are galleries galore all over town such as The William Shearburn Gallery, The Atrium Gallery, and The Duane Reed Gallery in the central west end and The Philip Slein gallery downtown on Washington Avenue. In Grand Center we have The Bruno David Gallery The Robert Powell Gallery and again numerous art galleries all over town and across both rivers.
But along with all of these tried and true art spaces, I'd be remiss not to give a major salute to the young movers and shakers about town who are presenting the arts in new and unique ways.
Matthew Strauss's White Flag Projects, located in The Grove, is a not-for-profit alternative art gallery working with alternative international and national artists.
The Luminary Center for the Arts is a collaborative studio space that acts as an incubator for new ideas in the arts, provides housing for international artists, and is an infrastructure that helps young artists go from one place to the next. The gallery is hoping to move to Cherokee Street which has become quite an up-and-coming arts district.
Juan William Chavez,an artist himself and winner of the prestigious Missouri Arts Award, recently founded the Northside Workshop a community center dedicated to these same issues which is located in Old North which has recently been recognized nationally for its creative ways of reinventing this part of the city. Chavez says he is an activist whose studio practice focuses on the potential of space by developing creative initiatives that address community and culture issues.
Dana Turkovic and Daniel McGrath run the Isolation Room/Gallery Kit in their apartment in the city. Dana describes the Isolation Room as, "an evolving project that will focus on one artwork per exhibition cycle. Each piece will be placed in a physical state of quarantine, situated in a modular viewing space inviting an extended period of contemplation. At its core the work stands in isolation." She goes on to say that the art object is protected from a forced theme and commercial exploitation.
And then there is Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, also located on Cherokee Street, which gives emerging artists a chance to exhibit their works.
St Louis can hold its head high and know that one doesn't have to jet to New York or Chicago to see what's happening in the visual arts. We have plenty here in our city.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Arts Aficionado Nancy Kranzberg has been involved in the arts community for some thirty years. She serves on numerous arts affiliated boards, including The St. Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park where she is the Co-Chair, The Sheldon Arts Foundation and the Sheldon Art Gallery Board, Jazz at the Bistro, The Missouri Mansion Preservation Inc., The Mid American Arts Alliance, and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Nancy was named Women of Achievement and was awarded the Distinguished Alumnae Award at Washington University Nancy is a docent at the St. Louis Art Museum and is an honorary docent at Laumeier Sculpture Park. At age 60 she became a Jazz singer. She performs with the Second Half which features Chancellor Tom George on the piano.