Art Saint Louis soon will unveil its highly creative and competitive juried installation, “Art St. Louis XXXI, The Exhibition.” Artistic director Robin Hirsch-Steinhoff recently gave LN a glimpse into the annual show – running Nov. 7 to Dec. 23, with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 14 – as well as shared what’s in store for the future of the 31-year-old contemporary visual arts organization.
Tell us about “Art St. Louis XXXI, The Exhibition.”
Artists submitted artworks in all themes, styles, techniques and media to be selected by this year’s juror, Porter Arneill, who is the director of arts and culture for the city of Lawrence, Kansas and previously worked for Regional Arts Commission St. Louis and Laumeier Sculpture Park. Almost 150 regional artists submitted more than 600 artworks for consideration. Fifty-two artworks, from ceramics, drawing, painting, photography and printmaking to sculpture, by 42 St. Louis regional artists from Missouri and Illinois, were selected. With a large group exhibit like this, making it cohesive is a fun challenge for me and the juror.
What are some highlights of the exhibit?
This particular exhibition is always exciting because it highlights what makes art in St. Louis so unique and enjoyable. There is a textile piece with a lot of staples in it by St. Louis artist Kenn Ball; a painting by St. Louis artist Aaron Wood, who always brings his art van – a mini-gallery – to receptions and St. Louis artist Michael Albers’ large homage-style photograph based on the famous painting “Judith and Holofernes” by (Italian painter Giorgio) Vasari.
What’s new at Art Saint Louis?
We recently held a competition for our “Art in the Heart” art installation program in downtown St. Louis. It was open to artists 18 and older living in St. Louis and the surrounding 200-mile radius. Presented in partnership with Downtown STL, Inc., this public art program aims to help continue the revitalization of downtown St. Louis by enhancing the engagement of visitors and residents with their surroundings through an array of interactive and technology-enabled temporary public art displays. Additionally, this exhibition serves Art Saint Louis’ educational programs, including field trips for downtown students. Soon, we will be presenting the second “Art in the Heart!”
After celebrating 30 years last year, what does Art Saint Louis want its next 30 years to look like?
We will continue to serve the region’s artists and art supporters, and strive to make even more places to exhibit regional artists’ works – whether that is additional Art Saint Louis galleries, pop-up galleries or off-site exhibit locations. For 2016, we will add an additional juried themed exhibit to our show schedule, allowing artists one more opportunity to show their works in the Art Saint Louis Gallery.
1223 Pine St., 314-241-4810, artsaintlouis.org