sculpture park’s DNA. The park’s dynamic educational outreach activities reach student populations in 22 area school districts. The curator of education, Karen Mullen, works with adolescents in arts career job training. Laumeier arts programming is not only for the young, however. Laumeier (like the Saint Louis Art Museum) coordinates with the Alzheimer’s Association to provide opportunities for mental stimulation that can’t be obtained through medicine. What IS new at Laumeier is the park’s grand Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center and the newly repurposed 1917 Estate House which will now function as the park’s Education Laboratory for Art. Knode maintains that this physical growth is not merely for the sake of expanding Laumeier’s reach. These new spaces will give indoor room for programming that continues to further Laumeier’s role as a ground-breaking, experimental arts institution. Each of these St. Louis art venues is actively expanding the basic concept of their purpose within the public sphere. That flexible identity, rooted in a deep desire to link community through art has produced outcomes that wildly contrast with one another. Art Saint Louis sets up a hot cup of artisan-roasted coffee as a lure for your eyes. The Luminary calls to you with the siren call of sound art. Fort Gondo makes a quiet place for poetry and art to coincide in an atmosphere that is unpretentious and welcoming. The Pulitzer seems to be after all of your senses, charming visitors with fluffy pillows and bewitching sound performances while engaging the artful mind. Bruno David Projects continues Bruno David’s long progression toward open art exchange. And Laumeier, the only of these with a “past Lindbergh” address, draws crowds ready to climb on and through the art. There is a great deal of limit testing and cross-pollination going on within these art places. Says James McAnally: “I think contemporary art and the institutions that present it have an obligation to experiment with their models, their publics and how these interact with one another.” And if the institutions can bend toward the new, certainly audiences should take risks too!
H OW -TO G UI D E for the S tL A r t S ce n e RAC Rescue: A Handheld Resource for the Art-Minded
Saaba Buddenhagen Lutzeler It’s a Thursday morning, dark and bitter outside, when I find myself wishing I had…something, some tool – a fast, easy tool – to help me learn about and locate art in our town. My guests fly in tomorrow. Like me, they’re into art; but, I – having been immersed in the gauzy part of parenting, when the children are all under ten – realize I have no idea what’s happening in St. Louis’ art scene! Once home, I’ll be eyebrow-deep in haranguing the kids before school. After that, work. If not now, I’ll never find time to figure out what to do with my guests. As the door opens, frigid winter air arrests me. I fortify myself with a deep breath for the walk across the parking lot. I’m heading home from the community center gym where I teach. Dry snow compresses audibly under my boots: crunch, crunch, crunch. The cold air forces a cough, makes me bow my head, hurts my fingers too much to operate my phone. I’ll use it in the car, I think. In the car, I pull off one glove with my teeth, holding the phone with my other hand. S-t-l A-r-t S-c-e-n-e, I tap into the search engine. CityData. com comes up first. Then Public Radio on Tap. I find a “Critical Mass listserv” website that’s informative but just like an online events calendar: it leaves me the task of sorting out what, where, and when. I decide it’s too cold, table the task for who-knows-when, and drive home. Later, I get my wish. I mention to a friend how unaware I’ve become of local art happenings. PLACES AND SPACES
She ducks toward her purse, putting up a finger in my direction as if to say, wait for it…I’ve got your solution . . . The St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC) has launched an app called STL Arts. It allows users to sort and map the art events in town. Ta-DAH! Who knew it could be so easy? STL Arts calls itself an “arts and cultural events calendar,” but the tagline falls short of the tool. With the RAC App, you simply use the filter tool: choose your date –any date, literally years into the future or past; select your desired proximity, 1-50 miles (from your current location, divined somehow by satellite); choose what you’re looking for -- visual art, lectures, or calls to artists, to name a few; select free events or all events; press the button; and…out comes a tailored list! Just like that! It maps every venue, offers descriptions, provides relevant times, dates, everything! For the kids, I find an exhibition of visual and performing arts put on by the Coalition of Artists for Peace. It’s called “Moments of Silence: A Response to the Ferguson Experience.” If art is inaccessible because it is challenging to physically locate, STL Arts is here to help. If it’s inaccessible because it’s aloof or expensive, well, that’s a topic for the next article! In the meantime, happy logisticating for all your St. Louis art-viewing adventures! Saaba Buddenhagen Lutzeler is a St. Louis-based painter, parent, and fitness instructor with a secret appetite for writing.
SPRING 2015 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM 08