This week: From our St. Louis series! We talk with Roseann Weiss the Director of the Community & Public Arts Department at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission.
Roseann Weiss is Director of the Community & Public Arts Department at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC). In this position, she oversees the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute – an innovative program centered on the belief that art can amplify the voices of communities, be a key factor in regenerating neighborhoods and be an agent for positive social change. Roseann also leads RAC’s artists’ support programs and creative community initiatives, which include identifying resources for new projects. She has over 25 years of experience in arts leadership in both nonprofit institutions and gallery settings.
The Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute, now considered a national model, provides professional level, comprehensive cross training for artists of all disciplines, social service providers, community activists, educators and policy makers in order to develop partnerships for successful arts-based programs that impact the community at large, and particularly under resourced communities. The program provides skills as well as explores creative techniques to assure success in collaboration and community work.
Roseann has initiated the expansion of the Institute’s scope, including the design of a graduate program and an alternate, place-based model for community arts training. These initiatives were underwritten by the Kresge Foundation.
In March 2010, the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute presented the first At the Crossroads: A Community Arts & Development Convening. This national conference in St. Louis, underwritten in part by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, attracted a cross section of leaders in arts-based community development. In April 2012, a second arts-based community development Convening, funded in part by the Kresge Foundation, attracted about 300 participants from as far away as Dublin and Singapore.
Before joining the RAC staff, she was Director of Education and Programming for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. In her ten year post at the Museum, she instituted programs such as New Art in the Neighborhood for teens, the critics and curators studio visit and lecture series, and a docent program designed to connect high school students with contemporary art, along with many community collaborations.
Roseann has curated contemporary art exhibitions in both commercial and non-profit galleries, served on arts panels, juries, committees and boards and has lectured about contemporary art and community. She is a founding member of The AIDS Foundation of St. Louis (now part of Doorways) and Critical Mass for the Visual Arts. In honor of her active involvement in the arts community, Roseann received a Visionary Award in 2009. The award is given to those who have demonstrated a unique vision to further the arts in new and innovative ways.
This week: After an inexcusably self-indulgent, alcohol fueled intro where Duncan, Richard, Dana and Emily and Nick from ACRE join us, we get on to an excellent interview. Part three of our St. Louis series recorded at the Contemporary Art Museum-St. Louis. This time we talk to Juan William Chavez and Kiersten Torrez about the Northside Workshop, bees, social practice, and record an advert for penicillin.
Northside Workshop (NSW)
Northside Workshop (NSW) is a non-profit art space dedicated to addressing cultural and community issues in North Saint Louis. Our programming focuses on incorporating socially engaged art and education with the goal of fostering social progress in North Saint Louis communities.
In 2010, a collaboration with the Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation and artist/cultural activist Juan William Chavez began an intervention to regenerate a historic North Saint Louis brick building in danger of being destroyed. Two years in the making, this building is now transformed into a dynamic community art space.
Juan William Chavez
Founder and Director
Juan William Chavez (born in Lima, Peru) is an artist and cultural activist whose studio practice focuses on the potential of space by developing creative initiatives that address community and cultural issues. His projects include Urban Expression for the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the Northside Workshop and the Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary. His awards include the Art Matters Grant, the Missouri Arts Award and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. In 2012, Chavez received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.
Director of Programming & Sustainability
Kiersten Torrez is an arts organizer focused on innovative sustainable practices. She has aided in developing community-based projects such as Beautification of Vacant Space, the Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary and Team Cookbook (creative workshops designed to community build through the sharing of recipes and stories in Old North Saint Louis). Torrez is currently planning a Year of Listening, a series of socially engaged events focused on co–generating programs to address the physical and social dimensions of the Old North Saint Louis neighborhood.
This week: The first in our St. Louis trip interviews. We talk to Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Director Lisa Melandri live and without a net at our opening, in front of a moderately baffled audience. Topics include the Jeremy Deller show that was up at the time, institutional purpose, why certain LA museums are looney tunes, and so much more!
From Alive Magazine:
When Lisa Melandri took her position as Director of CAM just last August, she brought with her some serious credentials. While she was Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the museum grew significantly, nearly doubled its staff and budget, and drew national and international acclaim. Now she plans to bring the same magic to St. Louis. “I’m really thinking in depth of what a contemporary art institution is and who it can serve,” Melandri says, envisioning a space that functions as a living room where people come just to “hang out.” It’s what she calls a “sea change” in perception. Part of that change is using the museum to its fullest capability, where even a discreet nook is potential exhibit space. “You should always be running into art,” Melandri says, referencing the highly anticipated Jeremy Deller exhibit this month. “I want to see art in the bathrooms and elevators.”
Go buy the Mr. Litte Jeans single Oh Sailor on Itunes, it’s swell.
It’s the first of May, which means that it’s May Day, International Worker’s Day, and you may as well watch the Bee Gees perform this. It also means that lots of art spaces and museums are getting ready to open their first round of summer shows. In solidarity, I present to you my (rather long) shortlist of what’s on in St. Louis in the coming weeks.
The River Between Us
Laumeier Sculpture Park
April 13–August 25, 2013
A symbiotic traveling exhibition coorganized with Longue Vue House and Gardens in New Orleans, The River Between Us is the latest in a series of projects at Laumeier that explore the theme of place. This time, the mighty Mississippi provides the inspiration for the show, which will feature both new commissions and historical documents. Featured artists include Ken Lum, Allan McCollum, and Alec Soth, among many others.
Rudely Interrupted Evening with Mr. Manners
May 3-5, 2013
Local guerilla curatorial collective The Transients stage shows in recently vacated commercial spaces. Their newest project takes place in the old downtown YMCA, which piques my interest. This weekend-long series of events includes collaborative videos and screenings, a brunchtime screening featuring a twenty-one-gun salute (!), and a performative event by the Archeospiritist Study and Consortion Initiative Illinois (!!).
Andrew James: Without the zeroes and ones,
the big and the huge don’t mean dick (v.1)
Isolation Room/Gallery Kit
May 3–June 1, 2013
Worth going just for the title—and the fact that Andrew James also runs St. Louis’s excellent Good Citizen Gallery—this show at the petite apartment gallery Isolation Room features a new kinetic object by the artist that, notes curator Daniel McGrath, “scoots on wheels like a Minecraft translation of an intravenous drip.”
Contemporary German Art: Selections from the Permanent Collection
2013 MFA Thesis Exhibition
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University
May 3–September 7, 2013
The Kemper showcases highlights from its formidable collection of contemporary German art, including works by Thomas Bayrle, Isa Genzken, Charline von Heyl, Sergei Jensen, Wolfgang Tillmans, and others. Also on view is the latest MFA Thesis show of work by twenty-three new grads.
Mike Newton: Contact
Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts
May 4–June 1, 2013
I’ve sang Fort Gondo’s praises elsewhere on this site. Its latest exhibition curated by new director Jessica Baran features several videos by New York-based artist Mike Newton that draw inspiration from the question of how to represent and understand interpersonal communication, particularly as it relates to eye contact.
Whole City: St. Louis
Luminary Center for the Arts
May 4–25, 2013
The latest in a series of guest-curated exhibitions collectively titled How to Build a World That Won’t Fall Apart, this show by Minneapolis design studio Works Progress takes the form of an intensive short-term residency that seeks to better understand the cultural landscape of St. Louis. Starting with the question “what makes us whole?” the interviews and conversations that they conduct in the city will be made manifest into an exhibition and free newspaper.
White Flag Projects
May 4–June 10, 2013
In typical White Flag fashion, the curatorial conceit remains a mystery, but I’m listing this for Peter Hujar’s photo of Susan Sontag alone.
Donald Judd: The Colored Works
Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
May 10, 2013–January 4, 2014
Former Chinati Foundation director Marianne Stockebrand curates the first show focused exclusively on Donald Judd’s works in color. Everything in the show was made late in his career between 1984–1992. Modern Art Notes’ Tyler Green will speak with Stockebrand on the occasion of the show at the Pulitzer on May 11. Not to be missed.
Hiraki Sawa: Migration
Saint Louis Art Museum
May 3–September 8, 2013
Japanese artist Hiraki Sawa presents a new animation in the latest in SLAM’s ongoing New Media Series curated by Tricia Paik.
East Building Expansion
Technically opening on June 29, this long-awaited expansion gives the museum’s substantial collection of modern and contemporary art room to breathe. The inaugural hang will feature much of its strong postwar holdings of works by Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Anselm Kiefer, and others, as well as an art historical overview of work by the Abstract Expressionists, Minimalists, and more contemporary artists such as Kiki Smith and Julie Mehretu. The expansion also marks the premiere of Stone Sea, a new site-specific commission by Andy Goldsworthy.
Bad at Sports
April 24–May 5, 2013
Kerry James Marshall
May 24–July 7, 2013
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
In a stunning turn of events, CAM has an exhibition by Bad at Sports up right now. Duncan and Richard recap their road trip to STL here, and interviews with many of the curators and organizers behind these very shows will be released soon. CAM’s summer season opens with solo shows by Lari Pittman, Mika Taanila, and Kerry James Marshall on May 24.
This week: Have you ever read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? Duncan and Richard talk aimlessly while driving to and from St. Louis for their stint at CAM St. Louis!