For a city that's home to one of the most recognizable pieces of architecture in the world (no, not the Amoco sign), St. Louis often doesn't know what to do with its most cherished buildings (see: the Kiel Opera House, the Century Building, etc.). Or, for that matter, what to do with its architects and artists, two communities that toil creatively and with dedication, often below the town's cultural radar.
Looking to put a stop to that are Barbara Walter, founder and publisher of two-year-old St. Louis Design magazine, and Mike Mandis, creator of the virtual art gallery STLArtists.com. They'll be combining forces this Friday, March 12, at the City Museum (701 North 15th Street, 314-231-2489) by presenting the first-ever St. Louis Art & Architecture exhibition.
In the museum's appropriately titled Architecture Hall, approximately 100 architectural models, decorative objects, photographs and other artworks will be on display, all rendered by local artists and all centered on the theme of architecture or interior design. One of the highlights: an original blueprint of St. Louis' first schoolhouse, dating back to the early 1900s, signed by the draftsman and sketched out on linen, the material architects used to make blueprints back then.
Many of the works on display will be available for purchase via silent auction as part of the fundraising efforts of St. Louis Design and STLArtists.com, both of which are experiencing financial growing pains.
Walter, for one, hopes the event (which will also include food, a cash bar, live music and dancing) helps bridge the gap between artists and architects. "We're two very similar groups of people, but we traditionally don't mingle much," she says. "Which we should, especially since there are a lot of architects who moonlight as artists on the side."