"It's sort of an alternative learning experience," Trosclair says of her weekly visits to the house, most of which she spends working on the project with kids who are drawn to the activity. (Sometimes not.) The Pink House project seems a natural complement to her day job as a supervisor at a local swim school. She never wanted to be "that lady who came in once a week and told people what to do."

Explains Trosclair: "As a kid you spend all day being told what to do, what to learn, how to act, and not often enough are you just asked questions about what you want.

"I don't want to just be a 'plop' artist," she adds. "I don't just want to enter and make something and then leave. I think the artist's job is to further facilitate opportunities for creativity and invite collaboration."


To learn more about Carlie Trosclair's work, visit www.carlietrosclair.com

[Editor’s note: A correction ran concerning this paragraph; please see end of article.]
Earlier this year Nezam asked Trosclair to join her and Martinez in entering Good Ideas for Cities, a competition aimed at addressing some of St. Louis' most deeply entrenched problems. Tasked with confronting the city's abysmal 50 percent high school graduation rate, their team proposed "The Sight," a vacant building near a school, which students could rehab into a communal learning space.

Nezam says she pushed Trosclair to team up because she "secretly wanted to challenge" her friend to step out of her studio practice, which is very isolated and focused. Trosclair says the collaboration, much like The Chandelier Project, has had a profound effect on her own artmaking.

"I've met people who have lived here for a long time, and they say things about how sad it is that there are so many vacant buildings here," she says. "But now I feel like there's a lot of energy around the idea that this is space that has potential to be something. There are a lot of people really excited about what we can do with these spaces."

To learn more about Carlie Trosclair's work, visit www.carlietrosclair.com

Click to return to our list of 2012 MasterMind Award winners.

Correction published 8/23/12: In the original version of this story, Mallory Nezam's name was misspelled. The above version reflects this correction.

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