Best Museum Improvement - 2005
The New Media Series
Say you're a well-established art museum in a large-ish Midwestern town. You're not particularly known for showing experimental art in the newer media, but you'd like to be. You have no galleries to spare, but you do have some funky extra space at the top of a stairwell. What do you do? If you're the Saint Louis Art Museum, and you're smart enough to have hired Robin Clark as associate curator of contemporary art, you take that funky space, call it Gallery 301 and use it to house a New Media Series. All of a sudden you're showing hip things like Hiraki Sawa's beautiful, silent digital video Migration (2003), Dara Friedman's video loop Government Cut Freestyle (1998) and Shannon Kennedy's incredible 1997 untitled video of microscopic life forms. SLAM's New Media Series proves that big improvements can come from relatively small investments. Other St. Louis institutions, take heed.