In a Tower Grove Park edifice that can only be described as a castle, a group of anime lovers is learning how to draw the Japanese figures. This is the St. Louis City Open Studio and Gallery's most popular class, characterized by the nonprofit's marketing and development director Amy VanDonsel as "always booked." Ever since it was founded in 2001 (as the South City Open Studio and Gallery for Children) by Jenna Bauer, a homegrown artist who wanted to tap into — and nourish — her community's capacity for creative expression, SCOSaG has focused mainly on youngsters and has perhaps been best defined by the O in its acronym. During the summer the organization hosts art camps for kids, and during the school year classes are offered in a different medium each week. SCOSaG's community involvement is in no way a passive approach, however: The organization places teachers in schools that otherwise couldn't afford art classes for their students.
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