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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Photos: DART St. Louis 2013 Captures Forgotten Corners of St. Louis

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge Chouteau Ave. & 2nd Street - REGGIE VICTOR
  • Reggie Victor
  • Chouteau Ave. & 2nd Street

Exploring St. Louis should be easy. Why, you've got Riverfront Times' annual Best Of issue to guide you. (2013 issue on stands next week!)

But have you tried just throwing a dart at a giant map of the city?

That's the whole idea behind DART St. Louis, a "participatory photo challenge" that in three years has asked hundreds of creative types -- from professional photographers to rank amateurs -- to embrace randomness as a way to explore parts of St. Louis they may have never visited.

Curt von Diest founded the project in 2009 as a way to entertain and attract clients of FK Photo, though the event has been part of the St. Louis Design Week since 2011. Von Diest tells Daily RFT that the project is now more about revealing the small corners of St. Louis that many people never find reason to see.

"We talk about the problems that St. Louis has, or its shortfalls, but how can we really understand if we ignore whole swaths of the city?"

See Also: Washington University Senior Documenting Familiar Faces in Delmar Loop

The deal is simple: Throw the dart and pick out the nearest intersection. Then, participants are given a month to explore the surrounding one block radius, snap a photo, and send it back to von Diest. That's it, there are no guidelines on style, method, subject or equipment. As long as it's a photo near the location where your dart stuck, it's all good.

click to enlarge Screengrab of
  • Screengrab of

The images are eventually loaded onto an interactive, online map -- clicking the dots reveals the photos.

"There's so many ways to approach what is beautiful in the context of the city," says von Diest.

Oddly, he adds, not one person has ever hit the arch with a dart.

"If someone does hit it," von Diest muses, "I wonder what they'll do."

Below we've included a few of von Diest's favorite photos from last year's event. DART St. Louis 2013 is set for September 24 at FK Studies (2745 Locust Street) from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., and is open to participation from anybody -- even Instagram addicts or selfie lovers with nothing but a smartphone.

click to enlarge Lombard & S 1st - TIM BOTTCHEN
  • Tim Bottchen
  • Lombard & S 1st
Ashland & Vine Grove - CURT VON DIEST
  • Curt von Diest
  • Ashland & Vine Grove
click to enlarge N. Grand & Bell - DAVID MCLEOD LEWIS
  • David McLeod Lewis
  • N. Grand & Bell
click to enlarge Flad & Tower Grove - LAUREN HAYS
  • Lauren Hays
  • Flad & Tower Grove

Continue for more photos from DART St. Louis 2012.

click to enlarge Chippewa & Kingshighway - AUGUST JENNEWEIN
  • August Jennewein
  • Chippewa & Kingshighway
McCausland & Waldemar - DAVID COBLITZ
  • David Coblitz
  • McCausland & Waldemar
Lucia & Fayette - JANE WINBURN
  • Jane Winburn
  • Lucia & Fayette
click to enlarge Taylor & Clayton - GYM HINDERER
  • Gym Hinderer
  • Taylor & Clayton
click to enlarge Ewing & Rutger - TRICIA SMITH
  • Tricia Smith
  • Ewing & Rutger

Follow Daniel Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at

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