Critical Mass for the Visual Arts is pleased to announce that Jessica Witte and her project Seed the Change were selected for the inaugural Public Works Project, a temporary public art initiative.

Collaborative seed drawing with crew of six over two days on Schmidt Art Center patio. Belleville, IL.

Seed the Change will be a weekend-long collaborative drawing event along the St. Louis Riverfront, tentatively scheduled for June 3-5. Using black sunflower seeds and millet, an unforgettable “seed drawing” will be made on the sidewalk along Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard, centering on the arch and extending hundreds of feet north and south. The underlying design, based on Missouri native wildflowers, will be outlined by Witte and her assistants on Friday. Viewers will then be invited to add to and manipulate the drawing throughout the weekend. The drawing will morph with the engagement of the audience, growing and changing. Time-lapse photography will record the changing form of the drawing over its lifespan.  According to Witte, “the temporal nature of the project reveals that everything is subject to change and we must embrace the present moment to shape change.”  

Witte’s hope for Seed the Change is that it will “highlight the city’s human potential; creating a welcoming space shaped by its people that embodies the beauty of labors of love, conversation, and individual expression.” To emphasize the actual physical work of making our city a more inviting place, Witte and Critical Mass will feature organizations during the event who share the mission to improve the city. Activities at tables and tents along the Riverfront will highlight these groups’ work, while creating a festival atmosphere and sparking discussion on how others can shape our city.  At the end of the event Sunday, the 4000 lbs. of seed will be donated to the World Bird Sanctuary.   

Critical Mass launched The Public Works Project to provide St. Louis area artists with an opportunity to develop a work of art for the public realm. Unlike other public art opportunities in the region, the artwork proposed had to be temporary and could be at a site of the artist’s choosing, allowing artists to match their artistic ideas with the siting of the work.

Jessica Witte is a nationally-exhibited, award-winning artist. Her multi-media work has been in over fifty exhibitions at venues such as the San Diego Art Institute, the Textile Center (Minneapolis, MN), Museum of Nebraska Art (Kearney, NE), Rockford Art Museum (Rockford, IL), Maas Gallery (Purchase, NY), Good Citizen Gallery (St. Louis, MO), Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (Athens, GA), WomanMade Gallery and Beverly Art Center (both Chicago, IL). Her Birdseed Doilies Project has spanned a decade and been featured in the online Chicago Art Magazine and Stylus, a London-based, international news service. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, she worked as a teacher, gallery director, and art museum staffer in northern Illinois before moving to St. Louis.

 

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  1. Jessica Witte “letting go, to seed” 2015 sunflower and safflower seed approximately. 30 x 50 feet collaborative seed drawing with crew of six over two days on Schmidt Art Center patio. Belleville, IL.  (Photo:  Courtesy of the artist)
  2. Collaborative drawing process.  Jessica Witte “letting go, to seed” 2015 sunflower and safflower seed approximately. 30 x 50 feet collaborative seed drawing with crew of six over two days on Schmidt Art Center patio. Belleville, IL.  Photo: Jessica Mannisi
  3.  Audience interaction with Jessica Witte “letting go, to seed” 2015 sunflower and safflower seed approximately. 30 x 50 feet collaborative seed drawing with crew of six over two days on Schmidt Art Center patio. Belleville, IL.  Photo: Jon Slavkin
  4.  Collaborative drawing process.  Jessica Witte “letting go, to seed” 2015 sunflower and safflower seed approximately. 30 x 50 feet collaborative seed drawing with crew of six over two days on Schmidt Art Center patio. Belleville, IL.  Photo: Alyssa Williams

Critical Mass for the Visual Arts Announces
Public Works Project Finalists

 

Critical Mass for the Visual Arts is pleased to announce three artists as finalists for a new initiative, the Public Works Project. The Public Works Project will commission one artist to create a temporary, site-specific public art project, at a site of their choosing, in the City of St. Louis. The finalists are Meghan Grubb, Amy Reidel and Jessica Witte.

 

Meghan Grubb makes works of sculpture, installation, photography and video that explore how powerful non-physical responses may be elicited by the experience of physical phenomena. Her work has been exhibited internationally in Norway, Finland, Spain, and Thailand, and nationally at the Sculpture Center (Cleveland, OH), the Shoshana Wayne Gallery (Los Angeles), Heaven Gallery (Chicago), and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids, MI). Meghan received her MFA in Art + Design from the University of Michigan, and her BA in History + Studio Art from Wellesley College.

 

Amy Reidel’s multimedia work illustrates a fascination with weather and geology as well as Christian and pagan ritual. She fabricates relationships between colorful scientific imagery, popular culture, and religious iconography. Her work has been exhibited at The Amarillo Museum of Art, Sam Houston State University, Meramec Contemporary Art Gallery (St. Louis), Ewing Gallery (Knoxville), and the The Luminary Arts Center (St. Louis). She received her MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Tennessee and her BFA from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

 

Jessica Witte uses ephemeral or discarded materials and hours of labor to create her work. Her birdseed drawings are created in an improvisational way, using generic geometric forms and alluding to delicate handiwork, mandalas, and kolams. Visitors activate the work by walking across it, altering the configuration, and dispersing the protected interior installation by the handful. Her multi-media work has been included in over 50 exhibitions at venues such as the San Diego Art Institute, the Textile Center (Minneapolis), Museum of Nebraska Art (Kearney, NE), Rockford Art Museum (Rockford, IL), Koehline Museum of Art (Des Plaines, IL),  Maas Gallery (Purchase, NY), Good Citizen Gallery (St. Louis), Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (Athens, GA), WomanMade Gallery and Beverly Art Center (both Chicago).

 

Finalists will be presenting their concept proposals to a three-person jury in January, 2016. The selected artist will be awarded up to $10,000 to design, produce and install and de-install a public artwork.

 

Critical Mass for the Visual Arts is a nonprofit, self-formed visual arts collaborative dedicated to promoting, enhancing and initiating contemporary visual art in the St. Louis region.  

 

For more information contact Meridith McKinley, Via Partnership, 314.735-9462, mckinley@viapartnership.com

 

Here it is! Critical Conversations- Art and Money in St. Louis- moderated by Sarah Griesbach, with panelists Roseann Weiss, MK Stallings, Travis Sheridan, and James McAnally at the Stage @KDHX on Dec 1. For more information about the discussion, go here.

Thanks again to all who helped make this conversation work, including and especially those who came out and asked their questions, Sarah, Roseann, MK, Travis, James, Ellie, and Jon.

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Critical Conversations- Art and Money was amazing! Thanks to panelists Roseann Weiss, Travis Sheridan, Mk Stallings, and James McAnally – to our fearless moderator Sarah Hermes Griesbach, to Jon Valley of KDHX  engineering the audio, and most of all, to all of you who came out to listen, speak your truth, and engage in the conversation.  If you haven’t already, make sure you check out All the Art’s winter issue on Art and Money in St. Louis. Thanks to all who came out and spoke their truth, asked questions,and engaged. Check back next week for a complete video of the event.

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Join us for the next Critical Conversation-“Art and Money in St. Louis,”  Tuesday, December 1st from 7 to 9 pm at The Stage @KDHX. We have organized this event to take place on the release date of the upcoming issue of All the Art, 2015.  All the Art’s executive editor, Sarah Hermes Griesbach, will host the conversation.

RSVP on facebook and tweet questions to @CriticalMassSTL
Tuesday, December 1st from 7 to 9 pm.

The event is free and open to the public.

 

Moderator/Facilitator:

 

Sarah Griesbach

EditorsImage

Photo: Sarah Hermes Griesbach (right) along with Amy Reidel, the creative editor and co-founder of All the Art.

Sarah Hermes Griesbach is the executive editor and cofounder of All the Art, the new visual art quarterly of St. Louis. She and Amy Reidel founded the non-profit magazine with an ever growing team of volunteers. Their goal is to draw in all neighborhoods and populations by sharing the work and vision of a diversity of artists through a diversity of writers and photographers. Their mission is to celebrate St. Louis by recording exhibitions, art events and local art practices that invigorate our communities and that report on the condition of our region.

Panelists:

 

Roseann Weiss

Roseann

Roseann Weiss has over 25 years of experience in arts leadership in nonprofit arts institutions, community organizations, and gallery settings. She is the Director of the Artist and Community Initiatives Department at the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC). In this position, she guides the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute – an innovative, cross-sector program centered on the belief that art can amplify the voices of communities, be a key factor in regenerating neighborhoods and be a powerful agent for social change. She leads RAC’s artists’ support programs, grants, and fellowships as well as creative community initiatives.

 

MK Stallings

MK

MK Stallings is the founder of UrbArts , a nonprofit whose mission is to create platforms and platform creatives for youth and community development. MK is also a poet, columnist for the WestWord.com, and co-host of Literature for the Halibut on KDHXtra. Twitter & Instagram: @mk_stallings

Travis Sheridan

Travis Sheridan (head shot)

Travis Sheridan is a born hustler. His background includes everything from military service and bank management to stand-up comedy and start-up consulting. Travis is driven, no matter his job title, to inspire hustling – also known as innovative thinking. He does this because innovation is the best path to healing. And there has never been a greater need for healing and innovative thinking than right now.Travis moved to St. Louis from California when he saw a region ripe for innovation. He is currently the executive director of Venture Café – St. Louis, a place where serendipitous collisions happen between brilliant minds and entrepreneurial energy.

He is also the creator of Boozestorming – an interactive problem-solving session that combines brains, bottles and buddies. It’s all about drinking outside the box, and there are now half a dozen Boozestroming chapters throughout the country. Travis is the co-host of Nothing Impossible, a weekly radio show on Newsradio 1120 KMOX and often speaks and writes about innovation, economic development and community design. While living in California, he was named 40 Under 40 by Business Street and received the Outstanding Citizen commendation by the Fresno/Madera Police Chiefs’ Association. Since moving to St. Louis in 2012, Travis was named as one of the Top 100 People to Know in Business by Small Business Monthly (which he affectionately calls the 100 Under 100). Travis serves on the board of the Old North Restoration Group, the Missouri Venture Forum, and the Prosper Institute. Additionally he is an advisor to the Balsa Foundation.

Travis is desperately proud of his wife, Gina. An author and public librarian, Gina is the source of much of Travis’ creativity. Lovers and consumers of local culture, Travis and Gina fill their home in Old North St. Louis with as much art and love as possible.

 

James McAnally

James

James McAnally is an artist, curator and critic whose work seeks to create a space of expanded authorship and exchange, considering the hyphens and hybrids between these terms. He is the founder, Co-Director, and Curator of The Luminary, an incubator for new ideas in the arts based in St. Louis, MO. McAnally also serves as the executive editor and co-founder of Temporary Art Review, a leading international platform for contemporary art criticism that focuses on artist-run and alternative spaces, and is a founding member of Common Field, a new national network of independent art spaces and organizers.

McAnally has presented exhibitions, talks and lectures at venues such as the Walker Art Center, Queens Museum, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (with Ballroom Marfa), Cannonball, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Carnegie Mellon University, (e)merge art fair, Washington University in St. Louis, Moore College of Art and Design and University of Missouri – Columbia, and has served as a Visual Arts panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.

In his artistic practice, he works as US English, a collaborative that explores collective identity, spatial politics, and forms of protest through a diverse collection of text, sound, objects and interventions. His work in its various forms has been discussed widely through such publications as the Washington Post, Al Jazeera, USA Today, Art in America, Chicago Tribune, Hyperallergic, Art Papers, ArtFCity, Artnet, and Frieze.


 

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Join us for the next Critical Conversation-“Art and Money in St. Louis,”  Tuesday, December 1st from 7 to 9 pm at The Stage @KDHX.

The unprecedented growth of St. Louis’s visual art sector deserves a moment of reflection. How does local art production and art reception reflect the state of our economy? How do our artists and art venues impact our local economies? Are there best practices tactics that a loosely unified visual art community can and should employ in order to improve the health of our region? What about questions of social economics? Our questions and yours (join the conversation @CriticalMassSTL) will be posed to our panel.

We have organized this event to take place on the release date of the upcoming issue of All the Art, 2015. The winter issue of the new visual art magazine of St. Louis focuses on art and money stories as told by artists, collectors, gallery directors and as subjects present within artworks. All the Art’s executive editor, Sarah Hermes Griesbach, will host the conversation.

The event is free and open to the public.

Critical Conversations seeks to spark revolution in the St. Louis Artworld. We aim to strengthen vital connections between individuals, institutions, spaces and creative communities, and to set the stage for profound criticism and discussion on a wide range of topics. We inspire action through increased understanding, agency and accountability among creatives, administrators, academics and critics.

Critical Conversations- Art and Place, September 15, 2015

Critical Conversation  ‘Art and Place’ took place September 15, 2015 at Gallery 210.  Topics included neighborhood, institutional context, commercial and community space, cultural context, class, creative process, environment, ‘outsider’ art, the White Cube,  and the unique challenges faced by St. Louis-based artists as well as the various projects of the panelists. We had some great audience-engagement on this one! Take a look.

wh04-01.pngDon’t forget: The deadline for Public Works is October 5 (less than two weeks away). Please send your submissions to : stlcriticalmass@yahoo.com.

Critical Mass for the Visual Arts invites artists from the St. Louis metropolitan area to submit an idea or concept that you would like to explore though a temporary work of art that will exist in the public realm. A three-person jury will review proposals and select one artist to receive up to $10,000 to realize his/her idea for the spring of 2016. Submissions are due Monday, October 5, 2015.

How does it work?
An artist or artist team will be selected based on a two-phase process.In this first phase, artists are invited to submit credentials and a preliminary written idea or concept for a project. From these submissions, the jury will select up to three finalists.In the second phase, the three finalists will be invited to develop a full concept proposal and present it to the jury. Finalists will be awarded a stipend of $250. The final selection will be based upon the concept proposal.

Then what?
The selected artist will awarded up to $10,000 to design, produce and install and de-install a public artwork. Additional support will be provided by Critical Mass, as needed, including documentation, marketing, site permission and permitting. The maximum duration of the project is six months, though works can be installed for a shorter period of time, including an event-based or episodic project.The work can be sited anywhere in the St. Louis City.

Who can apply?
The Public Works Project is open to artists or artist teams who reside and/or work in the St. Louis area (within 100 miles of downtown). MFA students who are in the final year of their MFA are eligible, as long as the work is not part of course-work or under the direction of an instructor.

For the complete call, visit http://bit.ly/1JKStZb.

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