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.
Since 2008, Critical Mass for the Visual Arts has recognized the needs of outstanding local visual artists through the Creative Stimulus Project. Building upon the mission of Critical Mass to promote and initiate contemporary visual art in St. Louis, the Creative Stimulus Project provides up to three artists or artist collaborations with $1,500 of unrestricted operating capital, the opportunity to exhibit their work in a group exhibition, and participation in the Critical Mass “Five Questions” podcast. Recipients are also eligible to curate future Creative Stimulus exhibitions. Award recipients will receive stipends based on the outstanding nature of their work and their commitment to advancement and career development. Submissions will be reviewed by a jury panel comprised of local artists, arts professionals, and former Creative Stimulus Award winners. For previous winners, check out this link.
José Guadalupe Garza was born along the US/Mexico border. He is a conceptual artist, educator, and military veteran working across various mediums. His practice examines how Latinx histories are continually constructed and reconstructed in American popular culture. Garza borrows from films, music, literary works, and the science fiction genre to create reimagined narratives that include appropriated images, recorded music, reenactments, experimental photography, improvisation, ad hoc libraries, presentations, curated screenings and exhibitions, and ready-made objects. Garza has exhibited and screened works widely throughout the United States and abroad. In 2019, he participated with frequent collaborator Miríam Ruiz in Counterpublic , an expansive triennial public art platform scaled to the Cherokee Street neighborhood in St. Louis. Upcoming exhibitions and screenings include, Border Control: Traversing Horizons in Media Practice at Stamps Gallery at the University of Michigan and From the Archives: Video in America at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. Currently, he is a Museum Educator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, is an adjunct professor at St. Charles Community College and University of Missouri St. Louis, serves on the boards of Bread and Roses Missouri, Latinx Arts Network, and Paul ArtSpace, is a Caretaker (Studio + Install) at The Luminary, and is a founding member of Monaco and the Latinx Film Festival in St. Louis.