Critical Mass for the Visual Arts

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.


5 Questions- Mallory Nezam

Welcome listeners to  our latest episode of 5 Questions with Mallory Nezam! Mallory is a cultural producer, city strategist and public artist working at the intersection of community development, socially-engaged art and urban planning. She works with governments, artists and grassroots cultural organizations to bring arts and equity into community planning and policy.  She gets really excited about bringing art into non-arts spaces, especially when it can be integrated to change systems to make lives better. Mallory is the Founder of STL Improv Anywhere, a performance group that disrupts public spaces, and was a founding member of the STL Artivists, creating artworks combating racial inequality and police profiling. After leaving St. Louis in 2017, she helped start the inaugural Arts & Culture team at Transportation for America, leading arts, culture and transportation projects in communities around the country. She has also served as the first Arts & Culture Fellow for Boston’s regional urban planning agency, and policy and racial justice organization PolicyLink’s Research Artist-in-Residence. Mallory holds a Masters of Design in Art, Design and the Public Domain from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design where she completed her thesis research on artists-in-residence in government. She is currently establishing a national Planners of Color Collaborative and runs a consulting practice called Justice + Joy.


5 Questions: Special Episode- Live Audio of Critical Conversations SITE-SPECIFIC at G-CADD (October 26, 2018)


This special episode of  5 Questions is a live recording of the 10th Critical Conversation: SITE-SPECIFIC, which took place October 26, 2018 at Granite City Art and Design District (G-CADD). Initiated by Gavin Kroeber, this discussion emerges as a community roundtable on site-specific work and the social conditions in which such work is situated. Much of the most important art in St. Louis is marked by a keen sense of site-specificity—attending explicitly to the social conditions that define the city and the region, engaging with the particulars of its neighborhoods and communities. The first half of the decade was arguably defined by celebrated placemaking projects and critical art-activism interventions. This summer saw a number of announcements about ambitious cultural initiatives on the horizon—the Chouteau Greenway, a new affordable artist housing initiative in Gravois Park, and the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge grant that St. Louis is a finalist for—all of which promise to use art to re-imagine and even re-shape the urban fabric. In this moment, with St. Louis poised between two intensive waves of site-specific art projects, this roundtable offers a space to consider site-specific art practice. How has work that engages the city shifted in the past decade, and why? What work is happening right now and what spaces of opportunity are emerging? How do local artists want to engage with the major projects that are coming and what independent paths are open?


Announcing the 2018 Creative Stimulus Awardees- Edo Rosenblith, Yvonne Osei, and Steph Zimmerman


Critical Mass for the Visual Arts is pleased to announce the winners of the 10th annual Creative Stimulus Award. This year’s selected artists are Edo Rosenblith, Yvonne Osei and Steph Zimmerman! Creative Stimulus awards unrestricted funding to support artists to pursue special projects, experiment with new techniques, and deepen their understanding of their working processes. Each artist will receive an award of $1,500 for their use as creative operating capital along with the opportunity to present their work in an exhibition in 2019. The artists were selected by a jury from over 25 St. Louis-area visual artists who applied for this award, which recognizes artists for their outstanding work and commitment to developing their careers.