Our Mission

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.

History of Critical Mass

Critical Mass was established in 1995 by a group of artists and administrators determined to create new opportunities that would attract and retain artists who study at St. Louis-area universities to work and live in our community after they graduate.

Past programs have included Passport to Contemporary Art (a region-wide effort to celebrate contemporary visual art in the region), One Night Stand exhibitions, and Three-Day Weekend curated by Dave Mueller.

Critical Mass has also hosted a series of workshops in different areas of St. Louis to consider public art planning and programming. Imagine Art Here workshops were designed to spark a lively debate about art as a visible, street-level enhancement, by identifying public spaces where art could be located and opportunities where artists could be utilized to tackle design challenges created by distinct, site-specific characteristics. Artists, designers, architects, residents, business owners, and interested citizens in Downtown St. Louis, Grand Center, South Grand, Forest Park Southeast and the Central West End have contributed their time and creativity to these programs. The resulting reports have served as a tool for these communities to begin to fundraise for and implement the recommended public art projects.

Funding Partners

Missouri Arts Council
St. Louis Regional Arts Commission
William E. Weiss Family Foundation
Individuals who believe that supporting and promoting
local artists makes St. Louis a better place to live.

Our Board

President- Meridith McKinley
Secretary- Bailey Westrich
Treasurer- Nick Lockwood

Sarah Hammond
Joe Kohlburn
Brett Williams
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