Let's make something special for St. Louis!

Graphic design by artfarmstl.comArt Saint Louis is out to further the vitality of our city in a fresh way! We are in the final stages of creating a new cultural and social destination in one of our city’s treasured historic buildings, the Park Pacific building at 1223 Pine Street in downtown St. Louis. Working with architectural and design firm Lawrence Group, owners of the Park Pacific building, local coffee roaster Mississippi Mud Coffee and Niche Interior Design and Home Furnishings, our goal is to create a gallery/café hybrid, a place our community will repeatedly visit to enjoy dynamic exhibitions of local art and an inviting atmosphere in which to meet, study and relax. The gallery will feature sofas, tables and chairs in the heart of the exhibition areas, outdoor seating, free WiFi and a coffee shop serving locally-roasted brews. We want our new gallery to be an inviting point of connection between artists and audiences in St. Louis, a playground for the ideas, conversations and connections that shape our community.



With early financial support from the artist community and from the Whitaker Foundation, we began construction and renovation work the gallery/café in May and are continuing that work with plans to open to the public in July. Through volunteer labor and pro bono professional services, we have worked hard to reduce construction costs to a bare minimum. Necessary repairs include framing, plumbing, floor repair, electrical, IT, signage, HVAC, drywall and painting. These construction costs total $58,570. An additional $15,000 is needed to help cover what remains of these expenses and enable us to continue visual art programming in St. Louis. To raise these much-needed funds and sprint to the finish with this project, we're turning to the innovative crowd-funding platform Kickstarter.com. All funds raised through our Kickstarter campaign will be exclusively dedicated to covering remaining construction-related expenses on this project.


12-oz bag of Mississippi Mud fire roasted coffee beans. One of many awards available to our Kickstarter backers!Part of what makes Kickstarter unusual (and exciting) is that it’s an all-or-nothing funding platform. Our Kickstarter goal is $15,000. Art Saint Louis must collect enough pledges through Kickstarter.com to reach that goal by July 13, 2013, or else our backers’ credit cards will not be charged and no funding will be generated. But that’s not going to happen! We’re confident in the generosity of the St. Louis community and the value of this project. With your help, we will do it! And thanks to our café partners, Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters, we've got some fantastic rewards for our Kickstarter backers. Pledge levels start at $20 and include FIVE delicious, locally-roasted coffee beverages-hot or iced, lattes, dark or light roasts.... And many other rewards await Kickstarter backers who pledge more. Click here or on the Kickstarter logo below to learn more and get involved!


Exciting Times

Dear Friends,

Chandler Branch, Exe. Dir.

So much is happening in the work of Art Saint Louis right now that I hardly know where to begin in bringing you up to speed. Without a doubt, ASL is living up to its creed, making life in our region more meaningful and vibrant through the work of local visual artists. I have never been more convinced of the importance of any cultural endeavor, and never more thrilled to be part of it.


Consider some of the new ways we’re serving artists and audiences in St. Louis:

• We have begun transforming empty storefront spaces downtown into temporary art galleries. The five pop-up galleries we recently established on Washington Avenue are only the beginning! We’re out to fundamentally transform the cityscape and catalyze urban renewal through this program in the years to come. Photos and gallery details are available online at PopUpSTL.com.


A New Destination Downtown


ST. LOUIS—The Park Pacific building at 1226 Olive Street will soon be home to an unusual blend of coffee and culture by way of a gallery/café hybrid aimed at celebrating local talent. The move comes as the latest in a series of neighborhood projects led by downtown design and development firm Lawrence Group, owners of the Park Pacific building.

The Park Pacific building, St. Louis. Image courtesy of Lawrence Group.

Adding to its 25 years downtown, including the last five years headquartered at 555 Washington Avenue, Art Saint Louis is moving its gallery and administrative offices to the Park Pacific building this summer. The organization is raising funds to renovate a 2,700 square foot retail space on the south side of the building, at 1223 Pine Street, where it plans to reopen in July and continue exhibitions and event programming focused on visual artists at work in the St. Louis region.

The space will also be home to a new coffee boutique owned and operated by locally-based Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters. Company founder and owner Christopher Ruess, himself an artist (painter), sees an organic connection between coffee and art. “Savoring a cup of coffee is not unlike enjoying a work of art. You have to slow down and live with it a little.” The location will offer a weekly menu of specialty brews and will debut in the St. Louis market new pour-over "SoftBrew" techniques that are gaining popularity in Europe. Says Ruess, “People will see cutting edge work in the Art Saint Louis gallery. I want them to taste some as well.”

Rendering of the new Art Saint Louis gallery, facing south. Image courtesy of Lawrence Group.

“We’re deliberately blurring the lines here,” says Art Saint Louis Executive Director Chandler Branch. “We want this to be both a cultural and a social destination. The goal is to better serve artists and audiences, particularly by making more connections between the two groups.” In addition to the café, plans call for outdoor seating, free WiFi and a dynamic rotation of designer furniture in the heart of the exhibition areas provided by Niche Home Furnishings and Design (also owned by Lawrence Group) as part of a marketing partnership between Art Saint Louis and Niche.

Lawrence Group CEO Steve Smith and Principal Paul Doerner believe Art Saint Louis programming will add to a growing sense of neighborhood vitality. “The focus on regional art is a natural complement to Alumni Saint Louis,” said Smith, referencing the Lawrence Group-owned restaurant that recently opened at Park Pacific themed around “the people, places and food that make Saint Louis great.” Notes Doerner, “Proximity to the St. Louis Public Library, Christ Church Cathedral and the SLU Law School will make this as much an amenity to downtown visitors as it will be for residents at Park Pacific.”

About Art Saint Louis
Art Saint Louis is a nonprofit organization that has promoted the work of contemporary visual artists in and around St. Louis for over 28 years. Core services include a year-round series of exhibitions in the organization’s gallery in downtown St. Louis as well as a number of rotating exhibitions in offices and public spaces elsewhere in St. Louis.

About Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters
Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters opened in 2004, when Christopher Ruess decided to start his own small batch artisan coffee roasting business in the historic Soulard area in St Louis. At the time, he simply wanted to serve small neighborhood coffee houses with the best coffee the area had to offer. Since then, Mississippi Mud Coffee has grown to become a respected small batch coffee roaster with a name that is synonymous with some of the best coffees in St Louis.

About Lawrence Group
Lawrence Group is a building design, development, and project delivery firm headquartered in St. Louis. Recently named a “Hospitality Giant” by Interior Design Magazine, Lawrence Group offers architecture, interior design, a retail furniture showroom (Niche), landscape architecture, graphic design, town planning, construction management and real estate development services to health care, academic, commercial, hospitality and housing clients. Lawrence Group is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council. Please visit our website at www.thelawrencegroup.com.

The Art of Downtown Living

Art Saint Louis is pleased to take part in the 2013 Downtown Living Tour presented by the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis on Saturday, April 20, 2013. We'll be hosting registration for the tour at the Park Pacific building at 1223 Pine Street on April 20. The registration table will open at noon. In addition to stops at several downtown homes, the tour route will take participants past several pop-up galleries in storefront spaces along Washington Avenue as part of our new Pop-Up STL program. Details on the home tour are available online at 


Pop-Up Program Showcases Regional Art in Available Storefront Spaces

Pop-up gallery at 1204 Washington Avenue. Photo by Emily Amberger.ST. LOUIS—Workers, visitors and residents of downtown St. Louis are discovering the work of local artists in unexpected places as vacant storefront spaces are transformed into temporary art galleries. The transformation is being made possible through a new program produced by Art Saint Louis with assistance from The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis and sponsored by U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a St. Louis based subsidiary of U.S. Bank. The program, Pop-Up STL, is modeled after the Chicago Loop Alliance’s popular Pop-Up Art Loop program, now in its fourth year, and is similarly aimed at celebrating the work of contemporary artists while strengthening businesses and catalyzing urban renewal.

Pop-Up STL provides artists with exposure to downtown audiences through window displays and walk-in galleries in otherwise empty storefronts. These pop-up galleries beautify the cityscape at no cost to the artists or property managers involved. Property owners are free to give notice for the removal of the gallery as commercial tenants are secured, and meanwhile are welcoming the program’s help in heightening visibility and foot traffic around their available properties.

“We’re happy to take part in the project,” said Anthony Thompson, Chairman and CEO of the Kwame Building Group, owners of a 7,000 square-foot retail space at 1204 Washington Avenue. “We traded dark, covered windows for a striking display that lights up the sidewalk. That’s a win for us and for the neighborhood.”

Downtown audiences are invited to engage with the art on display through information on show tags in each gallery and online, including a Twitter contest to award prize money to exhibiting artists. New collections of artists and exhibits will appear in each gallery throughout the program. Art walks, receptions and other events are also being planned, beginning with a tie-in to the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis’ annual Downtown Living Tour, on Saturday, April 20 (details online at www.downtownstl.org/Live/Explore/DowntownLivingEvents.aspx).

“We’ve been interested in seeing something like this take shape downtown for quite some time in order to increase foot traffic and market available properties,” says Bill Bayer, Director of Tax Credit Syndications and New Business Initiatives for U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the program’s lead sponsor. “Street-level activity continues to grow downtown, especially on Washington Avenue, and we believe this program will add to the city’s appeal in a distinctive way.”

The first five galleries appeared on Washington Avenue last month, featuring works by a collection of St. Louis-based artists, including photographer Greg Barth and painters David Dolak, Mark Horton, Paul LaFlam, Megan Rieke and Brian D. Smith. More galleries are envisaged, including installation and performance art, generated by public requests for proposals from artists and property owners.

Art Saint Louis aims to eventually activate a large number of commercial spaces downtown and in the surrounding metropolitan area, entirely through the work of local artists. Executive Director Chandler Branch cites results from a recent survey of St. Louis’ creative community conducted by the Regional Arts Commission wherein 40% of respondents, over 1,200 people, identified themselves specifically as visual artists. “That’s more than three times the national average,” notes Branch. “It’s exciting to have such a concentration of talent in visual art and to consider what a resource like that could mean for St. Louis with a project like this.”

Information on the pop-up program is available online at PopUpSTL.com.

About Art Saint Louis
Art Saint Louis has promoted the work of contemporary visual artists in and around St. Louis for over 28 years. Core services include a year-round series of exhibitions in the organization’s gallery in downtown St. Louis as well as a number of rotating exhibitions in offices and public spaces elsewhere in St. Louis.

About The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis
The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis serves as the catalyst for creating and promoting a vibrant downtown—a nationally celebrated asset that attracts investment and economic activity at the hub of our region. The Partnership also manages the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District (The CID) that provides enhanced services to make downtown St. Louis a cleaner, safer and more vibrant place.

About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
With more than $10.9 billion in assets as of March 31, 2013, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, provides innovative financing solutions for community development projects across the country using state and federally sponsored tax credit programs. USBCDC's commitments provide capital investment to areas that need it the most and have contributed to the creation of new jobs, the rehabilitation of historic buildings, the construction of needed affordable and market-rate homes, the development of renewable energy facilities, and the generation of commercial economic activity in underserved communities. Visit USBCDC on the web at usbank.com/cdc.







Art Saint Louis │ 1223 Pine Street │ St. Louis, MO │ 63103 │ p: 314-241-4810 │          

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