How Would You Re-Draw The Arch? STL Arts Professionals Reimagine The Riverfront | St. Louis Public Radio

How Would You Re-Draw The Arch? STL Arts Professionals Reimagine The Riverfront

Dec 18, 2014

Since 1966, The Arch has represented St. Louis as the Gateway to the West. But it also has other connotations, especially now.

This painting on plywood was at the Post Office on South Grand on Nov. 26.
Credit Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

This month, "The New Yorker" re-drew the 63-story monument as a great divide, following the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown. The cover image by a former St. Louisan depicts The Arch and our city as half-white, half-black, with a gaping disconnect where the two sides once met -- if only in steel and concrete.

A local artist took a different tack along the boarded-up South Grand Business District, rendering The Arch as two hands, one black, one white, in a tight clasp.

Throughout this year of coming to terms with our city's racial inequality as we also celebrated our 250th anniversary, we asked visual artists and others who work in the arts how they would reimagine The Arch. Many began by praising St. Louis’ iconic sculpture, calling it a fitting and beautiful representation of the city.

Then the wheels began to turn as they pictured something different. Maybe an actual gate? What about a giant canvas? Or a statue of a famous St. Louis-born musician? Click on the orange-button arrows below to hear their ideas for a new kind of symbol on the riverfront.

A gathering place made of glass:

A giant fence with a gate that moves:

A canvas for all:

A wagon train:

A bridge that's a handshake:

A Colossus of Miles Davis:

A Klee cityscape:

A cast iron gate that's barely open:

An emphasis on the river:

Follow Nancy Fowler on Twitter: @NancyFowlerSTL