Think of it as your very own performance and gathering space. A former vacant lot, across the street from the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis’ Grand Center, is booked for more than a dozen events through October. But in between, bring your guitar and your friends for a sing-a-long under its floating canopies. Or relocate your book club there for the summer.
“We want people to just respond to the space in ways we haven’t even imaged yet — and neither have they,” Pulitzer executive Kristina Van Dyke told St. Louis Public Radio.
Known as “Lots,” the space is the result of last year’s PXSTL competition to re-imagine vacant lots, a collaboration of the Pulitzer and Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design. The winning idea —a world defined by a white fabric — comes from New York’s Freecell Architecture.
Its completion will be heralded in a Friday night celebration at the site, 3713 and 3719 Washington Blvd., near North Spring Avenue in Grand Center. The official launch of the temporary structure will include a dance performance by Grand Center Academy students and previews of events to come.
On Saturday, May 24, an Urban Drum Circle kicks off the first of 13 planned PXSTL gatherings. The schedule also includes a bread-for-work exchange, a pop-up museum, Buddhist meditation, a St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra performance and a photography exhibit of St. Louisans and their favorite objects.
On the off days (and there are more than 100 of those), Van Dyke looks forward to a variety of enjoyable activities.
“I would love to see people who live and work in and around Grand Center using it as a park-like space, for picnics. Or people coming and playing with their children,” Van Dyke said. “We are very open to improvisation and spontaneity.”
Great Rivers Biennial Opens
Across the street from “Lots” and next door to the Pulitzer, the Contemporary Art Museum opens its sixth Great Rivers Biennial Friday night. This year’s exhibit presents the work of Brandon Anschultz, Carlie Trosclair and Cayce Zavaglia, all based in St. Louis.
Anschultz’s “Suddenly Last Summer” consists of layered paintings, sculptures and other items including mirrors and pillars to suggest the garden in the 1958 Tennessee Williams play of the same name. Trosclair’s work makes use of salvaged materials to evoke the idea of the natural breakdown of architectural structures over time. Zavaglia’s embroidery resembles classical oil paintings, and explores the difference between our private and public personas.
The Great Rivers Biennial offers emerging and mid-career artists $20,000 and a CAM exhibit every other year.
CAM’s summer exhibits also include Katharina Fritsch’s sculpture postcards, Brenna Youngblood’s multimedia paintings and sound art by Van McElwee, Sarah Paulsen and Cameron Fuller.
Artistic Celebration of 250 Years
Washington University’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum opens four exhibits Friday night, including “Moving Parts: Time and Motion in Contemporary Art” and “Inside the Palace of Fine Arts: Cosmopolitanism at the 1904 World’s Fair.
“Inside the Palace” is in conjunction with STL250, the celebration of St. Louis’ 250th birthday. It includes art from the Kemper’s permanent collection that harks back to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, as well as some related works. Artists include Jean Charles Cazin, Frederic Edwin Church and Charles François Daubigny.
Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
What: PXSTL: ‘Lots’ Opening Reception
When: 7-9 p.m., Friday May 9; Regular hours at the Pulitzer: noon-5 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
Where: PXSTL is at 3713 & 3719 Washington Blvd.; the Pulitzer is at 3716 Washington Blvd.
Information: Pulitzer website
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
What: 6th Great Rivers Biennial featuring Brandon Anschultz, Carlie Trosclair and Cayce Zavaglia
When: Opening reception 7-9 p.m. Friday, May 9; Artists/Jurors panel discussion 11 a.m., Saturday, May 19; exhibit runs through Aug. 10; Regular hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday; 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday
Where: 3750 Washington Blvd.
Information: CAM website
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
What: ‘Moving Parts: Time and Motion in Contemporary Art,’ ‘Inside the Palace of Fine Arts: Cosmopolitanism at the 1904 World’s Fair’
When: Opening reception 7-9 p.m. Friday, May 9; ‘Time’ runs through Aug. 31, “Inside” runs through Aug. 3; Regular hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; closed Tuesdays
Where: On Washington University’s Danforth Campus, near the intersection of Skinker and Forsyth boulevards.
Information: Kemper website