When viewing St. Louisans Alison and John Ferring's fabulous contemporary art collection, I noticed that many of the works contained text. There were works by Suzanne McClelland, Kara Walker, Jenny Holzer and many other well-known artists who frequently incorporate text in their works of art.
On a recent trip to Ojai, California, I visited the Ojai Valley Museum and was pleasantly treated to an installation entitled "Luster vs. Raku" that featured an oversized chess board of sculpted equine pieces finished with Beatrice Wood's famed luster glaze. Wood was known for her shimmering pots and long, extraordinary life as both a ceramicist and theatrical character in the arts. She was also known for her connection to the famous Dada artist, Marcel Duchamp.
The arts are and have always been a driving economic force in the city, not only in our city, but virtually in cities around the world.
Marilu Knode of Laumeier Sculpture Park recently gave a talk at the University of Missouri – St. Louis in their annual "What is a City" conference presented by the Center for the Humanities. The talk was entitled, "Global Impact of the Arts on the City." She gave some incredible statistics, for example, that the first Venice Biennale in Italy was founded in 1895 specifically to create an art market for contemporary art.