All The Street's A Gallery On Cherokee, As Public Art Show Opens | St. Louis Public Radio

All The Street's A Gallery On Cherokee, As Public Art Show Opens

Apr 12, 2019

The Luminary gallery on Cherokee Street is moving beyond its walls.

Weeks after reopening their gallery space following a $500,000 rehab to the building, its leaders are launching a large exhibition of public art centered on Cherokee Street.

The three-month exhibition, called “Counterpublic,” will feature the work of 37 artists.

They’ll display work that ranges from paintings affixed to building walls with wheatpaste to immersive, sculptural installations.

Venues include a vacant lot and a muffler shop. The exhibition launches Saturday with artist talks, walking tours and a performance at Foam.

“It is intentionally occupying the everyday spaces of the neighborhood,” Luminary co-founder James McAnally said of the exhibition, “ranging from barbershops to bakeries to tea shops and panaderias and punk clubs. So it’s really whollisticaly looking at what the neighborhood’s day-to-day life is.”

Several artists will be on hand at any point during the show’s run, leading programs and giving occasional performances.

Workers install a piece by artists Jon Rubin and Joseph del Pesco above an empty storefront on Cherokee Street.
Credit The Luminary

Community-engagement elements include a free family portrait studio located amid one installation; a publication featuring articles by area youth about their views of the neighborhood; a grand procession through the streets at the close of the show and public meetings with the alderpersons Dan Guenther and Cara Spencer, who represent the neighborhood.

The Luminary expects 30,000 people to see or engage with the exhibition in some way.

“I think it’s about accessibility. So allowing people that don’t necessarily think they can come into spaces like a gallery space, [to] see themselves just happening upon artwork or an installation or a screening,” curator Katherine Simóne Reynolds said. “It’s a part of their everyday life as opposed to something that they have to prep for.”

The exhibition is meant to go deeper than other public art campaigns which merely reflect “the boosterism of the branded city,” Luminary leaders wrote in a statement.

“They’re citywide,” McAnally said of more typical shows of public art, “and they’re kind of focused on tourism or showing off your city in a certain way. And often what’s lost in that are the actual lives and needs of the people who live in those places.”

Jeremy can be found on Twitter @jeremydgoodwin.

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