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Luminary's 'Counterpublic' Exhibit Animates Cherokee Street, Caters To Various Communities

Local artists José Garza (left) and Miriam Ruiz (right) present their collaborative project, collectively titled Ojalá, in El Chico Bakery on Cherokee Street.
Photo courtesy of José Garza
Local artists José Garza (left) and Miriam Ruiz (right) present their collaborative project, collectively titled Ojalá, in El Chico Bakery on Cherokee Street. ";

The Luminary Arts Center is in the midst of its ongoing show “Counterpublic,” a triennial exhibition scaled to a neighborhood “set to animate the everyday spaces of Cherokee Street” with expansive artist commissions, performances, processions and more through July 13.

While the exhibit itself is only around for a few months, participants including local artists José Guadalupe Garza and Miriam Ruiz have created a series of “art interventions” in El Chico Bakery, a family owned and operated Mexican bakery in south St. Louis.

For “Counterpublic,” Garza and Ruiz added a small Spanish- and English-language library in El Chico to help remedy what they describe as a “lack of access to Latinx literature for the rapidly growing Latinx populations in St. Louis.” Patrons can donate to help expand the literary collection and contribute to the growing mobile project.  

(May 16, 2019) (L-R) Katherine Simóne Reynolds, José Guadalupe Garza and Miriam Ruiz talked about the Luminary Arts Center's "Counterpublic" exhibit on Wednesday's "St. Louis on the Air."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, the duo joined guest host Ruth Ezell of the Nine Network to talk about their project, collectively titled Ojalá, and their work in catering to the local Latinx community.  

The Luminary’s Katherine Simóne Reynolds, one of the curators for the “Counterpublic” exhibition, also took part in the conversation to expand on the project’s impact in the south-city neighborhood and what patrons can expect.

Listen to the full discussion:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The engineer is Aaron Doerr and the call screener is Charlie McDonald.

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Lara is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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