Dail Chambers | St. Louis Public Radio

Dail Chambers

Sarah Paulsen's "Capitalism, Patriotism, Democracy!" is one piece included in "Art Is Labor."  [12/12/19]
Bread & Roses Missouri

Artists are laborers, too.

That’s one of the themes behind “Art is Labor,” a gallery show that combines visual art with labor activism. It can be seen through Jan. 17 at Arcade Contemporary Art Projects Gallery at Webster University’s Gateway Campus in downtown St. Louis. 

Curator Dail Chambers combined recent work by St. Louis-based artists with historic photographs and other memorabilia related to the labor and civil rights movements, plus a few pieces by artists who are known for their social-realist work, including Ben Shahn and Thomas Hart Benton.

Artist and wellness advocate Dail Chambers and daughter. [8/8/19]
Jeremy D. Goodwin | St. Louis Public Radio

Five years ago, Kevin and Danielle McCoy were making art that wasn’t particularly political.

“We made a lot of safe work,” Kevin McCoy said, “but it didn’t have a lot of meaning. It didn’t get to the crux of the issues.”

Then white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed, 18-year-old black man. Brown's death sparked weeks of protests in Ferguson, unrest that reverberated in the local arts community. Black artists formed new alliances and reached new platforms, but also bumped up against enduring divides over race in this community.

Michael Brown's stepmom, Cal Brown, and local artist Dail Chambers, glued old St. Louis American Newspapers onto the chest of Micahel Brown Brown Sr. to build a paper mache cast of his chest to create a life-sized replica of his son.
Rebecca Rivas | St. Louis American

Michael Brown Sr. is unapologetically quiet and introverted.

“I’m not trying to be mean towards anyone, but sometimes I don’t have anything to say,” he said.

His son, “Mike Mike,” was much the same way, he said, and it also made him a “believable” prankster. One day, Michael got a call from his son, telling his father that he had a baby on the way.

“I said, ‘What?!’ and he hung up the phone,” Michael said. “I’m calling him back and he ain’t answering.”

Yeyo Arts Collective uses its space for art classes and performance events as seen in this 2012 photo at its former space at 2700 Locust Ave.
Dail Chambers

For eight years, Yeyo Arts Collective has struggled to stay afloat. Now the organization is raising money to buy a building to sustain itself, and better serve its clients.

Since it opened, Yeyo has rented spaces in the midtown area and south St. Louis. Early next year, the nonprofit plans to purchase and renovate a house in The Greater Ville neighborhood in north St. Louis to use as its base. Eliminating rent payments will help Yeyo work with people who can’t afford to pay for classes, according to founder Dail Chambers.

Dail Chambers, Jenna Budreau and Marissa Southards discussed how body image is influenced by social media on Thursday’s “St. Louis on the Air.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

As social media becomes increasingly pervasive in our society, so does the notion that our bodies are not what they should be. While such platforms are only one factor that influences body image, a study by Common Sense Media found that more than one in four teens on social media stress about how they look when they post a picture online. 

Solomon and Pat Thurman
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 24, 2013: When Pat Thurman closed the door on her career as executive vice president with MasterCard, she and her artist husband opened the door on another: art gallery ownership. Much more than a business, 10th Street Art Gallery, 419 N. 10th St., was also a calling in its focus on the work of African-America artists including co-owner Solomon Thurman.

But during the two years since, dreams and purpose have often been bogged down by day-to-day struggles that have more to do with money than art.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 6, 2011 - Those who know Dail Chambers understand that untangling the artist from the community activist would be like separating salt from seawater.

Like a superhero with a paintbrush and a sculptor's hands, Chambers, 28, strives to empower women, fight sexism and end racism. And unlike Superman, Chambers appears to have no power-draining kryptonite, the caped crusader's Achilles heel.