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About The Blog

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis have joined together to create the Contemporary-Pulitzer blog which, for the first time, combines the perspectives of two separate institutions with differing missions within the same blog.

Offering alternating posts each day from the Pulitzer and Contemporary, the blog provides a candid look at the behind-the-scenes workings of both arts organizations.

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Latest Posts from the Pulitzer

GOOD Ideas for Cities / Challenges 3 and 4

Check out the next two challenges:

3. Have an animated conversation with a young transplant or multi-generational loyalist and you will understand the passion people here have for St. Louis. But, too often, the message falls back on empty boosterism. Whatever the cause, we must understand it, admit it and fix it. How do we deepen the pool of diverse people who love St. Louis and are personally invested in its progress?

Jeff RainfordOffice of the Mayor Francis Slay and Hank Webber,Washington University

Brain Drain: Matt Strom, Tara Pham, Logan Alexander, Noah MacMillan, Zoë Scharf, Amanda Yates, Andrew Warshauer, Kuan Butts, Danielle Wallis, Christine Stavridis, Bennett Gale

4. Located in the heartland, St. Louis has unique resources that could allow it to become a leader in urban agriculture. Yet most of the food consumed in the region is produced hundreds or thousands of miles away, and many urban areas of St. Louis have limited access to fresh food. How can St. Louis use our resources and stakeholders to increase accessibility of healthy, locally grown food?

Craig HellerFood WorksFrank FinneganSt. Louis Area Foodbank; Mike SorthGateway GreeningEric SchneiderRCGA

STL Provocateur: Rhonda Smythe, Jeanette Reynolds, Stephanie Co, Nat Zorach, Andrew Flachs, Anne McCullough

GOOD Ideas for Cities
Thursday, March 8

Doors: 6:00 p.m.
Program: 7:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public, no RSVP required. Invite your friends to the Facebook event. Cash bar. Pi On The Spot will be selling personal pizzas outside of CAM.

GOOD Ideas for Cities is hosted by GOOD, CEOs for Cities, HOK, and the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, and supported by ArtPlace. Special thanks to our partners: AIGA St. Louis; ALIVE Magazine; Amber Murphy, nextSTL; Nine Network; St. Louis Regional Arts Commission; UrbanReviewSTL.

GOOD Ideas for Cities / Challenges 1 and 2


This Thursday, March 8 we will be hosting GOOD Ideas for Cities, an event that taps creative problem-solvers to tackle real urban challenges and present their solutions. Last year, we issued a call for creatives in St. Louis, and chose seven teams to represent the city. Each team was issued a challenge proposed by local urban leaders. At the event, the creative teams will present their solutions to their assigned challenge, and the urban leaders will join them onstage for a brief Q&A.  Afterwards, join us for drinks and more conversation as we discuss how to make these ideas a reality for St. Louis.

For the next few days we will be introducing you to a couple challenges a day so you can get acquainted with what will be presented this Thursday.

Check out the first two challenges:

1. We have a world-class light rail system in St. Louis. However, we have not seen a major effort to leverage the system as a catalyst for building more livable communities in the St. Louis region How might we increase ridership on St. Louis’ light rail to help demonstrate to the city the important opportunities around transit?

Kim Cella, Citizens for Modern Transit and Rhonda K. Hamm-Niebruegge, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport

STL Alley Lovers: Christopher Galli, Andy Heaslet, Derek Hoeferlin, Monika Jankowiak, Jenny Murphy, Jonathan Stitelman

2. Historically, St. Louis neighborhoods have been racially and economically segregated. The effects of these historic policies, and some current policies, allow the City of St. Louis to remain segregated in these ways: Throughout the city there are streets and public spaces that serve as dividing lines. How can we design the borders between our communities to act as bridges between our neighborhoods?

Vince Schoemehl, Grand Center and Jennifer Allen, Trailnet

Arch City Revival: Katy Mike Smaistrla, Emily Hemeyer, Joyce Gorrell, Amy Lampe, Sarah Paulsen, David Burnett, Michael Allen, Kara Clark Holland

GOOD Ideas for Cities
Thursday, March 8
6:00 p.m.
Program: 7:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public, no RSVP required.  Invite your friends to the Facebook event.  Cash bar.  Pi On The Spot will be selling personal pizzas outside of CAM.

GOOD Ideas for Cities is hosted by GOOD, CEOs for CitiesHOK, and the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, and supported by ArtPlace.  Special thanks to our partners: AIGA St. LouisALIVE Magazine; Amber Murphy, nextSTLNine NetworkSt. Louis Regional Arts CommissionUrbanReviewSTL.

Wet Paint


It is summer time for the Contemporary. Which means we get to start on projects that we normally can’t because it is too disruptive for our visitors or simply we don’t have the time or the person power to do so. A great example of a summer project is painting.  We normally repaint our interior walls for each and every exhibition but the outside areas, we do once a year.  So please excuse the drop cloths and “wet paint” signs when you arrive at the museum. And oh, don’t lean on anything that looks shiny.

Intern in the dark – Something to think about

Being In the Dark / Tessa Rehkop

As an intern and new visitor of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis I’ve been able to observe, as an outsider, the installation and opening of the current exhibition, For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there. The theme of this major group show has much relevance for me because I was “in the dark” when it came to the fast paced art world and the process of installing and preparing for an Opening Night. For the blind man… celebrates the experience of not-knowing and unlearning in a time of uncertainty in the world.  Especially in times like these, everyone seems to be at least somewhat  in the dark.

Summertime Suggestions

From Jenny, a new intern at the museum!

Summer is quickly approaching, and as St. Louis is trying on the hot, humid coat it discarded last September, the Summer arts season is gearing up. While the Contemporary’s exhibitions last three months, some of St. Louis’ other art options are as brief as the transitions between seasons.

Should you find yourself in St. Louis this weekend with time on your hands, I suggest you rethink a lazy day by the pool in favor of a trip through some of St. Louis’ cultural offerings. This Saturday is a free day at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and we have two exciting installations that may lead you to rethink, not just your afternoon, but also the way you view art.

Chantal Akerman’s exhibition, Moving Through Time and Space, is comprised of several videos. Her piece, D’est: Au bord de la fiction (From the East: Bordering on Fiction), projects scenes from a documentary on life in the post-Soviet Eastern Europe on dozens of television monitors, forcing travelers in train stations to rub shoulders with tired women in yellowing kitchens and surrounding the viewer with lives and a time that is not their own. It is not exactly a documentary; it is not exactly a single piece of art, and it is exactly not conventional art.

Upstairs, Carey Young’s exhibition, Speech Acts, takes a completely new approach to performance art. Using the model of a call center, visitors speak to live telephone operators, conducting conversations on anything from the global economics to the operator herself. It is an exhibition that may challenge your view of yourself, communication, and certainly of how art can manifest itself. If nothing else, it will make you think twice before hanging up on telemarketers (or not).

After your afternoon in the Contemporary, I encourage you to venture out into the cool summer evening to Forest Park for this year’s Shakespeare festival, although it may not be the return to tradition you expect. This year’s showing of The Merry Wives of Winsdor is set in the 1920′s and will make you wonder if “forsooth” is a type of gangster slang you’ve never heard of. You’ll have to go soon – the festival ends June 14th.

If a day in the museum and at the park doesn’t change your perception of art and performance, go ahead and spend Sunday by the pool.

It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq

 It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq

On Tuesday, March 31, an exhibition touring the country by RV will stop in the STL. Jeremy Deller, the artist behind It Is What It Is Conversations About Iraq, Esam Pasha, and Jonathan Harvey will all be stationed with their RV and a “bombed out car” outside in the Delmar Loop in between Leland Ave and Melville Ave.Pasha and Harvey both have ties with Iraq as Pasha is an Iraq refugee, a translator for America and British forces in Iraq, the grandson of an Iraqi prime minister assassinated in 1958, and an artist and Harvey is a Iraq War veteran who served in Iraq from 2007 to January 2009 and will converse with the public throughout the day.

The bombed car (in which the RV pulls along with it everywhere it goes), was destroyed in an explosion in Baghdad. It is not supposed to be considered a sculpture, but as a visual aid and talking point. The street that this car was bombed on in Baghdad was once a thriving cultural center and Baghdad and is now devastated.

This project is traveling to 13 cities total. There is much more information on the website including a list of all the cities and locations it will be.

There is also a blog post and a little bit of discussion on a new St. Louis collaborative blog, St. Louis Art Map



The Contemporary is one of the first museums in the area to offer green, paperless memberships. This initiative is great for museum, as it will help us be more green by reducing the amount of paper, envelopes and ink we have to use, and will also save us time and money; great for members, as it will help them in efforts to reduce their carbon footprint; and, of course, great for the environment. We will send out one initial mailing to people who sign up for a green membership which will include their membership card and details on the program. Every other bit of information they receive will be via email. A fun incentive for people to sign up for the green membership or switch over from a regular to a green membership, is that they receive a reusable tote bag (a nice one if I do say so myself). I am hopeful that this trend will catch on here, and at other institutions.

Free Family Day

An email I received in response to an evite sent on Thursday with information about Free Family Day:

“Maria, with all this countries job losses and high prices, it feels great to know that St. Louis still has some excellent free family events” – Brenda G. Ringo – St. Louis, Mo

What a fantastic note to send. We are obviously happy to know that programs such as Free Family Day are appreciated and want as many families as possible to be able to take part of these types of activities.

I brought four kids to the museum on Saturday and they had a great time building hats, taking fun pictures, walking through the work and just being around tons of other kids. It was amazing to see the amount of people here on Saturday (and the disaster created with construction paper, streamers, glue sticks, balloons, pretzels, and more), and then come in this morning and see the museum perfectly clean as if nothing ever happened!

Contemporary Art 101: Appropriation

Contemporary Art 101 is a program the Contemporary offers to the public…think a onetime, two hour class on contemporary art. I think the program is a perfect opportunity for people to get their little dose of knowledge and exposure to a topic they most likely don’t get a chance to spend much time on.

Tonight’s Contemporary Art 101 topic is appropriation, which relates to a current exhibiting artist at the Contemporary, Lutz Bacher, who, in her installation here, uses slightly manipulated old photographs and advertisements as a major part of her work. So tonight, Chief Curator Anthony Huberman will lead a conversation about art and appropriation, mass-media images, plagiarism, and the idea of originality and authorship.

There is much conversation and even debate over the topic of appropriation. Here is a link to a blog posting on about appropriation and the internet. Read through it and see what you think…there are also thoughts of readers in the comment section. What are your thoughts on this subject?

Modern Art Notes

Last week Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes wrote a blog post on artist Lutz Bacher and quoted Chief Curator, Anthony Huberman as part of his “The Flag in Contemporary Art” series. The post explains how Lutz Bacher’s piece Club Bud, at the Contemporary relates to America. There is also a link to a YouTube video showing the live action footage of her piece Be Kind to the Horses. Read the post here.

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St. Louis, MO 63108
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