Highlighted Member: Chris LeBeau

Highlighted Member: Chris LeBeau

Why would you encourage others to become members of CAM?
We are lucky to live in a town that provides free access to a number of institutions: the zoo, the history museum, the science center, and now… CAM! I think the most important question one has to ask when supporting a cause or institution is: “What do I believe in?” Supporting CAM is important because I believe that exposing myself to the unknown, strange, and off-the-wall is invaluable. Inside and out of the art world, I seek to enrich myself through experiences, thought, and conversation. As we gain perspective and insight on culture, I believe we are better equipped to support our society and our community. That’s why I support CAM.

Why is CAM important to you?
My freshman year I took an art history class. I still remember the professor showing us Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain and Joseph Kosuth’s One and Three Chairs. Both helped me recognize that art is not just a painting, sculpture, or a photograph. Art makes us ask questions and tells us stories. With contemporary exhibitions as its charter and a constant stream of compelling events in the space, CAM allows me to continue pondering, “What is art and its impact on our thinking and culture?” It’s also a great benefit that so many fascinating people attend CAM’s exhibitions and events. Compelling conversations with interesting people make the museum a place I enjoy going and recommend to others. Time is my most valuable commodity and to that, I never leave CAM saying, “Well, there was another vanilla experience.” It’s always surprising and delightful.

Why is CAM important to St. Louis?
Art is inspirational. Art is confrontational. Art is influenced by and reflects the era in which it was created. Artists and their work have throughout history been some of the first individuals to stand up and challenge the status quo, whether that be through a new medium, style, or statement. Being more of an outsider looking in at the art world, I was reminded recently that great names like Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, and Pollack were confrontational when they were working but have had major influences on global culture. It’s important to discuss contemporary art for this very reason. I want St. Louisans to be a part of such conversations. CAM provides a forum to discuss emerging artists that are on their way to becoming the revered artists of our time. If we want to be a part of the global community, it’s important to discuss the current state of art and culture. CAM provides us that opportunity.

What excites you most about CAM’s future?

Words like “design,” “curate,” and “art” are increasingly a part of conversations due to impactful trends like technology. With growing demand for curated news feeds, artisan-created products, and well-designed experiences, CAM is well positioned to be a part of this cultural shift and help drive and lead conversations in our emerging design-centric culture.