The Propeller Group, <em>Fusion (After a Universe of Collisions)</em>, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, January 15–April 3, 2016. Photo: David Johnson.
The Propeller Group, Fusion (After a Universe of Collisions), installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, January 15–April 3, 2016. Photo: David Johnson.

Mission + Impact

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis presents, supports, and celebrates the art of our time. Our mission is to create meaningful engagement with the most relevant and innovative art being made today. With a dynamic array of changing exhibitions, CAM provides a thought-provoking program that reflects and contributes to the global cultural landscape. Through diverse perspectives offered in our exhibitions, programs, and educational activities, CAM actively engages a range of audiences to challenge their perceptions. We are a site for discovery, a laboratory for experimentation, and a gathering place in which to experience and enjoy contemporary visual culture.

Founded by a group of civic and cultural leaders in 1980, the organization transformed from a small gallery into a major arts institution, now permanently housed in a 27,000-square-foot building designed by renowned American architect Brad Cloepfil. CAM is located in the heart of St. Louis—the Grand Center Arts District. Admission to the Museum is free. As a non-collecting institution, CAM presents more than twenty exhibitions each year featuring emerging and established artists from around the region, country, and globe. We showcase art in a full range of media—from painting, drawing, and sculpture to the conceptual, performative, and interactive—filling our museum, both inside and out, in unexpected ways. Each exhibition season offers an entirely new experience.

Inspired by the work on view, CAM delivers art education to people of all ages through more than one hundred programs per year including artist and curator talks, art-inspired dinners and parties, unique workshops for families, and a monthly neighborhood-wide art crawl. We are especially dedicated to increasing exposure to the arts for the young people of St. Louis. From in-depth studio art and career-based training programs to school outreach initiatives and a mobile art studio, CAM is proud of the ways its free programs make a difference to our region’s youth.

CAM works to enrich lives and inspire curiosity, creativity, and learning through experiences with contemporary art. We showcase work being made today for today’s audiences—art that reflects the world around us, and helps connect us to the most salient issues of our time. CAM is committed to presenting a multifaceted program created for a diverse public, offering many access points for engagement. We embrace change and celebrate experimentation. Not having a permanent collection allows us to be nimble, adaptive, and responsive—both to the global art world and our local community. CAM supports artists and nurtures creative endeavor. A leading voice among contemporary art museums worldwide, we are a launch pad for artists, many of whom go on to critical acclaim, as well as a venue for St. Louisans to experience figures of international acclaim. We are a welcome space, free for all.