CAM’s ArtReach programs engage the community, both inside and outside the Museum’s walls. Using its exhibitions as the basis for curriculum, CAM partners with schools, including all St. Louis public middle and high schools, to provide off-site visits, museum tours, and workshops with artists. Through CAM’s ArtBus, a mobile art studio, the Museum brings hands-on art experiences directly into neighborhoods throughout St. Louis, visiting schools, community centers, festivals, street fairs, and partner organizations. ArtReach: Entwined showcases artwork made over the course of the past year in workshops with some thirty art classes and eight community groups.
Inspired by Ulla von Brandenburg: Wagon Wheel (January 16–April 11, 2015), ArtReach participants used quilting techniques to express personal and historical narratives. Using von Brandenburg’s practice of embedding visual codes into her work, they created their own quilt squares to reflect stories, influences, and secrets from their lives. For this exhibition, a selection of these squares are joined together to form a quilt, stitching individual stories and experiences from all over St. Louis into a larger, collective narrative about our community.
Also on view is a selection of collages prompted by Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop (September 11–December 27, 2015). Using the metaphorical and literal barriers in Anderson’s paintings as a point of departure, participants explored themes of memory, place, and identity. They layered hand-drawn patterns, grids, and text on top of collages of exterior landscapes and interior scenes. These imaginative and complex compositions express personal identities and collective desires through both figurative and abstract representation.
ArtReach: Entwined is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by De Andrea Nichols, Community Engagement Manager.