A Vashon High School student self-portrait
A Vashon High School student self-portrait

Accessibility to the self

Bharat Ajari has the kind of experiences you like to find in an art instructor: varied and intriguing. He has a Doctor of Ministry and Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University. He is a poet and teaches…

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Sumner High School
Sumner High School

Sumner High School revives in an arts spotlight

On Tuesday night, March 9, 2021, St. Louis’s Board of Education voted unanimously to keep one of the most historic and culturally relevant institutions in the region open, Sumner High School. Sumner, along with eleven other schools, was facing elimination due to an overall collapse in enrollment in…

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In Memory of Sequoia Whitfield

Sequoia Whitfield. Courtesy The National Gun Violence Memorial.

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is deeply saddened by the death of Sequoia Whitfield, who was killed in a shooting on August 12, 2020. Sequoia, 19, was a student at Vashon High School and participated in the school’s art…

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<em>Amy Sherald</em>, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 11–August 19, 2018. Photo: Dusty Kessler.
Amy Sherald, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 11–August 19, 2018. Photo: Dusty Kessler.

Art at Home: Remix Portrait

Amy Sherald is an American artist known for her photograph-based portraits. While she is perhaps most known for her painting of former first lady Michelle Obama, Sherald has been creating portraits of individuals from the African American community for decades. Sherald’s body of work is unique in that…

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Kahlil Robert Irving submitted this image to represent his current situation.
Kahlil Robert Irving submitted this image to represent his current situation.

Artist Notes from a Pandemic: Kahlil Robert Irving

The following interview took place prior to the protests over the killing of George Floyd.

What is different now? Are not the racial divisions within our society just more deeply outlined than before? How are attitudes toward stay-at-home mandates based on privilege? Isn’t the expectation of…

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Mickalene Thomas: Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 8 – December 31, 2017. Photo: Dusty Kessler.
Mickalene Thomas: Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 8 – December 31, 2017. Photo: Dusty Kessler.

Art at Home: Collaging the Self

Growing up, Mickalene Thomas was conscious of the lack of depictions of black people in art history and even in the media of her time. As a result, she drew particular inspiration from black celebrities such as singer/actress Eartha Kitt and black characters such as Whoopi Goldberg’s Celie in…

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Bethany Collins. Courtesy the artist.
Bethany Collins. Courtesy the artist.

Artist Notes from a Pandemic: Bethany Collins

Bethany Collins moved from one part of Chicago to another in March. “Moving day during a pandemic is definitely worse,” she tells me. But her new neighborhood offers a more walkable part of the city and a daily walk has become part of the quarantine regimen. Collins and I laugh…

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