Experiencing the Work of Current Artists

Each year, Upper School Fine Arts Teacher Denise Douglas shepherds her Photo 3 & 4 and AP 2D Design students through a tour of prominent local galleries. Douglas explains, “The purpose of the trip is to experience the art of current working artists, understand how galleries operate, see the relationship between artists and galleries, and generally feel comfortable visiting galleries without the pressure to purchase artwork.”

They chose four galleries within walking distance in the Central West End of St. Louis: Projects + Gallery, Philip Slein Gallery, Charles Houska Gallery, and Duane Reed Gallery. At Duane Reed Gallery, students enjoyed the contemporary art and appreciated the opportunity to speak with Mr. Reed. He talked to students about the gallerist’s job–how they support artists, act as a liaison between the artist and collector, and the gallery’s inner workings required to be successful in that regard and make a profit. In addition, the students asked questions about pricing artwork and what’s involved in a contract between a gallerist and an artist.

After a delicious lunch at Mission Taco, students shared what they enjoyed most about the experience:

“I most enjoyed seeing the different ways the artists express themselves through their work. It was also very interesting to hear about the backstory behind their artistry and even the pricing. I am most inspired by the confidence these artists have, and the gallery walk has taught me to always realize the value and worth of my own art!” – Raygan McDile ’22

Thank you to these four galleries for opening their doors to our emerging artists!