Photo Students Navigate the St. Louis Art Scene

Each year, Upper School Arts Teacher Denise Douglas leads her Photo 3 students on a journey through a few local art galleries to understand what it’s like to work as an artist. “The class is designed around students learning to work like an artist so they fully understand and appreciate the work it takes to be an artist in the contemporary world. We have a fun afternoon of visiting major for-profit galleries to look at work made by current working artists so they can see what is trending and the various ways artists use creative expression,” she shared.

This year’s itinerary focused on three galleries nestled in the heart of Central West End: Philip Slein Gallery, Charles Houska Gallery, and Duane Reed Gallery. Students browsed and studied the art on display and had the opportunity to connect with the gallery owners and managers, gaining insights into the role of the gallerist. Douglas added, “This excursion aims to immerse students in the realm of contemporary art, acquaint them with the operations of galleries, foster an understanding of the symbiotic relationship between artists and galleries, and cultivate confidence in navigating gallery spaces without the expectation of making purchases.”

Each gallery representative generously shared details about the role of a gallerist—how they support artists, the function between artist and collector, and even the intricacies of pricing and the dynamics of contracts for artwork, gallerists, and artists.

Thank you to the three galleries for graciously welcoming our budding artists into their hubs of creativity!