Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Luminary Center for the Arts Lights Up Cherokee Street

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Luminary Center for the Arts Lights Up Cherokee Street

Article excerpt

In spirit, the Luminary Center for the Arts has always been part of the burgeoning Cherokee Street art scene. Now, it's there in reality.

After years of planning, the art gallery and music venue founded and co-directed by Brea and James McAnally has moved from its old digs near Arsenal Street and South Kings-highway to a space that has accommodated, among other things, a Walgreens drugstore. The new location at 2701 Cherokee Street signals a new beginning, said James McAnally.

"It's the home of so many distinct communities, where artists and musicians live," he said. "Cherokee is a neighborhood where people are willing to experiment and try new things, and that's exciting for us.

"This new space really represents what the organization is, and how we function," McAnally said. "It's a very vibrant space, with event programming that's focused around concerts and exhibitions. But there's also a day-to-day life of the organization, where artists are here making work."

On Friday, the Luminary will open "Speculative Spaces: Working Theses," the first in a series of group exhibitions called "Sporadic Democracy." Focusing on the dynamics of public space, the exhibition features work by artists and artist collectives including James Bridle, ifau (institute for applied urbanism) & Jesko Fezer, High Desert Test Sites, Jason Lazarus, M12, Metahaven, Nikolaj Recke and Jesse Vogler.

"Everyone was into the concept," McAnally said. "And it will be the first real showcase of our gallery programming in this new space."

Vogler described "An Agreement on Exclusions," his contribution to "Speculative Spaces," as a result of his efforts to understand "the spaces, materials and economies of this new American oil boom." The floor piece consists of a zinc-plated steel culvert and about a ton of industrial-grade silica sand which is used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking and was inspired by time Vogler spent on a fracking site in southeastern New Mexico.

"It brought together so many layers of thinking," he said. "From ideas of property rights ... to the deep social fragmentation that I witnessed in the communities adjacent to the fracking region."

Thematically, "Speculative Spaces" is an appropriate starting- off point for the year-long "Sporadic Democracy" series, which McAnally said "is about the ways in which communities form."

Also opening at the Luminary is "Non-participation," a solo exhibition by Lauren van Haaften-Schick, which is described as "a collection of letters by artists and other cultural producers written to decline their participation in events or exhibitions for political or ethical reasons."

Van Haaften-Schick said that the Luminary struck her as "an ideal venue for the project, given their great investment in alternative models for arts spaces, with the goal of seeking autonomy."

"Speculative Spaces" and "Non-participation" both run through Aug. …

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