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Our Story

The History of Art Saint Louis

  • 1977: Art Saint Louis was originally founded as the Arts Coordinating Council for the Area by artists concerned with the state of the visual arts and the lack of exhibition and professional opportunities for local artists in Saint Louis.

  • In 1985, the exhibition that became our namesake, Art Saint Louis: The Exhibitionshowcased the work of some of the area’s top visual artists, beginning as a selection of the “top 100 contemporary works of art from St. Louis artists that year”.

  • In 1986, with a name change to the St. Louis Arts Coalition, the group incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

  • In 1991 the organization changed its name again to Art Saint Louis (ASL) to more accurately reflect the mission and programming of the group. Initial operations began in a donated space with a small staff with the commitment of continuing with one major exhibition “Art Saint Louis, The Exhibition”, plus several smaller juried exhibits.

  • 1996 Varsity Art became a part of ASL’s annual programming! Since this inaugural exhibition, each year Art Saint Louis works with professors and faculty from area colleges and universities (within a 200 mile radius of downtown St. Louis) and invites the instructors to select up to two students to represent their school in this always exciting and telling exhibit.


Over the years, Art Saint Louis added a full schedule of annual exhibitions as well as outreach programming to enrich the community through the work of our region’s visual artists and provided artists with professional engagement opportunities. Outreach programming has included:  

  • artist residency programs in area high schools and middle schools

  • art exhibitions in hospitals, offices and other spaces

  • pavement art and murals for a variety of venues and events

  • pop-up galleries in vacant storefront spaces

  • serving as fine art curators, producing permanent installations and exhibitions in the rooms and permanent exhibit spaces at Angad Art Hotel in Grand Center

  • rotating exhibitions at Angad Arts Hotel in Grand Center (until 2021, when Angad took the curation in-house, adding a permanent position to their staff for exhibitions

  • creation of the ArtLoupe mobile app, a national discovery, promotion and sales tool for contemporary visual art

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