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 August 2 reception of ASL's curated _Summer Exhibition_ exhibit view through October 26,

Our Story

A deep history supporting
Saint Louis artists.

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In 1977, ASL began as a small group of regional artists advocating for community, visibility and exhibition. ​Today we center our community and programming on exhibition, education, and exchange to connect and inspire, multiplying the economic and cultural vitality of our region.

Timeline: Learn how ASL has  supported Saint Louis' artists and curators over the last 40+ years

Works by Eric Wieringa and Liz Moore. As the original curator of Angad Arts Hotel, ASL's curated Summer Exhibition, 2019.

  • 1977: Art Saint Louis (ASL) 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 St. Louis, The Exhibition, showcased the work of some of the area’s top visual artists, beginning as a selection of the “top 100 contemporary works of art from Saint Louis artists that year”.

  • In 1986, with a name change to the St. Louis Artists Coalition, the group incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, with the purpose of creating a supportive climate for the visual arts in St. Louis through the development of networks between artists, galleries, corporations, and the citizens of Missouri. These goals were orchestrated through the organization’s quarterly publication, programs such as:
    - Art and Business Partnership
    - The Cutting Edge artist slide lecture series
    Art in Perspective cable television program
    - and the annual Art St. Louis, The Exhibition


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

  • 1993-94 ASL collaborated with other visual art enthusiasts and leaders in creating the nationally recognized Saint Louis Art Fair, and specifically brought sought-after artists to join the fair via invitation as well as directing the live artists’ demonstration portion of the Fair, leading in these areas until 2011.

  • 1995 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 Saint Louis) and invites the instructors to select up to two students to represent their school in this always exciting and telling exhibit.

  • 1996 Co-presenting with the St. Louis International Institute, ASL presented Voice, East Asian American Artists at the Rossman School in Creve Coeur, featuring works from local artists, again presenting the exhibit featuring new works and artists in 2003.

  • 1998 Art Saint Louis presents St. Louis Art & Soul Studio Tours and St. Louis Artist Studio Open House Tours! For a couple of decades, the largest concentration of artists’ studios in the area were downtown and specifically in what became known as the Washington Loft District. 
    Some years in May and some years in October, artists, architects and designers in incredible, mostly unpolished downtown architectural gems such as International Arts Complex, Leather Trades Building, Sister Studios, Fashion Square, AD Brown, 1709 Washington, and more welcomed the public into their work and creative environments for immersive creative experiences that were enriching and connective on community, awareness, education, and collecting angles. These events also featured special exhibitions with partner spaces and organizations such as Quilt National in the City Museum with women’s Support * Community Services, Postcard from Home & Mailbox Art, One Night Stand emerging artists exhibit by Critical Mass, and Sculpture Garden at the Campbell House.


  • These events continued until 2004-05 when Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis carried the torch, expanding and enriching St. Louis Open Artist Studios through 2019.

  • 2008: ASL moves into 555 Washington Avenue

  • 2013 ASL, in collaboration with artist and coffee roaster, Chris Ruess and his Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters, moved in together in 2700 square feet at 1223 Pine Street in downtown’s beautiful Park Pacific Building, intentionally blurring the lines as both a cultural and social destination. Chris Ruess, understanding the organic connection between coffee and art explained, “Savoring a cup of coffee is not unlike enjoying a work of art. You have to slow down and live with it a little.”

  • 2016, ASL bought out and overhauled Mississippi Mud Coffee’s part of the space at Park Pacific. Upgrading, re-branding and folding it into our nonprofit work in an effort to broaden the audience for local art, generate renewable income and ensure our sustainability as a nonprofit organization we took our 2013 art/coffee hybrid concept to a new level, as ASL’s Catalyst Coffee Bar!
    This project was the culmination of prodigious hours of planning and labor to make the creative work of our region’s artists part of everyday life for more people in our community. At the same time this project is representative of our nonprofit organization’s passionate commitment to wise stewardship through responsible, mission-driven entrepreneurship. In short, the vision for Catalyst Coffee Bar is equal parts impact and sustainability.


  • 2017, in collaboration with our contracted partner Jessica Mannisi, ASL directed, curated and produced the inaugural permanent fine art installations and exhibitions, the fine art in the guest rooms and permanent exhibit spaces at Angad Arts Hotel in Grand Center, as well as curating and producing the rotating exhibitions at Angad until 2021, when the hotel took the curation and art program management in-house, adding a permanent position to their staff for exhibitions.

  • Over the years, ASL added a full schedule of year round in-gallery annual exhibitions and themed 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: ​
      - Saint Louis artists’ studio tours
      - Saint Louis Gallery Guide
      - Arts in Transit
      - Artist residency programs in area high schools and middle schools
      - Art exhibitions and consulting in hospitals, offices and other spaces such as Fleishmann Hillard, Kitchen K, Des Peres Hospital Art Program, RCGA, World Trade Center St. Louis
    - Facilitation of neighborhood and district-based artist critique groups
    - Pavement art and murals for a variety of venues and events
    - Portfolio Reviews
    - Pop-up galleries in vacant storefront spaces
    - Creation of the ArtLoupe mobile app, a national discovery, promotion and sales tool for contemporary visual art

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