A piece from the Interchange Artists Grant application
This project addresses the need to challenge the embedded narrative of life north of Delmar in order to impact the negative consequences of that narrative for people living there. It will facilitate this change by being a public platform for the insertion of the lived experiences of the Room13Delmar artists into the narrative of our city. These experiences will be shared through the artwork of the Room13Delmar artists who have been creating together for six years. The artists have expressed a desire to share their creations with their community. The mobile gallery will be a vehicle for sharing their work. This is not just about accessibility to art: the visibility of the creative life north of Delmar is an important piece of challenging the power dynamics in St. Louis. These dynamics are the result of historical exclusionary covenants and systemic inequalities that have created the hyper-segregated situation St. Louis finds itself in today. As Paulo Freire says, "Hence, the radical requirement—both for the individual who discovers himself or herself to be an oppressor and for the oppressed—that the concrete situation which begets oppression must be transformed." The studio has become a site of transformation that positively impacts the social structures in the lives of its artist members. The public nature of our mobile gallery will extend that impact by engaging the artists' own communities in exhibitions and performances in their neighborhood that celebrate both the joys and challenges of life north of Delmar.