Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Art in public places

St. Louis is a remarkable place for art-lovers like me. So, having returned to St. Louis after a career detour took me out of town for a year, I was happy to join Laumeier Sculpture Part as a Docent in training. A Docent is a volunteer teacher-guide who helps visitors appreciate the art on display and the experience the park has to offer. Training for the position requires attendance in eight weekly sessions. I’m already halfway through it and my appreciation for this St. Louis treasure is magnified a thousand times.

Laumeier Sculpture park sits on 105 acres and is home to more than 75 works of monumental contemporary works of sculpture. Some pieces are part of the permanent collection while others are on loan. Your appreciation of this art is always going to be subjective and related to your own life experiences. That’s the way art is. But when you learn a few things about an artist and maybe a little about the motivation behind the work your perspective changes and evolves.

I am not an art snob. Art is best when it has a broad appeal. You do not need to be an art historian of professor of art to fall in love with a work of art in such a setting. The works at Laumeier are framed by nature and in an historical context that is really exciting.   

Laumeier Sculpture Park is a public/private partnership and a real gem. It welcomes dog owners to bring their pets to the grounds. It’s FREE and it is fun. You can request a tour or you can just discover for yourself. You see, I haven’t even mentioned a single artist in this article. If you are in St. Louis and have a couple hours and enjoy being outdoors. Even if you aren’t sure about visiting an art collection, I think you will be surprised. It is an amazing place. I hope to see you there soon and often.

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