CAM's Art:314 Benefit Was a Friday Night Hit

By Krystin Arneson
In Culture

The Contemporary Art Museum hosted an art benefit Friday night—although, to be honest, the better phrasing would be “threw an arty bash that had some works for auction.” “Art:314 Silent (Auction)/Loud (Party)”was far from a stodgy evening. Instead, the crowd of (mostly young, all stylish) partygoers were in for a treat of a Friday night.

The music was perfect for the event—DJ Needles spun a great blend of soul, hip-hop and funk, and attendees began taking to the dance floor after the second auction closed around 10pm. For the open bar, Urban Chestnut supplied the partygoers with great brews and Square One brought bubbly and some inspired cocktails from their house-distilled Spirits of the St. Louis line.

And the art itself—the sales of which benefitted CAM’s Open Studios STL program, which opens artists’ studio spaces up to St. Louisans for a weekend, and the Front Room exhibition series—was a wonderful mixture of contemporary styles from St. Louis artists, ranging from a minimalist, metallic panel perfect for a residential gallery wall to a photo of what appeared to be a dead bird. To each their own—and the bids on the clipboards were filling up quickly, with works starting at $200. Participating artists received 50 percent of the proceeds.

If the Project Wall space, where the dance floor, art auction and some of the bar setups were located, was too crowded, attendees could get a breath of fresh air roaming the museum’s Mark Flood and Mel Chin exhibits, with volunteers on-hand and as helpful as ever—though they were never far from great art with Carla Klein’s gorgeous non-place landscapes hanging on the 60-foot Project Wall that served as the backdrop to the dance floor and gathering area.

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