Get Involved: St. Louis City Open Studio and Gallery

By Sheniqua Faulkner
In Culture, Feature

Through classes, camps, workshops and open studio hours, SCOSaG provides artistic education for children and adults.

Since opening its doors in 2002, the St. Louis City Open Studio and Gallery has provided a unique opportunity for St. Louisans to receive hands-on artistic education through classes, camps, drop-in open studio hours, workshops and community events. Although its focus is to nurture the creativity of children, SCOSaG’s offerings have expanded to offer adult programming.

A student attending one of SCOSaG’s classes or coming for open studio hours doesn’t have to be an artist to feel creative at SCOSaG; Rachel McCalla, Board President, says the organization is for anyone who wants to explore their artistic side. "We’re known to be protective of creativity here," she says. "We embrace individuality and our students develop many new character traits and self-esteem." McCalla, a local business owner, began with the organization as an events volunteer. Her educational background in graphic design and nonprofit development was an ideal fit with the organization’s mission.

Accessible Artistry
"I believe children should have access to arts as much as they have access to math and sciences," says Programming Director Lori Allen, who also points out that SCOSaG’s reasonably priced programs allow more children to get involved. Allen, who has an art history background and mentored children as a docent in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, listens to the needs and desires of the students to create fresh, useful programming. Standout programs include the School Daze Program, which provides activities for children during school-year holidays when their parents have to work, and the new Anime Illustration workshop, which attracts students from as far as O’Fallon. SCOSaG also creates programming catered to teens.

Get Involved
You don’t have to have an art background to help out with SCOSaG; volunteers are needed during the organization’s many events including trivia nights, Wall Ball and their many fall festivals. Other volunteers help out in the SCOSaG office or have fun creating artwork with children. There are also opportunities to serve on SCOSaG’s advisory board, which meets monthly. Current internship opportunities include event planning, creative marketing and art education/administration.

For more info on how you can get involved with SCOSaG, log on to www.scosag.org.

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Photos courtesy of SCOSaG

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