Public Art Installation Coming to the New Gateway Arch National Park Grounds

This month, the Gateway Arch National Park hosted the grand opening of its new grounds, which now feature a host of new developments including renovations to its museum and visitor center, the Gateway Arch National Park (previously known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial) and the return of Fair St. Louis, which was relocated to Forest Park during renovations. Also coming to the new grounds is a temporary public art installation,  “Riverbend,” created by local artist Margaret Keller.

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“Riverbend” will be located in Luther Ely Smith Square, which is also a part of the new development. According to a press release by Critical Mass for the Visual Arts–the nonprofit that organized and selected Keller for the project–the installation is set to open in the fall and will be a “90-foot-long reflective, mirror-like artwork which represents the navigable portion of the Missouri River.” Those visiting the work will have the opportunity to engage with the history and impact of the Missouri River known to be the longest river in North America.

Keller was selected as the winner of Critical Mass’ “The Public Works Project,” which invites St. Louis-area artists to submit an idea that they wish to create for the public realm. The project was launched in 2016, and the organization selected artist Jessica Witte as its inaugural artist. Witte’s “Seed the Changewhich was installed on Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard–was later recognized by Americans for the Arts. The selection of Keller’s installation helps to celebrate the reopening of the Gateway Arch.

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Keller’s work has been exhibited internationally in galleries, exhibitions and collections such as Berlin, New York and Beijing. She holds a degree in drawing from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an M.F.A. from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. “Riverbend” will be her first site-specific, outdoor public installation and will be exhibited for three months.

Follow the progression of “Riverbend” on Instagram @missouri_riverbend.

Images are renderings of “Riverbend” and courtesy of Margaret Keller. 

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