SPF 1991 Brings Creativity, Community and Culinary Treats to projects+gallery
The long-awaited summer sun is finally settling over St. Louis, and the creative team at projects+gallery is celebrating the season with a series of events steeped in brightly colored early ’90s nostalgia. Think ice cream trucks and Rollerblades, running through the sprinklers in someone’s front yard to cool off after racing your friends from here to that big tree on the corner.
Alongside its parent company, Barrett Barrera Projects, the gallery is partnering with Corey Smale, owner of SUPERGIANTWORLD and founder of Strange Donuts, to host SPF 1991, a five-part summer event series running from this Saturday, June 1, through July 27.
“We were reminiscing about our summers in our youth, and it all went back to pre-internet summer—what we were calling our ‘analogue summer experiences,’” recalls Bridget Melloy, senior director of projects+gallery. “Things like biking to your community pool or just eating popsicles on the front porch.”
These “analogue activities” are front and center for SPF 1991’s launch event, Carnival. The projects+gallery space in the Central West End will host free popcorn and cotton candy, a photo booth, palm reader, tattoos by local artists Andy May and classic carnival games. Four more events are scheduled to follow: Garage Sale on June 15; Picnic on June 27; Arts & Crafts on July 13; and Energy on July 27.
Carnival also marks the unveiling of a mural project by painted in conjunction with SPF 1991. The massive visual work will continue to evolve as the event series progresses, with further creative additions from Kevin and Danielle McCoy of WORK/PLAY, Albert Yowshien Kuo, Janie Stamm and Rosenblith himself.
The event series is a deliberate departure from the typical summer exhibition programming seen at galleries and museums this time of the year. Instead, the team opted to put on a string of family-friendly interactive summer events designed to welcome new patrons to the gallery and encourage an organic sense of fun, creativity and community. Garage Sale’s collection of donated items is sure to bring a light-hearted, leisurely crowd. All proceeds will go to the nonprofit Home Sweet Home. And Arts & Crafts, organized in collaboration with Perennial, will facilitate a lively and colorful hands-on afternoon for the whole family.
SPF 1991 is also the perfect opportunity to strengthen the connection between St. Louis’s fine arts community and the city’s nationally renowned food, restaurant and culinary scene. St. Louis’ restaurant and culinary community is a showcase of innovation, creativity and artistry. For Barrett Barrera Projects founder Susan Barrett, making delicious food, craft cocktails and other themed fares a part of SPF 1991 was a goal from the start.
In addition to a yoga class taught by Brianna Owens, Energy also includes a kombucha tasting with Confluence Kombucha. And perhaps the most anticipated event, Picnic, promises a picnic-table-filled gallery space with food prepared by celebrated St. Louis chef and restaurant owner Ben Poremba—featuring his famous Old Standard fried chicken recipe, artisan lemonade and several tasty sides.
“Susan [Barrett] always talks about art as a verb, so we really wanted to showcase the practice of different creative pursuits—not necessarily fine art—but still art,” Melloy explains. “Whether it’s your yoga practice, brewing your own kombucha or just getting together as a community, all of that can be seen as different sorts of art practices.”
For more details about the SPF 1991 summer events series, visit the projects+gallery website.
Featured image courtesy of Yarden.
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