July 29, 2019

Categories Press Releases

Artists will receive funding to further develop proposals designed to integrate art into downtown public spaces

ST. LOUIS (July 30, 2019) — The Downtown STL Public Art Initiative, a community partnership between the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC), Explore St. Louis and Downtown STL, Inc., announced today finalists for InSITE 2020, a temporary public art exhibition that will impact how the public perceives Downtown St. Louis.

InSITE 2020 was developed by the Downtown STL Public Art Initiative to welcome visitors, encourage exploration of its streets and public spaces and highlight Downtown St. Louis as a place for creativity, possibility and diversity.

“Public art can play a critical role in the ongoing transformation and resurgence of Downtown St. Louis,” said Felicia Shaw, executive director of RAC. “InSITE 2020 was created to support building a culturally vibrant Downtown that can serve as a vital anchor to the region. We look forward to seeing these artists’ proposals to bring this vision to life.”

Artists were encouraged to submit ideas for projects with budgets ranging from $5,000 to $30,000. Proposed projects span a variety of visual displays and sensory experiences. Ideas include outdoor furniture and sculptures placed around the city to highlight specific views; video installations and animated murals in public spaces; and suspended sculptures exploring light, movement and space activation in well-trafficked areas of Downtown.

The finalists will receive $500 to $1,500 to further develop their ideas and will present their final proposals to the Downtown STL Public Art Initiative Advisory Committee, a group of art and design professionals, in the fall. Five projects will be commissioned, with the total available to fund all projects set at $100,000. All projects will be installed by May 1, 2020.

The finalists for InSITE 2020 are:

Ellie Balk
Colors, patterns, music and mathematics inform Balk’s work. Through a process she developed working with community groups and high school students, Balk creates systematic rules and utilizes mathematical concepts as the basis of her artwork and installations.

Susan Colangelo and the Story Stitchers
The Story Stitchers Artist Collective is a group that uses urban storytelling as a catalyst for neighborhood community building. The collective works with local neighborhoods where poverty, violence and youth co-exist and performs at community centers, block parties, parks and cultural venues.

L. Irene Compadre and Michael Powell (Arbolope Studio + StudioPowell)
Arbolope Studio, founded by Compadre in 2015, specializes in landscape architecture and urban design, creating innovative and impactful landscapes that help make a happier, healthier and more connected world. Powell, principal at StudioPowell, partnered with Arbolope in 2016 on the Grand Center public art project, “The Score,” which consists of a painted mural that spans the entire promenade behind Jazz St. Louis and KDHX.

Zlatko Cosic
Cosic’s work spans several disciplines including short films, video installations, theater projections and live audio-visual performances. His work has been showcased in art exhibitions, film festivals, galleries and museums in more than 50 countries.

Michael Jantzen
Jantzen merges art, architecture, technology and sustainable design into one unique experience. His work has been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers, galleries and TV documentaries.

Alicia LaChance and Benjamin Kaplan
LaChance’s vibrant paintings investigate color, symbols and abstract mapping and have appeared in exhibitions around the world. Kaplan’s multidisciplinary work spans film, sound, light, installation, performance and works on paper.

Jenny Murphy
Murphy is a social entrepreneur with a broad artistic practice that encompasses community arts, interactive installations, sculpture and design. Her work focuses on sustainable, educational, whimsical and thought-provoking solutions to the negative effects of mass consumption on our environment and our communities.

Kelley Van Dyck Murphy
Murphy leads the experimental architecture and design practice at Van Dyck Murphy Studio, specializing in projects that experiment with material logic and geometry in innovative ways.

Timothy Portlock
Portlock’s work combines special-effects software and the visual conventions of 19th-century American painting to creatively interact with contemporary cityscapes.

Jacob Stanley
Stanley, a sculptor, focuses on temporary site-responsive installations that explore the dynamic between collapse and construction, tension and balance and refinement and rawness. His work is often installed in improbable urban locations.

The Downtown STL Public Art Initiative was established in 2018 as a result of the Downtown STL Public Art Plan, which provides a vision, priorities and practical strategies for how to use public art as a tool to connect existing vibrant cultural pockets in Downtown St. Louis with a variety of art initiatives.

For more information on InSITE 2020 and the finalists, visit

About the Regional Arts Commission
The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) is at the forefront of efforts to transform St. Louis into a more vibrant, creative and economically thriving community by elevating the vitality, value and visibility of the arts. It is the largest annual funder of the arts in the region, and since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 7,000 grants totaling over $100 million to support nonprofit arts, individual artists, cultural organizations, and programs. Directed by a board of 15 commissioners appointed by the chief executives of St. Louis City and St. Louis County, RAC is a pivotal force in the continuing development and marketing of the arts in the region. Visit for more information, or follow us on Facebook at Regional Arts Commission or Twitter @RACStLouis.

About Explore St. Louis
Explore St. Louis is the driving force behind St. Louis’ $5.8 billion convention and tourism industry, the official destination marketing organization of St. Louis City and County and operator of the America’s Center Convention Complex.

About Downtown STL, Inc.
Dowtown STL, Inc. is the catalyst for creating and promoting a Downtown that attracts investment, economic activity and vibrancy at the hub of the St. Louis region. For more information, visit