Public Art

After Hours

By Catharine Magel
Category: Sculpture


After Hours, a sculpture made of a steel armature with fiberglass and mosaic coating, was made for the Jazz and Blues region of St. Louis near The Jazz Bistro in Strauss Park. On one side of the sculpture, two mosaicked men pour their heart and soul into colorful trumpets, calling to mind the real-life musicians Louis Armstrong and Bix Biederbecke. From another angle, a bird and a rabbit can be seen playing a saxophone, reminding the viewer of the history of jazz and blues. The emotionally charged music of blues, which originated from African culture, gave way to the more rhythmic genre of jazz. For a long time, black and white jazz musicians were not allowed to perform together publicly. It was only at after-hours sessions that they jammed together, as Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke did in Chicago in the 1920s.

The design of After Hours was shown to young students in schools in the community, and each participant was invited to make a ceramic piece to add to the existing design. They learned about Jazz and Blues, which were the art forms that became the precursor to the Civil Rights Movement. Teachers took their students to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, during outreach sessions.

Catharine Magel often collaborates with the community when creating her artworks. According to Magel, “rebuilding and collaboration begins with the passion of the community wanting to see change. Whether it is social, political, environmental, economic, or cultural transformations that take place, it is the artist that can combine with all of these making the process of collaboration part of his or her palette. In most projects the results to the community are many…..such as healing, inclusion, eracism, education, loss of fear, empowerment, identity, a connection to nature, and economic development. Often after I design and it is time to fabricate the work, I find myself becoming part of a movement of people participating in social change and revitalization of a place.”

Dimensions: 8′ x 13′
Material: Steel armature with fiberglass and mosaic coating
Owner: City of St. Louis

About the artist:

Arts and cultural events are waiting around every corner throughout the St. Louis region. Explore the abundant creativity our area has to offer. From gallery shows and performances to public installations, St. Louis is rich with culture and the arts in all forms. Browse these links to experience our arts community firsthand.


Due to the ongoing financial impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) has been working diligently to adjust our annual grantmaking programs to ensure alignment with RAC’s strategic priorities, and in response to feedback from the arts community.


We have gathered a variety of news, information, and other resources to sustain the health and vibrancy of our arts community.


As the leading public catalyst for arts and culture in St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission leverages the power of creativity to strengthen and enrich our community. Read our commitment to diversity, racial equity, accessibility, and inclusion, and see our strategic plan for the next five years.


Covid-19 has impacted us all. But what it hasn’t changed is RAC’s commitment to finding innovative ways to support arts programming, arts organizations, and individual artists through the pandemic, and to resuming these programs as soon as conditions allow.


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