Above: Executive Director Marilu Knode during her gallery talk for the exhibition Camp Out: Finding Home in an Unstable World, June 2012.

 

FROM THE DIRECTOR

 

Greetings,

Since 1977, Laumeier's programming has explored the world's various global cultural zones by supporting the international artists who help shape our "visual landscape" through their work. Since landscape (earth, water, food) connects us all, Laumeier is the perfect place to have conversations about home and our place in the world.

This fall, Laumeier launched its latest international initiative at EXPO Chicago, bringing four videos from our New Territories rubric to thousands of international visitors. Laumeier's staff and adjunct curators from Azerbaijan, Canada and South Africa played off of the economic acronym BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] by choosing artists who dig into the economic, social and political events that dominate the news and our lives.

Our international work is not only part of Laumeier's DNA, but part of our region's history. Recently, a group of area leaders has stated that part of St. Louis' loss of economic power has been our lack of immigration from diverse parts of the world that helps refresh and renew our community. In 1850, 50% of the region's population was foreign-born; today, that number is only 4%. Watch for Laumeier's ongoing work with Mark Coetzee, Founding Director / Chief Curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art, in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as with our incoming CEC ArtsLink Fellow from Azerbaijan, Lana Sokolova, as we develop exciting new collaborations to explore the differences and similarities between and among our communities.

My thanks go to Laumeier's curatorial team of Dana Turkovic, Curator of Exhibitions; Liz Murphy, Collections Manager / Registrar; and UMSL Curatorial Intern Tim Young, who took New Territories: BRICS on the road, framing how and why we are appropriating this acronym. We will not strictly adhere to those markets--emerging or ancient--which are marked in this IMF / World Bank moniker; through Laumeier's broadening partnerships locally and globally, we will twist the acronym just as these same markets twist our future.

See you in the park,

Marilu Knode

Executive Director