Last September, the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission and FOCUS St. Louis joined forces to announce a unique temporary public art project to promote and support the arts in the St. Louis bi-state region. Over 400 area designs were submitted for The People Project. Today, 80 People Figures, created by local artists, students and citizens, were unveiled throughout the region.
Visitors to the St. Louis area will see Figures stationed on street corners, in shopping malls, and in front of several city halls and businesses. After the six-month public exhibition, the works of art will be auctioned at Phillips-Selkirk on October 20th. The People Figures will also be auctioned on the Internet in October and November.
“We have everything from a giraffe-headed man to a trio of acrobats to a flying griffin on display in this exhibition,” said Porter Arneill, director of The People Project. He noted that unlike similar projects in other cities, these Figures could be molded in any position. The flexibility allowed for some very imaginative ideas.
Mayor Francis Slay was intrigued by the artistic interpretation using life-sized wooden mannequins. “At first I was wondering who came up with this wild idea. But that’s what makes the project great. It is imaginative and creative and gives us something to talk about. It also gives artists an opportunity to display their talents in a way that is accessible to the public,” he said with a smile.
Mayor Slay commented that he’d like to see a Figure in or near City Hall, but preferred leaving the theme up to the artist and the Art Commission. “This is a great collaboration between businesses and not-for-profits in working together to create some kind of community uniqueness and community pride,” he noted. For more information on The People Project, call 314-531-5150