We hope you’re staying safe, healthy, and happy during this unprecedented disruption to our lives. We know that everyone’s life has been upended – and there are so many things we cannot or should not do right now – but we want to focus on helping you find positive, meaningful ways to spend this time.
Fresh air and a walk to see some public art remain fantastic options to keep you and your family active and engaged while still maintaining safe social distances. Fortunately, Grand Center has numerous public art throughout the District for you to experience and discover.
To help you get started, we are excited to share a self-guided walking/riding/driving tour of many of the Districts’ installations of sculptures and murals.
Below is a list of must-see pieces. You can follow along on your phone using the descriptions below, or use this google map to help guide you.
Artist: Barry Flanagan
Location: Arts Academy Plaza (711 N Grand Blvd)
Flanagan, known for bronze bunnies, here offers an interpretation of world-renowned Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinksi. The Nijinski Hare, at 10 feet tall, lightheartedly bounces and dances over visitors to the plaza as it looks on to Powell Hall, home to the St. Louis Symphony.
Herb Alpert Sculpture
Location: Arts Academy Plaza (711 N Grand Blvd)
An untitled version of famous jazz musician, Herb Alpert.
Featuring the architecture of The Grandel, the famous Nijinski Hare on loan from the Gateway Foundation, and the Herb Alpert-inspired sculpture of a jazz saxophonist, Arts Academy Plaza is a wonderful place to watch the world go by as you are enveloped in the culture of Grand Center Arts District.
Architect: Chris Carl/Studio Land Arts
Location: 3713 Washington Blvd
Sustainably designed green space where visitors wander among the plants and found-object filtration structures. Intended to minimize the effect of stormwater runoff on an urban sewage and drainage system, the park and the vertical garden in Steward Family Plaza also provide a respite from the “heat-island” effect, which occurs in urban areas.
Steward Family Plaza
Architect: Benjamin Gilmartin
Location: 3648 Washington Blvd
The plaza is a unique approach to creating an urban green space, as the “green space” is a vertical garden located on the west wall of The Sheldon Art Galleries. Three stories high and 208-feet long, the vertical garden consists of a steel frame where native Missouri vines will grow and flourish year-round. Along with Park-like across the street from the Pulitzer Art Museum, the vertical garden will reduce the heat-island effect found in urban areas.
Steve Wondering if He Could Actually Walk
Artists: João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva
Location: Steward Family Plaza (3648 Washington Blvd)
Featuring the architecture of the Steward Family Plaza, “Steve Wondering if He Could Actually Walk” is on permanent loan from the Gateway Foundation. Joáo Gusmáo and Pedro Paiva were both born in Lisbon, Portugal. Working in collaboration since 2001, their research-driven practice is a poetic investigation of scenarios that are equally cinematic, comedic, and enigmatic.
Public Media Commons
Designers: The Public Media Commons was designed by a team from Powers Bowersox Associates Inc. led by Ben Gilmartin, AIA, who previously was a lead designer on the Lincoln Center Promenade. Other elements of the Public Media Commons were designed by Andrew Colopy from Cobalt Office; Electrosonic, Inc.; Dlandstudio, LLC; Randy Burkett Lighting Design, Inc.; and HDR, Inc. Electrosonic provided audio/visual design and implementation on the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and Millennium Park in Chicago.
Location: 3653 Olive Street
Completed in 2015, Public Media Commons is a gathering space located between two public media giants in St. Louis – 90.7 KWMU, St. Louis Public Radio, and Nine Network. Featuring two large-scale video walls on the north and west side, Public Media Commons is a modern addition to the Grand Center Arts District.
Location: Centene Center for the Arts
Featuring Violin Bear, a reference to the many concert halls located in Grand Center Arts District; Fancy Bear, a reference to St. Louis’ Gilded Age history and the 1904 World’s Fair; Artist Bear, a reference to the building on which the mural is painted – Centene Center for the Arts, home to the Arts and Education Council; and Blues Bear, commemorating the Blues 2019 Stanley Cup victory. Honey bears are a motif used often by fnnch to surprise and charm passers-by and remind them to look up from their phones. The Honey Bears mural is owned by the Arts and Education Council and was made possible by the Gateway Foundation.
Grand Center Mural
Artist: MOMO and Re+Public
Located on the side of the Moto Museum next to Triumph Grill, the mural is an abstract work focusing on the artist’s established techniques of collage, fluidity, and movement.
King Louis IX – St. Louis
Artist: Gary Mauro
Location: 3515 Lindell Blvd
Artist Gary Mauro created this bronze statue of the patron saint of St. Louis, the only French monarch to be named a saint.
Self Made Man
Artist: Bobbie Carlyle
Location: 3419 Olive St
Sculptor Bobbie Carlyle is best known for her expertise with bronze. Her subjects range from figurative to liturgical, wildlife to western, depicted both on a miniature and monumental scale. She created this sculptural metaphor of a man defining himself – carving his character and his future with his own hands.
Artist: Michael Atkinson
The Untitled Bronze statue, lying in a pool of sand, looks to be sunbathing on a beach. The nude female statue is partially submerged in the sand, exposing the tops of her legs and her upper torso.
215 Foot of Love
Artist: ReMix Uno
Location: Marcelle Theater (3310 Samuel Shepard Drive)
World-renowned Mexican street artist Remix Uno worked with art students from St. Louis University, Grand Center Arts Academy, and Washington University to bring the entire east wall of The Marcelle Theater to life with vibrant colors and images.
Artist: Designed by Vanessa Rudloff, and painted by the community
Location: Corner of Theresa and Washington
This community mural was designed by Vanessa Rudloff, Arts Relations Manager of the Angad Arts Hotel, and was painted by local artists and residents to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month in October 2019.
Artist: Jasmin Aber
Location: 3526 Washington Avenue
Embracing the theme that ART is everywhere, this interactive sculpture designed by Jasmin Aber lights up at night with a series of colored LED lights and seems to flow across the building during the day as if on a wave.
66 Reasons to Love St. Louis
Artists: Robert and Liza Fishbone
Location: 3524 Washington Blvd
Sponsored by Phillips 66 as part of their “66 Reasons to Love St. Louis” ad campaign, the mural, located on the upper half of the west side of the KDHX building, features well-known St. Louis landmarks. It was completed in 2015 by father-daughter duo, Robert and Liza Fishbone.
Bust of Leon Strauss
Artist: Jessie Vonk
Location: Strauss Park (3534 Washington Ave)
Classic memorial bust of Leon Strauss in the park that bears his name. As the plaque indicates, he was a man with a vision of a city with a grand center. The Bust faces The Fabulous Fox Theater, which he restored with his wife Mary in the early 1980s.