Downtown STL Public Art Initiative

STL Initiative 1
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Downtown STL Public Art Initiative

Client: Regional Arts Commission, Explore St. Louis, Downtown STL, Inc.
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Pictured Above: In Search of the Truth by Cause Collective in Kiener Plaza, St. Louis, 2019.
In Search of the Truth by Cause Collective at St. Louis Public Library, Central Branch, 2019. Photos by Jane DiCampo and Via Partnership.  


Following the completion of the Downtown St. Louis Public Art Plan, Via Partnership continues to partner with the Regional Arts Commission, Explore St. Louis, and Downtown STL, Inc. to establish and manage the Downtown STL Public Art Initiative. The Initiative commissions and presents public art projects that support building a dense, inclusive, and culturally vibrant Downtown that is a vital anchor to the region.


By helping to lead the startup phase of the Downtown Public Art Initiative, Via is putting the Downtown STL Public Art Plan into action. The Initiative also partners with other Downtown stakeholders and acts as a resource for developers, property owners, arts, and community organizations and artists wishing to initiate their own projects so that public art can serve as a critical tool in Downtown’s ongoing transformation and resurgence.


In 2019, the Initiative hosted In Search of the Truth by the Cause Collective. The project, which has traveled the world, spent three days in different locations in Downtown St. Louis. In Search of the Truth is a 16-foot-tall inflatable video recording studio in the shape of a speech bubble which asks participants to share their truth inside the booth by completing the prompt “the truth is…”. The temporary installation brought many curious visitors out to participate and encouraged the sharing of each person’s unique story through the interactive project.


Through a competitive “ideas competition,” called InSITE 2020 the Initiative asked artists to propose ideas on impacting how we see Downtown — from the actual physical character, to different views and sightlines, to our views or perceptions of what this area is and can be. After a robust response from many talented artists, the Initiative’s Advisory Committee selected five projects by artists: Ellie Balk, Jenny Murphy, Tim Portlock, Jacob Stanley and Van Dyck Murphy Studio. The exhibition was originally scheduled to open in May 2020, however it has been postponed due to COVID-19. For more information about InSITE 2020 visit here.