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Boots Contempory Art Space > A niche venue November 26, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts.

What is it? An artist-run, nonprofit art space. In cities such as Los Angeles, Brooklyn, N.Y., and San Francisco, the measure of the health of the local arts community is often the number of small spaces in often-funky neighborhoods, run by young artists who want to do it for themselves. St. Louis already had the Fort Gondo complex; this year White Flag Projects on Manchester Road and Boots opened, signifying a certain street-level cultural vitality.

Where is it? Boots is on Cherokee Street near Jefferson Avenue on historic Antiques Row. The brick building was once a shoe-repair shop. Pairs of blue boots painted on the façade gave the space its name.

Who’s behind it? Juan William Chavez, an artist born in Lima, Peru, and reared in St. Louis, opened the space this year. His far-flung partners are Bryan Reckamp of San Francisco; Georgia Kotretsos of Athens, Greece; and Jon Peck of Miami.

What is its purpose? An art laboratory for emerging and midcareer artists and curators, it offers them a space to create and showcase new work. Local, national and international artists and curators are welcome to apply.

What does it show? Through November 30, its first show, “The Politics of Friendship,” features nine artists from around the world; painting, drawing, photography, video, audio and objects are included. Opening December 8 is “10 Fingers 88 Teeth,” a solo show by Kotretsos, the current artist-in-residence.

Artist in residence? Boots aims to offer an annual artist residency program for an emerging artist from abroad.

What else? Boots plans to launch Boot Print, a magazine edited by artists next year. It will publish work that “illuminate(s) the art activities, projects, theories and convictions responsible for affecting the writer on a personal, political, socioeconomic or cultural level.”

Boots >
Where: 2307 Cherokee Street
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday
More info: 314-772-2668 or www.bootsart.com

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