Steampunk III Art Show, Soulard Art Gallery St. Louis, MO
Visual art can be very subjective. Steampunk art even more so, as the genre is very loosely defined. At “Steampunk III”, you could say that steampunk art is alive, well, and very prosperous.
On Friday, February 23rd, the Soulard Art Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri opened its third annual steampunk juried art show, “Steampunk III”. Soulard Art Gallery is a cooperative gallery, with artists renting spaces in the building, participating in a certain amount of gallery shows, and helping run the facility. It was voted the best gallery in St. Louis by the RFT (the Riverfront Times, St. Louis’ most independent alt culture magazine).
Participating artists have varied backgrounds and media concentrations which make the show even more unique. Of course there are a lot of pieces with the usual gears displayed, but there were also an incredible amount of upcycled works using everything from frying pans to piggy banks to mannequins.
Two dimensional works did not disappoint. One of the winning pieces, “Contradictions” by Susan Kunz, was a lush Georgia O’Keefe/Steampunk hybrid, painted in a languid, naturalistic way.
As at most cons and fairs, there was a decent amount of jewelry, but again, the majority of pieces were made from fun, recycled parts.
Starr Johnson’s “Steamship” was made from a TV tube and bullet.
I was a little surprised by the amount of lamps in the show, almost too many. But their originality in construction helped disguise the volume. After interviewing several of the artists, I was encouraged that they “got it”; they understood steampunk, and really got into the spirit of being makers. I “upped my game” for my own submissions and felt that many others had done the same. The list of winners here:
What’s most interesting to me, as a steampunk artist, is that the gallery has used steampunk as a show theme for three years running. It has been one of their most popular events, with artists submitting pieces from as far away as Poland. I think this demonstrates that steampunk has widened its appeal to the general art market and society as a whole. Several of the artists and visitors dressed in steampunk garb as well.
You can see interviews and more of the artwork from the show here:
See www.soulardartgallery.com for gallery hours of operation. The show runs through March 29th.