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Grand Center public art piece has many strings attached

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 11, 2012 - Joining the strings that lure music lovers to Powell Hall will be strings of a different color -- 20,000 feet of them.

The multicolored lines are attached to a metal maze that is the bones of a new piece of public art piece going up on the corner of Grand Boulevard and Samuel Shepard Drive. Installation of A Chromatic Confluence began last week and will be an integral part of the Friday night, May 11, Grand Center Art Walk that runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The sculpture is meant to be temporary. Indeed, it is the first of what is hoped to be a series of temporary works. As the first such, it is being closely watched so that Grand Center can draw up a district policy on temporary art. This one beckons pedestrians inside through a series of pathways. The initiative stems from a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

Visitors to the Art Walk will be treated to Orchestrating Diversity's youth orchestra performances taking place within the stringed space.

A Chromatic Confluence is managed by a creative enterprise called Thoughtbarn, which is based in Austin. Installers include students and professionals from the Grand Center Arts Academy and Craft Alliance. An advisory committee includes representatives of The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the Contemporary Art Museum, Craft Alliance, Sheldon Art Galleries, the Regional Arts Commission and St. Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park and Kemper Art Museum.

The sculpture will remain in Grand Center through June.

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.