• Cornerstones Timelapse

    Trotter Art's Installation of Ken Calvert's Cornerstones Mural at St. Louis City Hall.

  • KSDK Calvert interview at City Hall

  • At St. Louis City Hall, a 20-Year-Old Mural Looks to a Newly Bright Future

    At St. Louis City Hall, a 20-Year-Old Mural Looks to a Newly Bright Future

    Posted By Sarah Fenske: River Front Times on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    • Cornerstones of courage and culture, oil 7h' x 12'w, 1997. Reproduced with permission from the artist, Kenneth Calvert.
    Two weeks ago, workers quietly painted over a mural that's graced the first floor of St. Louis City Hall for two decades. Kenneth Calvert's Cornerstones of Courage and Culture depicted nineteenth century black contributors to St. Louis history. Then it was gone.

    But Calvert's glorious purple-and-yellow-tinged mural is returning to City Hall this evening in a new form — the result of a three-year effort to save the piece from water damage and preserve it for the future.

    Richard Bradley, president of the city's Board of Public Service, says that records show the original mural was dedicated in April 1997 after being commissioned by then-Mayor Freeman Bosley. The mural was largely funded by private donors, with the effort spearheaded by the St. Louis-based Portfolio Gallery & Education Center.
    But the walls at City Hall are famously damp, with a layer of sandstone that was never sealed to outside elements, Bradley says. After two decades in those conditions, moisture had penetrated the painting and caused it to bow outward, with the plaster behind it failing. Calvert says he returned to touch up the mural on two different occasions, but the core problem, the damaged wall, remained.

    Three years ago, Bradley says the Portfolio Gallery's Robert Powell approached the office of then-Mayor Francis Slay to advocate for the mural's preservation. The result took lots of back and forth, the artist's full cooperation and $13,482 in expenses, but on August 17, 2017, the city gave its blessing to a plan to photograph the mural in four high-resolution images, repair the wall, and then replace the original painting with four canvas prints of Calvert's original — basically four photo-printed panels on wood stretchers.

    The panels are scheduled to be hung this evening, Bradley says.

    Calvert says he's heard rumblings that people thought the city had taken down the mural around the time of the Stockley verdict, which has triggered public protests across the city. "I explained to them that there was no relationship," he says.

    The artist says he is hopeful that the effort will yield a good version of his old work. Asked if he is feeling good about the project, Calvert says, "I will feel good when I see installed."

    We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

  • Digital story telling

    Nine Network of Public Media offers digital story telling
    Published on May 21, 2014

    Nine Network of Public Media offers digital story telling training to individuals and organizations to help them tell and share their stories of impact. On April 4, 2014 Nine Academy participants screened their digital stories. In this video, Nine Community Producer Ken Calvert shares some thoughts on how visual art is viewed. Ken uses his own art and studio practice to shed light on the notion that the visual artist's performance is reflected in the final product that the viewer sees.

  • Symposium

    Legends of the Crown Leadership Symposium 2013
    St. Louis based artist.Kenneth Calvert was commissioned to create one of the paintings in the impressive Anheuser Busch Kings and Queens of Africa collection, which is valued over $1 million dollars..Calvert and four other contributing artists participated in a recent event called the Anheuser-Busch Legends of the Crown Leadership Symposium held in St. Louis, Missouri
    30 Legends of the Crown scholarship recipients painted murals and interacted with speakers The students from historically black colleges and universities met with five of the African American artists commissioned to create paintings. Margarita Flores, Vice President of Community Affairs with Anheuser Busch was the event coordinator

  • Exhibition

    Ken Calvert "Brush and Canvas"
    A focus on the depth of visual expression

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012
    5:00pm until 8:00pm*
    10th Street Gallery
    419 N. 10th Street,
    St. Louis, MO 63101

    Opening Reception
    4 January 2012 5:00pm to 8:00pm

    Gallery Talk
    11 January 2012 5:30pm to 7:30pm

    Gallery hours Wed-Fri 11am-7pm
    Sat 9am-3pm