In the winter of 1886, a meeting was called at the home of Joseph R. Meeker for the purpose of considering the formation of a new art organization. The group was small and was drawn from the membership of the St. Louis Sketch Club, originally founded by male art students attending Washington University School of Art. The newly proposed art organization was a group committed to the idea of admitting women. After several meetings tackling the issues of gender, an organization was created, and the name, "St. Louis Artists' Guild," was adopted. Of course, the old St. Louis Sketch Club was quietly laid to rest. The St. Louis Artists' Guild was formed to develop a high standard of art appreciation; to promote and stimulate expression of its members and artists in the community; to present the work of artists and craftsmen through exhibitions, competitions, and lectures; and to encourage excellence and understanding not only of painting and photography but also other visual and performing arts. In 1905 the organization grew, incorporated, and adopted a constitution.
Today the St. Louis Artists' Guild inspires art experiences through extraordinary exhibitions, interactive art education, outreach to diverse audiences, and by fostering creativity throughout the community. Since 1886, we've proudly served the community and our members including emerging artists, commercial artists, architects, photographers, artisans, art educators, art enthusiasts, and professional collectors. At the core of the STLAG's mission is the exhibition program, a tradition for 131 years. The STLAG provides exhibition opportunities in exceptional gallery space for juried, solo, and small group shows. The galleries serve both artists and art appreciators by providing opportunities to display their work while achieving our mission of raising awareness of artistic expression. The galleries are free and open to the public.
The STLAG further fulfills its mission by supporting exhibitions with discussions, workshops, and classes. Free discussions and lectures are offered with every exhibition either by the juror/curator or by participating artists. Sections, smaller groups within the organization, host mostly free talks and activities surrounding exhibits and other topics of interest that reflect world culture, human history and current events. Professional artists teach a variety of classes for artists of all ages, skill levels, and disciplines providing members and nonmembers alike insight into the art making process, professional development, and networking opportunities. Classes and workshops encourage students to experiment, develop skills, and deepen their understanding of art. The STLAG outreach efforts build community relationships off site to further our commitment to serve the entire St. Louis community.