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Rustbelt to Artistbelt : At the Crossroads in St. Louis, April 12-14, 2012
Arts-Based Community Development Convening
Transforming Post-Industrial Cities through Art and Innovation
April 12 through 14, 2012 - St. Louis

Galen Gondolfi

St. Louis, Missouri

Galen Gondolfi

Galen Gondolfi is proprietor of fort gondo.compound for the arts, a St. Louis alternative arts space and Chief Communications Officer with St. Louis-based Justine PETERSEN, a nationally recognized asset development organization and microlender.

Along with fort gondo, Galen has been involved with the Cherokee Street-situated spaces/projects Radio Cherokee, High-Art, Low-Art, Art Parts, Typo and Beverly.  He is a past president of the Benton Park Neighborhood Association and past candidate for 20th ward alderman.

With Justine PETERSEN, Galen routinely speaks publicly on the issues of microfinance, community-driven economic development and the plight of the underbanked.  He has previously worked for community development organizations in Chicago, Boston and Washington D.C.

Galen was voted “Best Concept to Boost Civic Pride” in 2002 and “Best Citizen” in 2005 by the Riverfront Times, recognized by St. Louis Magazine for “Top 40 Ideas in St. Louis” in 2010 and recognized as one of the “100 St. Louisans to Know to Succeed in Business” in 2011.  He has been quoted in The New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Galen attended the University of Illinois for undergraduate and graduate studies in communications and urban and regional planning.

He resides with his wife Jessica and their three dogs on Cherokee Street in St. Louis.

Presentation(s):

THE HINGE – Art Gallery. Thought Salon. Creative Turning Point.

Day 2 / Apr, 13 @ 4:15 pm
Lower Level : Room C

Recent decades have witnessed a spate of commercial and cultural growth throughout St. Louis city, but elisions persist, especially those that embrace the fine arts. Predominate concerns include where emergent artists can show their work and come into contact with viable patrons, as extant venues by and large do not exist at this time. To engage these questions and launch a dialogue about how the gallery space itself can bring artists, curators, patrons, and communities together, this panel includes a wide variety of arts-passionate professionals: Lauren Pressler, visual artist and curator; Francesca Wilmott, director of Los Caminos apartment gallery and assistant registrar at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; Eileen G’Sell, Mentor St. Louis activist, poet and lecturer at Washington University; Bryan Laughlin Jr., fine-art furniture dealer and antique restoration specialist; and Galen Gondolfi, proprietor of fort gondo.compound for the arts.

The panel will explore the relatively recent history of the apartment gallery as a space in St. Louis, the pros and cons of such developments, and the prospect of a new kind of gallery in the near future. How could such a space accommodate the emergent artist while bringing together diverse participants? How have upstart galleries already strengthened the region, and what can we learn from each other? How can this type of space serve both as cultural crossroad and nexus of distinguished artistic pursuits?