A luminary (n.) is a leader in the field.
The Luminary is an incubator for new ideas in the arts.

The Luminary is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit founded in St. Louis, MO in 2007 as a forum for artistic research, production and presentation, conceived in response to both our immediate and international community, alongside our audiences, and in dialogue with artists.

The Luminary is a constellation of ideas and activities: a physical site that opens onto a larger cultural and conceptual space; exhibitions that move through multiple timelines, spaces and forms; music explored as a practice, presence and experience; an equipment library that redistributes tools and creates tangible means for experimentation; residencies with artists, curators and critics meant to test boundaries and continually push forward their individual and collective practice; and wide-ranging projects that critically engage emerging ideas and stretch the definition of the institution itself.

The basis of the organization is experimentation and engagement. Emerging art and ideas are at the forefront of this experimentation, but only as they interact with people: art as an individual and communal experience; call and response; exchange and change; form and reform. We propose, support and present exceptional art embedded in social and cultural contexts, viewing contemporary art as an essential expression of our time. Beyond promoting various modes of artistic exploration, The Luminary investigates its own infrastructure as an artist-run organization in order to advance the understanding of our potentialities within broader social, cultural and political frameworks, documenting these models both in practice and through publishing via Temporary Art Review. Taken together, we seek to be an institution of our time, as malleable as the work we strive to support.


Major support comes from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Luminary is partially supported by the Missouri Arts Council, a State Agency; the Regional Arts Commission; The Arts and Education Council; The Trio Foundation of St. Louis; the Partnership for Downtown; our members and numerous individual donors. The Luminary has additionally received ongoing in-kind donations from UIC; Urban Chestnut Brewing Company; Reizman Berger, LC; Bluefield Process Saftey; AudioActive Projects; Brea Photography; Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, and more.

The purchase of The Luminary's building at 2701 Cherokee Street was made possible by a loan from nonprofit lender IFF and significant in-kind support from UIC and Thompson Coburn.

To support The Luminary's programs, please click here.



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