Architecture, Art, Happening in STL

Principal Perspectives: The Work of Phil Durham Coming Soon to The Sheldon Art Galleries

The Sheldon Art Galleries presents Principal Perspectives: The Work of Phil Durham, February 14 – April 11, 2020 in the Bernoudy Gallery of Architecture. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, February 14 from 5 – 7 p.m. The Sheldon Art Galleries are open Tuesdays, Noon – 8 p.m.; Wednesdays – Fridays, Noon – 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and one hour prior to Sheldon performances and during intermission. Admission is free. For more information on exhibitions, visit the galleries’ website at TheSheldon.org. The exhibition is made possible by The Gateway Foundation.

This survey of work by St. Louis-based architect Phil Durham pays tribute to the award-winning designer, who passed away in September 2018. The exhibit is co-organized with Washington University Libraries. A companion exhibition, Section and Design: The Work of Phil Durham, is on display at Washington University’s John M. Olin Library through July 6, 2020.

Gallery Talk and Cocktail Hour: Tuesday, February 18 at 6 p.m. Durham colleague Gregory Cuddihee will speak on the life and work of Phil Durham. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m., before 7 p.m. talk in The Sheldon’s Ballroom. Cash bar. Admission for the talk is free, reservations suggested but not required. Contact Paula Lincoln at plincoln@thesheldon.org or 314-533-9900 x37.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1961, Durham was educated at Washington University in St. Louis where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983, and a Master’s of Architecture in 1985. As a student, Durham was organized and detail-oriented, traits that served him throughout his professional life. He began his career at HOK in St. Louis, traveling extensively while working on a variety of commercial projects throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe. In 1992, Durham formed Rubio|Durham Architects with offices in Chicago and St. Louis. In 2002, the firm was reorganized as Studio|Durham Architects, described by Durham as, “a full-service architectural firm dedicated to working with clients in a highly interactive process.” A true artist, Durham embraced the use of sketching and model creation throughout his career.

A founding principle of Studio|Durham’s practice was work with non-profit and community organizations in urban neighborhoods. Reflecting a commitment to important, culturally impactful projects in the city of St. Louis, Durham was instrumental in the design of the café in Citygarden, a vibrant, urban sculpture garden in the heart of downtown St. Louis, created by the Gateway Foundation in 2009. Durham provided invaluable insight during construction and early maintenance efforts and helped develop plans for the 2019 “Love vs Money” installation on the cafe roof. Founded in 1986, the Gateway Foundation seeks to enrich life and culture in the St. Louis area by supporting efforts to acquire, create, or improve tangible and durable art and urban design. Durham was asked to join the Gateway Board of Trustees in October 2014 and was a valuable member until his death. More information is available at gateway-foundation.org and citygardenstl.org.

The not-for-profit Sheldon Art Galleries exhibits works by local, national and international artists in all media. Over 6,000 square feet of the galleries’ spaces on the 2nd floor are permanently devoted to rotating exhibits of photography, architecture, music art and history and children’s art. A sculpture garden, seen from both the atrium lobby and the connecting glass bridge, features periodic rotations and installations, and the Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Gallery on the lower level features art of all media. The Sheldon actively supports the work of St. Louis artists in all mediums and features a dedicated gallery with museum-quality exhibits by St. Louis artists, past and present.