How is the project operated?
BANK Projects is not a for-profit or a non-for profit. At the moment it is strictly an out-of-pocket, artist-run gallery space.
How long has it been in existence?
We moved into the building September of 2012, however, the first couple of months were spent renovating the building. The first show took place March 2013. As of September 20th, 2013, we will have had 5 exhibitions and 1 major event.
What was your motivation?
All 3 of us just recently received our BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and decided that it would make sense for us to put proper use to our degree. The idea of running a gallery out of an old bank seemed really appealing.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
There are three members/ organizers of BANK Projects- Marianne Laury, Mitchell Kirkwood, & Brennan Ponder. Our cat, Roman, is responsible for luring people to look in the window.
How are programs funded?
Each member of the project has a non-BANK-affiliated job in order to maintain the space, host openings, etc. We also gladly accept donations.
Who is responsible for the programming?
All three of us play an equal role in programming and decision making.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
We typically try to have an exhibition about once every month and a half, so roughly 8 shows a year. They stay up for one month. Aside from barbeques, we have hosted one major event. As our space becomes more organized, we hope to host more events in the future.
What kind of events are usually organized?
Since we have only had one event, aside from openings and said barbeques, we don’t really have a “usual” kind. We are, however, open to a variety of events for the future.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
We welcome proposals/submissions, however, we generally research and handpick artists that we want to exhibit at our space.
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
Our goal is to provide local and national artists and creative types an opportunity to execute and exhibit projects in an alternative environment.
What’s working? What’s not working?
We have a consistent group of people that come to our shows, which is great. However, we have found it problematic that other galleries often have openings on the same day, causing people to have to pick and choose which ones they go to. We would like to have better communication with the galleries in St. Louis to formulate a plan so that people don’t have to make decisions like that (and so that we can go to the openings). It shouldn’t come down to a battle of who has the best beer at openings.
Also, naturally our finances are very limited. It would be great if this space was self- sustainable so that we don’t have to work outside jobs to continue running it.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
We are really excited to utilize the drive-thrus for a shop!