News about Mad Art Gallery, the artists who exhibit here, and special events.
Best Art Gallery Riverfront Times 2001
If you really could meet a special someone at an art opening, Mad Art would be the place to do it. Not far from the grand Anheuser-Busch brewery, nestled amid the cozy, historic red bricks of Soulard, is an old police station and lockup that functions astoundingly well as an occasional gallery space. The Soulard jail was best employed last spring when Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis art students put on a rockin' good show. One artist lay prone on the floor as water dripped on him in a bit of self-imposed torture for the sake of art; another applied and reapplied lipstick while writhing on the floor and kissing a canvas until, inevitably, she disrobed. Lots to talk about with that special someone you might have met, with a detour to the former jail cells and the art showcased within them, and the Cat's Meow just a few blocks away to talk more about art and the chance occasions of romance.
11 Most Enhanced Awards for 2001 St. Louis Landmarks Association
The diminutive Art Deco police stations designed by Albert A. Osburg (Chief Architect for the Board of Public Service) punctuate a number of St. Louis neighborhoods. But in January of 1990, the city elected to consolidate its police force into 3 ""superstations."" Six of the Depression-era stations were put up for sale. An attempt in 1993 to turn the old 3rd district station in Soulard into a glassworks did not materialize and the building sat empty for another 7 years. Ron Buechele, a Soulard resident with a degree in art from Maryville, purchased it in 2000. But Ron''s day job is a perfect fit with the former slammer: for the last 15 years, he has served on the County police force.
Working with Paul Fendler & Associates architects, Ron created the hottest new gallery and event space in town. Free admittance to a recent exhibit was predicated on ""dressed for success"" attire--an intriguing challenge. Success seems very likely for this gallery. Nearby corporations are always looking for offbeat meeting spots near Anheuser-Busch brewery and its visitors'' center. Mad Art Gallery is right across the street.
Best Art Gallery Riverfront Times 2005
St. Louis is lucky enough to support a thriving art scene, a slew of talented artists and an eager audience. This year, as it did four years ago, Mad Art Gallery has proven to be the best art venue to serve the city's cultural scene in its manifold forms. From his ongoing open call for art, gallery owner Ron Buechele culls artists and often combines them into thoughtful shows -- New Paintings/New Glass, featuring works by Sam Stang, David Levi and Jaime Gartelos, for instance, and Ambivalent Domain, with Steve Brown, Jay Fram and Andy van der Tuin. Mad Art also manages to attract an enormous swath of the population that might otherwise rarely step into an art gallery, hosting art fundraisers like Mad Arf (benefiting Stray Rescue of St. Louis), the cinéé16 film series and performances by the likes of the Trachtenberg Family Slide Show and the Moscows. In anyone else's hands, an art gallery housed in an Art Deco former police station would have been a cute, one-off joke. Buechele has turned it into the city's most generous, inviting cultural destination.
Method To The Madness St. Louis Magazine by Lynnda Greene August 2006
Since opening Mad Art Gallery in a vintage Art-Deco police station in Soulard six years ago, former St. Louis County police officer Ron Buechele has busted our assumptions about what a gallery is supposed to be-arcane, outré or chi-chi-and dispatched them straight to the slammer. Supporting this innovative venue by renting out its 19,000-square-foot space for private parties, he's able to take risks to nurture new audiences as well as new artists. Declining commissions, he showcases rising regional talents he selects from his ongoing open calls in the thoughtful groups shows he hosts each year. And by opening the space to films, concerts, improv shows and community fundraisers, he brings in legions of people who might not otherwise enter a gallery. Here he talks about why St. Louis is a great place for artists and why the city itself might well be their best work. See full story below.