The SND STL opening reception is going to be a blast and we’re ready to finally announced everything we have planned for the conference kick-off!
First of all, the logistical info you need to know:
- The opening reception is taking place from 6-11 p.m. at The City Museum, 701 North 15th Street
- To get to the reception, just head out of the Renaissance Grand Hotel at 8th & Washington Ave northwest (left when you leave the hotel) up Washington Ave to 15th Street, then north one block to the City Museum (the building with the praying mantis sculpture, Ferris wheel and bus on top of the roof)
- Running late or don’t feel like walking the 8 blocks? You can also take the Downtown Trolley Bus from 8th and Washington Ave to the City Museum for $2
- Bring your SND STL badge and wear comfortable clothes and shoes if you want to get the full City Museum experience (more on this below)
The City Museum is difficult to describe for those who haven’t experienced it. You can describe the pieces — airplanes, miles of rebar, a 10-story slide, the son of Daniel Boone’s cabin, hundreds of steam-table pans, a Ferris wheel 12 stories above the city, an arcade of old school mechanical carnival games, thousands of recycled bottles, one World’s Largest Pencil, a circus, a series of underground caves, a zoo and aquarium — but this doesn’t do the experience justice. It’s like nothing else I’ve seen in the world and one of the top 5 man-made places I’ve ever experienced. I’ve asked guests how they would describe it and some of the suggestions I’ve received include: “A real-life Tim Burton movie.” “A junkyard, art show, carnival and children’s playground all-in-one created by a mad, magical scientist.” “A-mazing.”
Here’s the City Museum’s official description:
Housed in the 600,000 square-foot former International Shoe Company, the museum is an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects. The brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly, a classically trained sculptor and serial entrepreneur, the museum opened for visitors in 1997 to the riotous approval of young and old alike.
Cassilly and his longtime crew of 20 artisans have constructed the museum from the very stuff of the city; and, as a result, it has urban roots deeper than any other institutions’. Reaching no farther than municipal borders for its reclaimed building materials, CITY MUSEUM boasts features such as old chimneys, salvaged bridges, construction cranes, miles of tile, and even two abandoned planes!
“CITY MUSEUM makes you want to know,” says Cassilly. “The point is not to learn every fact, but to say, ‘Wow, that’s wonderful.’ And if it’s wonderful, it’s worth preserving.”
It’s an unforgettable experience and you should get to the reception by 6 p.m. so that you can experience the entire magical world that is the City Museum. Remember to wear comfortable clothes and shoes if you’re planning on getting the true experience — which will involve slides, climbing and tunnels.
The City Museum is an amazing attraction in itself, but we have even more planned including hands-on printmaking with St. Louis’ Firecracker Press which will have two presses on hand to do demos and teach you how to create your own custom SND STL postcards using hand-carved wood stencils, lead type and ink presses.
Throughout the night DJ services will be provided by DJ WatchDawg from Platinum Entertainment who will be spinning music for the event and taking requests. There’s also rumor of some potential karaoke singing available as the night progresses, so tune up your vocal cords!
Two free drink tickets are included with your registration and food at the opening reception will be a delicious sampling of:
- Beef Tenderloin on Crouton with Sun Dried Tomato
- Sesame Meatballs with Asian Ginger Sauce
- Fajita Chicken on Flatbread
- Barbecued Pork Sliders on Pretzel Bun with Cole Slaw
- Brie in a Pastry Shell
It won’t be all partying without helping a good cause though, we’re also going to have a gallery show of work from the Joplin, Missouri tornado. Earlier in the year, Post-Dispatch photojournalists J.B. Forbes and Robert Cohen helped organize a fundraiser for victims of the tornado which raised more than $7,000 for the victims and they will bring about a dozen of those prints to show at the SND STL opening reception, where they’ll be available for purchase by silent auction and general donations to the tornado victims will also be accepted.
Rest up! Because after all this, the bar crawl will kick off at 10 p.m. on the way back to the hotel!