St. Louis' bustling arts scene may come as a surprise to our friends on the coast, but in the Midwest, STL is known as a cultural hub. We're lucky to have access to many great cultural institutions, arts- and culture-centric publications like All The Art and ALIVE Magazine, festivals like St. Lou Fringe and the Laumeier Art Fair and educational resources like COCA and Craft Alliance.

As St. Louis aims to create inclusion in a deeply segregated city, H;U looks to the many free cultural institutions who open their doors - and arms - to any- and everyone. Organizations like the Contemporary Art Museum foster a diverse and inclusive art community through a free model and accessible events including but not limited to Open Studios STL and Art: 314. These initiatives highlight local talent while taking intimidation out of art and art collecting. CAM's efforts to influence the community to take an interest in art regardless of class, color, age, lifestyle or budget, create a cyclical support system that nurtures local artists while creating art enthusiasts and collectors, expanding individual perspectives on art.

Work by Lauren Cardenas in Museum Blue during Open Studios STL 2015. Image by Sarah Stallmann of Wicked Wallflower. 

Work by Lauren Cardenas in Museum Blue during Open Studios STL 2015. Image by Sarah Stallmann of Wicked Wallflower

Art:314 returns tonight after a second year. Starting at just $35-per-ticket, the event includes a silent auction featuring extraordinary work by more than 40 diverse and talented St. Louis artists at a range of price points. Post-auction, the evening continues with a DJ, open bar, and dance party. The event benefits the Museum’s annual celebration of local artists—Open Studios STL—and the Front Room exhibition series, highlighting national emerging artists. Tickets can be purchased at

Participating artists include Caitlin Aasen, Gina Alvarez, Jessica Andersen, Brandon Anschultz, Jennifer Baker, Lyndon Barrois, Carrie Becker, Heather Bennett, Nanette Boileau, Martin Brief, Bunny Burson, Christopher Campbell, Lauren Graciela Cardenas, Colton Carter, Jessi Cerutti, Juan William Chavez, Stan Chisholm , Alika Cooper, John Early, Jennifer Everett, Tate Foley, Jordan Gaunce, Gina Grafos, Sarah Harford, Cheri Hoffman, Kahlil Irving, David Johnson, Grace Kubilius, Alicia Lachance, Andrea Land, Sarah-Marie Land, Cole Lu, David Moore, Leah Nguyen, Norleen Nosri, Patricia Olynyk, Sarah Paulsen, Tom Reed, Davey Rocco, Edo Rosenblith, Nick Schleicher, Megan Singleton, Zack Smithy, Buzz Spector, Danielle Spradley, Mario Trejo, Carlie Trosclair, Mel Watkin, Julie Weinberger, and Rob Zungu.

Purchase tickets at and use code heartlandunderdog to save $10.