Chris Kallmyer is a California-based sound and social practice artist whose work explores relationships between environments, objects, and the people who give them meaning. Kallmyer participated in a two-week residency at the Pulitzer in the fall, where he collected and refined clay from the banks of the Mississippi River to make earthenware musical instruments.

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Inspired by the works on view by Alexander Calder, Richard Tuttle, and Fred Sandback, Kallmyer also collaborated with local artists and activists to understand the social and natural landscapes of St. Louis. By encouraging multiple kinds of dialogue—among diverse creators and artists, between art and environment—Kallmyer used sound as a means to reconnect with spaces, traditions, and communities.

The residency concluded on Saturday, September 5, with a public performance that brought together the local partners and the handmade instruments. Composed on site by Kallmyer and musician Andrew Tholl to respond to the durational qualities of the art on view, this piece invited the Pulitzer’s audiences to experience and enjoy the building through joyful noise and careful music.

Workshop Participants and Chime Players: Brea McAnally, co-director of The Luminary and artist under US English; Michael Allen, director of Preservation Research Office and adjunct professor at Washington University in St. Louis; Regina Martinez, director of The Pink House with Beyond Housing; Kevin McCoy, designer and co-director of Work/Play; Darian Wigfall, director of artist management and development at FarFetched; Kate Estwing, DJ of Beep Beep Boop Boop at KDHX and urban gardener; Cheeraz Gormon, performance poet and copywriter; Mallory Nezam, interactive artist, director of St. Louis Improv Anywhere, and yogi; Logan Alexander, designer at TOKY, musician; Sophie Lipman, social practice artist and Assistant Registrar at Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

A special thanks to the collaboration of Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design and artist Dan Barnett for their assistance with the testing and production of the clay chimes, and to Marcis Curtis of Citizen Carpentry for his design and production of the chime stands and stools.

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