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Fortune: Then & Now
An Artist Reunion of Fortune Bank Building Design and Equipment
A collection of work by the artists who were part of Fortune,

December 10, 2004 - February 5, 2005

Opening Reception: Friday, December 10 l 5:30 to 7:30 PM

Fortune:  Then & Now postcard

Rick Barcheck
Fortune Foreman, 1976-1989

Featured artists:

Rick Barcheck
John Bjerklie
Poogy Bjerklie
Fabian Bunten*
John Donoghue*
Dale Dufer
Renee Flanders
John Foster
Drayton Hamilton
Bill Hawk
Bill Kreplin
Joan Levinson
Patty Linderer
Pat Schuchard
Henry Stites*
Jeff Vaughn
Kevin Welby
John Paul Wolf*

*in memory

The Story of Fortune

Curatorial Statement

Untitled, Bill Kreplin

Artists must find a method and environment in which they can develop their own inner dialogue and share the results within their community's culture. The process is always a difficult task for young artists as they seek to continue to grow as artists while making ends meet. Many young artists have emerged from their studies at a university only to discover that the support and opportunities to nurture, share and apply their creative aptitudes while demonstrating their ability to see the world differently are difficult to find. Artists have always created support for themselves by developing friendships, guilds, neighborhoods and even their own galleries, with other artists.

The artists represented in this show were participants in a unique experience one that offered much more than employment to help make ends meet at such a time in their careers. This show is a reunion, Then and Now, comprised of the work by the artists who worked at the former Mark Twain Banks Fortune Bank Building Design and Equipment fabrication workshop from the mid-1970s through the late 1980s.

The "Fortune" workshop hired artists to work as cabinetmakers, carpenters, designers and managers. They designed and created much of the interiors of the new banking facilities that were being opened during the bank's rapid growth throughout the metro area and across the state. They also represented the banks support for the arts with enthusiasm the artists were ambassadors of the bank as they pursued their personal artistic careers in the community. The bank, in turn, supported the Fortune artists by purchasing selected pieces of their artwork. Many of the pieces were represented in the corporate art collection that filled the very interiors the staff designed and created. The banks innovative support and relationship to these "in house" artists were always a source of visible curiosity and fascination to the visual arts community and beyond.

Yellow Forest with Poplar Trees, Jeff Vaughn

Over the years, the artists from the Fortune staff have moved on to become successful artists, designers and educators in St. Louis and other communities. This show allows us to create a link to that period of time that the Fortune shop and its artists were a growing avant-garde emblem an emblem of Mark Twain Bank's support of the St. Louis art scene within the fabric of its own corporate culture. This show is a celebration and acknowledgement of the growth and progress all of the artists, all of what they have accomplished through their art and throughout their careers blending the experiences, skills and contributions they shared while artists working for the bank.

I am grateful to US Bank for their loan of selected artwork made by each of the Fortune artists for use in our group show at The Gallery at the Regional Arts Commission.

- Rick Barcheck, Curator
Fortune Foreman, 1976- 1989


Fabian Bunten, Henry Stites and foreman Rick Barcheck

Fortune artist Fabian Bunten

Rick Barcheck at work

Did You See Me
Joan Levinson


All images of artwork on this Web site are copyright of the individual artists.
Unauthorized copying and/or redistribution of the images is prohibited.

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