Art Underground started out as a house party with a twist. Knowing that many of their talented friends rarely had the chance to show their work in a gallery setting, Brad and Hannah Edwards offered the walls of their own Lafayette Square apartment. They then invited a few dozen friends over for a casual gathering. The deal: If any of the art on the walls sold, the money would go straight to the artist, with no commission. The notion took hold — big time. Acclaimed local artists began contacting the Edwardses to find out how to get involved. The second party attracted 50 people. The third brought in 75. Constricted by the space in their 1,000-square-foot apartment, the Edwardses knew they could no longer host the parties in their home. But they also knew they were on to something that was rejuvenating the St. Louis art scene — something that, in Brad's words, is "gaining art new fans rather than recycling an existing audience." Thanks to the generosity of homeowners and developers, Art Underground's quarterly events have been housed in such beautiful buildings as the Abbey on the Park and in a stunning loft space in Midtown Alley. The popularity of the exhibitions has required selectivity on Art Underground's part; featured artists have included printmaker Kim Wardenburg, fashion designer Arushi Kumar, abstract painter Michael Bolton and photographer Hal Moran. Admission to the event is always free and, ever true to the mission that began on their own four walls, Brad and Hannah Edwards give all proceeds to the artists.
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