20th anniversary memorial art exhibition presented in honor of local artist Nate McClain, who died at age 24.


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Painting the Town: Legacy of Nate McClain

Nate McClain, Self Portrait - Hawaiian
Painting the Town: Legacy of Nate McClain is the first major retrospective to broadly examine the legacy of St. Louis artist Nate McClain in honor of the 20th anniversary of his passing at age 24. The exhibition will feature McClain's original paintings, portraits and early works requested by his passionate and loyal fans who have waited 20 years for this once in a lifetime event. With your support, McClain's art can be experienced live, one last time. Funds raised will cover the cost of the exhibition at St. Louis ArtWorks Sept 8 - 9th, 2017. Thank you in advance for making this event happen!


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Nate's Story

Nate McClain (1973 - 1997) was an American visual artist best known for his large-scale murals which have gained posthumous acclaim. Nate was born August 6, 1973 in Granite City, IL with a natural talent for art. At age 4, he became a published artist when his Happy Birthday Card was sold nationally by Hello Studio's Children's Art Collection. He pursued art with a passion and earned a BFA in illustration from Missouri State (formerly SMSU). In 1993, his mother passed away from cancer which profoundly impacted Nate as he was an only child and his artwork turned to darker colors & harsher themes. After college, he worked as a freelance artist in St. Louis and was commissioned to paint a 9' by 9' mural for Ozzie Smith's retirement from baseball. Nate was an emerging artist when he tragically passed away from a drowning accident in the Mississippi River on September 7, 1997 at age 24. Posthumously, the Nate McClain Gallery opened in 2003 providing private collectors a digital space to crowd-curate over 130 pieces of his artwork and share his life story. The Gallery has mobilized grassroots action by saving one of his 16' by 8' murals from demolition and having his artwork appear on an international magazine cover. Twenty years after his passing, his life and artistic legacy continue to resonate and inspire.

Nate McClain Gallery

My name is Kris Barks and I am the curator of the Nate McClain Gallery (natemcclain.com). Nate was an emerging artist from St. Louis, MO who tragically passed away at age 24 in 1997. I was best friends with Nate since preschool and he had a fun-loving charisma that everyone gravitated towards. His sudden passing had a profound impact on those who knew him and inspired the creation of a crowd-curated virtual gallery to share his artwork. Twenty years after his passing, Nate’s loyal fans have requested to publicly exhibit his artwork & we are looking to stARTup-StL for help. Our crowdfunding campaign is for a 20th anniversary memorial art exhibition presented in Nate's honor titled "Painting the Town: Legacy of Nate McClain." This rare event will offer an up-close and personal opportunity to view Nate's innovative originals & vibrant portraits. The funds raised will cover the cost of the exhibit at St. Louis ArtWorks in St. Louis MO on Sept 8 - 9th, 2017.

Exhibition Details

Painting the Town: Legacy of Nate McClain

St. Louis ArtWorks, 5959 Delmar Blvd.

September 8th, 7-10 p.m. (Opening) and September 9th, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. (One day event)

Exhibition organized by the Nate McClain Gallery in association with private collections throughout St. Louis metro area; Kansas City, MO; Chicago, IL; and Charleston, SC.