Everyone knows the Kirkwood Train Station. It’s featured on the city logo, locomotive enthusiasts come to watch trains pass, and its stormwater problems have been well chronicled in this paper. Since 2009, the station has also functioned as an exhibition space for Art at the Station, a community visual arts program.
The Kirkwood Train Station is a unique exhibition space. It is a historic building with much of its original interior decoration, including large windows and dark wood paneling. As far as an exhibition space, the station is less like a museum or gallery than it is a living room: it is lived in. It is in the heart of downtown Kirkwood and receives steady traffic from pedestrians and window shoppers throughout the year.
Additionally, the station operates as an Amtrak Station, with passengers cycling through at least four times a day.
Art at the Station’s 2018 season concluded with the Kirkwood Public Art Photo Contest, “Architecture in Focus.” The 2019 season opens this January with artwork by Marshall Blevins.
Blevins studied equine management in college and used to work as a groomer at a horse track. Over the past few years she has dedicated herself to painting full time. In many of her paintings you’ll see a mule.
For Blevins, mules are ripe for metaphor, and she uses them as a sense through which she can explore her southern roots.
Blevins says, “They can’t reproduce, but they still seem to live forever, quiet and worthless once the tractor and the car took over. The mule is a small, forgotten part of history always begging, ‘what else are y’all missin’? What else y’all left behind? What else can I tell you about your future?’”
Exhibits can be viewed when the station is open for passengers. Exhibits and receptions are free and open to the public. Visit the Kirkwood Arts website, kirkwoodarts.org for updates and information on the latest exhibition. Follow Blevins’ work on her Instagram page @churchgoinmule.