3 St. Louis Artists You Should Know

Jamie Adams, Charles Houska and Jeffrey Vaughn enliven the St. Louis art scene.

Jamie Adams

Jamie Adams paints large, lush canvases of carefully constructed compositions emphasizing the figure (often nude) that look like moments from mysterious narratives, sometimes in day-glo colors and sometimes in sumptuous black-and-white (like the series featuring actress Jean Seberg). With imagery inspired by both cinema and art history, Adams plays with notions of high and low art. His work is represented in the permanent public collections of Museu Brasileiro da Escultura (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Museum of Modern Art Library (New York), Los Angeles County Museum of Art Research Library, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Medrad Corporation, the Pennsylvania Capitol Building, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Michigan Medical School and many more. In St. Louis, Adams is represented by the Philip Slein Gallery, in the Central West End.

Jamie Adams, "Petunia Parade," oil on canvas

Charles Houska

Charles Houska (pronounced HOUSE-ka), who shows his work in his eponymous gallery in the Central West End, has developed an instantly recognizable schema of bright colors, whimsical characters and simple shapes bordered by bold black lines—like Keith Haring without the angst. Born in Springfield, Illinois, Houska earned a degree in art/visual communication from Illinois State University and worked as a graphic designer in Chicago until his paintings began attracting a following and he moved to St. Louis. Houska’s work takes many forms, from greeting cards to fiberglass sculptures, and he collaborates with students on mural projects as well as working with charitable organizations like PAWS, Stray Rescue and The Humane Society. His work is included in many institutional collections and has been shown in New York,  Chicago, Florida, Texas, Kentucky and elsewhere.

Charles Houska, "Folklore," acrylic on canvas

Jeffrey Vaughn

Jeffrey Vaughn earned his BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and his MFA from the University of Dallas, and has shown his photo-realist paintings and photographs (pigment prints on dibond) of serene landscapes throughout the U.S. His paintings have been published in New American Paintings and reviewed in the American Arts Quarterly. His work is included in many public and private collections, including the U.S. Department of State, Anheuser-Busch Inc., Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest and institutions in Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Massachusetts. In St. Louis, Vaughn is represented by Duane Reed Gallery, in the Central West End.

Jeffrey Vaughn, "Garden Path," oil on canvas

David Lancaster
About the author

David Lancaster has been editor of Where St. Louis...