Student Art Spaces
SAS is a youth-led collective that is advocating for art equity through group exhibitions and events in community spaces.
When I was entering my sophomore year of high school, I began getting involved in the local arts scene. I teamed up with Alice, a friend of mine, and Ruthie V. of the Seattle Artist League to host a cost-free art gallery in our city.
We sat down in a cafe and allowed Google to take us down a rabbit hole of resource offerings. Once the research was completed, we began the daunting process of raising money through Kickstarter and grants (over $4,000), covering the costs of shipping, framing, and printing for over 50 artworks, collecting the works and going to FedEx daily to pick up art, and promoting the show. Posters were hung up, participants were notified, we were ready for THE MODERN YOUTH IDENTITY gallery. On opening night, we had paintings from New York, Brazil, Lithuania, and so many other places -- it was an incredible, dynamic fusion of artistic talent from around the world. You can read about it more in Seattle Artist League (our venue)'s blog as well.
After that exhausting but thrilling process, we moved on to our second gallery at Shoreline City Hall. It would have been successful, but unfortunately COVID caused the show to be cancelled last minute. During COVID, we decided that we wanted to expand our initiative because we were starting to receive DMs from kids all over the country about how to start galleries in their city. With that, we initiated 21 chapters. You can read about our two galleries as well as our chapter events here.
We’ve had a ton of support from our chapter network. It has been moving to see how fast this initiative has spread from two kids trying to secure a gallery space to 100+ volunteers across the world putting on art events during a pandemic. Our latest initiative is a youth-curated zine called Art During a Pandemic, which was recently featured on the United Nations' SDG storytelling campaign.