Student Art Spaces FAQ

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Who runs SAS?

Our founders are Taylor Wang and Alice Mao, two high school students who created this organization to support aspiring artists like themselves. After their first exhibition, the duo expanded SAS to a core team of four members including website designer George Segress and volunteer coordinator Katelyn Tang. Alice will be attending Yale University in the fall to pursue an education in fine arts, and Taylor, George, and Katelyn are currently in their junior year of high school. SAS is also supported by a dedicated team of volunteers nationwide! Learn more about our volunteers and chapter affiliates, as well as how YOU can get involved here. Pictured: George, Taylor, and Alice after a 10 hour SAS workday

How do you make your galleries accessible?

Most exhibition opportunities require a hefty submission fee, along with a hanging fee. On top of that, artists must pay their own framing and shipping if they are out of state. SAS recognizes how this is a barrier for teen artists from low-income backgrounds, and we act accordingly by making our exhibitions free of cost for accepted participants. We believe lack of finances should never be a hindrance to sharing one’s work with pride. At our first gallery The Modern Youth Identity, out of 40 exhibited artists 30 were female, and one identified as nonbinary. 27 were artists of color. This is a stark contrast with many galleries in the US, filled by artists telling the same dominant narrative. Our gallery's diversity is reflected in the artists' works. Subject matter highlighted everything from the high expectations of Chinese families to the anxiety surrounding school shootings for today's youth. Representation is important--many of our attendees, particularly older ones, told us that they felt moved by the messages our young artists had to share. Through art, they connected with the thoughts and opinions of Gen Z in a way that statistics and articles could never do. Check out our current Seattle events here!

What do you do?

We are a youth-driven platform amplifying the voices of young artists in professional spaces through gallery events and education. A challenge we want to address is the elitism in the art industry. Our mission is to break down financial, racial, and gender barriers for under-served artist communities. We advocate through events, fundraisers, and other coordinated activities. While our main focus is currently hosting equitable galleries for teens, we also host art workshops and we team up with other organizations to bring a youth voice to professional art spaces! In 2020, we launched our teen mental health anthology. This is a series of publications that touches on how teens feel in our modern world plagued by anxiety and uncertainty. Check out our series here!

How do you reach out to teens?

We promote our events through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We have over 1000 followers on our online platforms which can be utilized to engage youth audiences both local and national. However, we recognize that not all teens have reliable access to technology, and we want to reach out to these underserved populations the most. By putting up flyers and recruiting our dedicated team to promote via word-of-mouth channels, we can ensure that every teen has a chance to submit their work regardless of socioeconomic status. We want to create an open space for BIPOC, female, queer, and marginalized artists to share their work. Our galleries intend to showcase a narrative that is representative of all students and our unique experiences, and all of our events are cost-free to reflect that. These stories are important to touch on.

Who funds you? Who are you partnered with?

SAS funds galleries through local grants and crowdfunding. We were awarded $950 and $2500 from smARTventures and 4Culture respectively, two branches of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Additionally, our two Kickstarter campaigns raised $2650, for a grand total of $6050. Beginning in 2020, SAS has partnered with cultural organizations like Urban Artworks, Communities Rise, and Future Coalition in an effort to increase our advocacy. Visit the bottom of our homepage to check out all our wonderful partners!
If you are an organization interested in partnering with us or funding us, fill out this form!

How can I get involved?

Visit the chapters page at the top and connect with one of SAS' local branches. If there is no chapter near you, fill out the form at the top under Get Involved to start your own or join our nationwide network of artists and volunteers! If you are only interested in being an artist in our exhibitions and publications, sign up for our email list at the bottom.