Artist-run space

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An artist-run space is a gallery space run by artists, thus circumventing the structures of public and private galleries. Artist-run spaces have become realised as an important factor in urban regeneration, for example Glasgow, UK.


The two main artist-run spaces from Buenos Aires were Belleza y Felicidad and APPETITE, both set the standards for emerging art in Argentina. APPETITE was a gallery was the first argentinian gallery to be accepted at Frieze, London, and encouraged a lot of galleries to its San Telmo barrio.


Many artist-run spaces exist in Australia.[1] These spaces are often provided with funding assistance by government and state funding bodies.[2] Notable examples of current or recent artist-run projects and spaces include Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Collective in Sydney, Platform artists group in Melbourne and freerange[3] in Perth.


Artist-run centre is the common term of use for artist-initiated and managed organizations in Canada. Centres follow the not-for-profit arts organization model, do not charge admission fees, are non-commercial and de-emphasize the selling of work. The centres were created originally in response to a lack of opportunity to present contemporary work in Canada and a desire to network with other artists nationally and internationally.[4] In the 1990s there were over 100 artist-run centres across Canada. There are currently at least 60 artist-run centres with continuous operating funding.[5]

The primary source of funding for artist-run centres is the Canada Council which has a specific program of two-year operating support for artist-run centres. Most centres also receive funding from the Provincial governments, most of which have an arts council to financially assist individual artists and arts organizations. Centres may also receive funding from their local municipal or city governments. Centres sometimes will secure funding for specific projects from corporations that manage lottery earnings or public and private foundations. Centres have tended not to pursue individual sponsors or patrons, neither corporations nor individuals, in part because they are in a critical relationship with the traditional and established art system of museums which have the resources to pursue that type of support.


Immanence is an artist-run space located in Paris Montparnasse. It was founded in 1998 by two artists, Cannelle Tanc and Frédéric Vincent. Since the opening in January 25, 2000, this very active artist-run space have organize more of 100 exhibitions. In particular the first Edouard Levé's Exhibition, "Rêves Reconstitué" in 2000, a carte blanche to Jean-Marc Bustamante a solo show of Eric Corne, "Le plus plus grand piano du monde " Goran Vejvoda, "readonlymemories" Grégory Chatonsky, "men crying" Gulsun Karamustafa, "Au-tour de Robert Filliou, Cover record. In 2008, The center of research and documentation around artist book, Archive Station open with a big exhibition of artists books since this opening, Immanence have made lot of exhibition with artists book in particular something else press and around in 2010.[citation needed]

New Zealand[edit]

A number of artist-run spaces have flourished throughout New Zealand since the 1990s. Some have been short-lived, whereas others have secured long-term funding and been operating for more than a decade.

The Blue Oyster Art Project Space[edit]

The Blue Oyster Art Project Space was established in Dunedin in 1999; its founding members were Emily Barr, Steve Carr, Wallace Chapman, Douglas Kelaher and Kate Plaisted.[6] The gallery is currently located on Dowling Street in Dunedin's CBD and is funded by Creative New Zealand and Dunedin City Council. It is overseen by a board of Dunedin artists and arts professionals.[6]

Enjoy Public Art Gallery[edit]

Enjoy Public Art Gallery was established by a group of Wellington artists in June 2001 and is still in operation on Wellington's Cuba Street.[7] It receives operational funding from Creative New Zealand and Wellington City Council.[7] It is managed by a trust board of Wellington artists; the current chair is Ann Shelton.[8]

Gloria Knight[edit]

Located in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter, Gloria Knight opened in March 2012.[9] The gallery mounted exhibitions for nearly two years, and also presented work at art fairs, including the 2013 Auckland Art Fair.[10][11] The gallery closed in December 2014.[12]

The Physics Room[edit]

The Physics Room in Christchurch emerged from South Island Art Projects, an organisation that in 1992 began presenting temporary and public art events without a formal location.[13] In 1996 The Physics Room was established in a gallery space in the Christchurch Arts Centre.[13] The gallery is now located in the CBD on Tuam Street and receives operational funding from Creative New Zealand.[14]


Based on Karangahape Road in Auckland, RM is New Zealand's longest running artist-run space. Previous incarnations of the gallery include rm3, rm212, rm401 and rm103.[15]


Teststrip was an Auckland artist-run space, operating first in Vulcan Lane and then on Karanghape Road] from 1992 to 1997.[16] It was established by a group of artists (Kirsty Cameron, Judy Darragh, merit gröting, Gail Haffern, Giovanni Intra, Denise Kum, Lucy Macdonald and Daniel Malone) and secured Creative New Zealand funding to establish a two-room gallery space.[16] Co-founder and gallery administrator for two years Daniel Malone noted:

"Teststrip has always been about us pursuing and creating a context for our own work. I guess we were interested in creating things-not like most galleries which act as a conduit or filter. We didn't go out and look for stuff for the gallery-we just each had our own practices and interests which we brought to it. Of course, that meant we had to keep in touch with what was going on."[17]

The Teststrip archives are held by Auckland Art Gallery.[18] A history of the organisation was published in 2008.[19]

United Kingdom[edit]

Artist-run spaces had a particularly strong effect on urban regeneration in Glasgow, where the city won the accolade 'European Capital of Culture' in 1990 largely due to the large number of artist-run exhibition spaces and galleries.[20] Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist coined the term "The Glasgow Miracle" to describe this.

FIVE YEARS was founded by a group of artist in 1998, based in 40 Underwood St,Shoreditch. London. It was a neighbour to BANK's space, Poo Poo Gallery and 30 Underwood St . In 2002, Five Years, Mellow Birds ( who was using the space of BANK after their disbanding and 30 Underwood St) had to leave the old Victorian Industrial premises to give way to gentrification new Loft Style housing. After a few years of only virtual and site specific existence, FIVE YEARS members found a space in Hackney from which they continue to work since 2007 with an expanded membership.[21][22][23]

In London Charles Thomson founded the Stuckism International Gallery in 2002 in Shoreditch, in a four-story warehouse.[24] The last show there was in 2004.[25]

The Transition Gallery was founded in October 2002 in a converted garage close to Victoria Park, Hackney, London, and is run by artists Cathy Lomax and Alex Michon to show work by established and new contemporary artists.[26]

studio1.1 was founded as a co-operative in 2003 and is run by artists Michael Keenan and Keran James. The gallery is an artist-run, not-for-profit space, located in a former sex shop in Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, East London.[27]

Hartslane [28] experimental art project space, in New Cross Gate, South East London, was founded in 2012 by Cristiana Bottigella, Sigrun Sverrisdottir and Tisna Westerhof. It is based in a derelict garage which was an eyesore and a wasted resource owned by Lewisham Council and occupied by People Before Profit as part of their struggle for affordable housing in Lewisham.[29]

United States[edit]

Los Angeles, California[edit]

Los Angeles has a tradition of artist run spaces dating back to at least the 1950s. Chris Burden's Shoot piece took place in a space run by artist Barbara T. Smith. Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions was founded by several individuals including two artists. Machine Project is still directed by artist Mark Allen.

Currently Los Angeles has a vibrant artist-run scene, as evidenced by an artist-run fair consisting of almost entirely artist-run spaces and initiatives in 2011 and 2012.[30]

In 2010, ART2102 of Los Angeles published the book and an online directory, Dispatches and Directions: On Artist-Run Organizations in Los Angeles, which documents these initiatives from 2005–present.

New York[edit]

New York City During the 1950s in Manhattan, artist-run co-ops became the alternative to the uptown Madison Avenue galleries that catered mostly to wealthy blue-chip and European art-oriented collectors. From the early 1950s to the early 1960s the Tenth Street galleries located mostly in the East Village in lower Manhattan became the proving ground for much of the contemporary art that achieved popularity and commercial success in the decades that followed. During the 1960s the Park Place Gallery became the first important contemporary gallery in SoHo.[31] Park Place gallery was an artist-run cooperative that featured cutting-edge Geometric abstraction.[32] Eventually by the 1970s SoHo became the new center for the New York art world as hundreds of commercial galleries opened in a sudden wave of artistic prosperity.[33]

Pierogi 2000, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is run by artist Joe Amrhein. The gallery puts on traditional exhibitions and also presents works on paper in an extensive system of flat files. Viewers can look through hundreds of individual artists’ portfolios of works on paper contained within the flat file drawers. These files travel for exhibition at other venues in the United States and abroad.

Momenta Art is an artist-run nonprofit institution also in Williamsburg. Momenta Art shows work by emerging artists that are not well represented in commercial galleries. It has an annual fundraiser which is a benefit group exhibition and raffle. The fundraiser has been hosted regularly by White Columns, another non-profit organization dedicated to supporting emerging artists.

MINUS SPACE is an artist-run curatorial project devoted to reductive art. Minus Space maintains an exhibition space in Brooklyn and curates exhibitions at other venues nationally and internationally. Minus Space also has a location on the Internet enabling it to collaborate with other institutions.[34] The website has a running log of related exhibitions and a chronology documenting the development of reductive and concept-based art.

Manhattan Graphics Center (MGC), located in the West Village, is run by artist volunteers and offers artists printmaking studios and classes. In a cooperative system artists can also use the facility in exchange for administrative work. Manhattan Graphics Center also exhibits the work of artists who have used the facility.

San Francisco[edit]

The Kitsch Gallery is an artist-run space located in San Francisco's Mission District. It was founded in 2009 by three students, Nikki Mirsaeid, Taj Robinson, and Myrina Tunberg at the San Francisco Art Institute and University of San Francisco. Kitsch was voted Best New Warehouse Space of 2010 by SF Weekly.[35] Artists who have been presented or exhibited at Kitsch include Tania De Rozario.[36]

Savernack Street is an artist-run micro-gallery located in San Francisco's Mission District created and curated by artist Carrie Sinclair Katz. The gallery interior is inaccessible to visitors and artwork can only be viewed by looking through a reverse peephole located on the storefront. The exhibitions usually feature a single piece of miniature artwork that appears larger or life sized when viewed through the peephole.[37]


  1. ^ "Crawl list of artist-run initiatives". 
  2. ^ "Australia Council for the Arts". 
  3. ^ "free range gallery". Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  4. ^ Bronson, AA "The Humiliation of the Bureaucrat: Artist-Run Centres as Museums by Artists." Museums by Artists. AA Bronson and Peggy Gale, eds. Art Metropole, Toronto 1983.
  5. ^ McLaughlin, Bryan. "AA Bronson, Anton Vidokle Challenge Canada's Artist-Run Culture at Institutions by Artists in Vancouver". Canadian Art. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "About". Blue Oyster Gallery. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "About". Enjoy Public Art Gallery. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  8. ^ "People". Enjoy Public Art Gallery. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  9. ^ "Gloria Knight". Ocula. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "Gloria Knight". Arts Diary. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Circuit podcast episode 15". Circuit. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  12. ^ Drysburgh, Emil. "Gloria – The Dame of Wynyard Quarter". #500words. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "History". The Physics Room. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  14. ^ "Support". The Physics Rooms. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  15. ^ "About". RM. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  16. ^ a b "Teststrip: Nostalgia for the Avant-garde". Auckland Art Gallery. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  17. ^ Butts, Danny. "TeststRIP". The Physics Room. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  18. ^ "Teststrip Archives". Auckland Art Gallery. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  19. ^ "Teststrip: a history of an artist-run space (1992-1997)". Clouds Publishing. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  20. ^ Palmer, Robert. "Study on the European Cities and Capitals of Culture and the European Cultural Months (1995-2004)". European Commission. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-28. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  24. ^ Alberge, Dalya. "Artists brandish brushes at rivals", The Times, 20 July 2002, p. 3. Online reprint, retrieved 17 February 2008.
  25. ^ "Stuckism International: Hysterical Shock", Stuckism web site, 12 August 2004. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, 15 November 2008.
  26. ^ "Transition Gallery", NYArts. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
  27. ^ studio1.1 website. Retrieved 21 September 2012
  28. ^ alessiacamera (2016-05-19). "hARTSlane Space: when art is with (and for) the community". This is Not Art [QuestaNonÈArte]. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  29. ^
  30. ^[permanent dead link][better source needed]
  31. ^ Linda Dalrymple Henderson, Dean Fleming, Ed Ruda, and the Park Place Gallery: Spatial Complexity and the "Fourth Dimension" in 1960s New Yorkpp. 379-388.
  32. ^ Retrieved June 15, 2010
  33. ^ In the Late Sixties, [1] Retrieved June 15, 2010
  34. ^ MacAdam, Barbara A. "Tilman - Minus Space", Art News, January 2008, Vol 107, No 1, p 132.
  35. ^ "Best of San Francisco". SF Weekly. November 3, 2010
  36. ^ "Feeding Ghosts Exhibition" Archived September 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Kitsch Gallery. October 10, 2012
  37. ^ Aaron, Mendelson (17 January 2014). "San Francisco's Smallest Gallery Invites Patrons to Take a Peek". KQED - The California Report. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 


  • Detterer, Gabriele & Nannucci, Maurizio (ed.). "Artist-Run Spaces", JRP-Ringier / Les presses du réel, 2012, ISBN 978-2-84066-512-0 / ISBN 978-3-03764-191-0.
  • Colon, Lorne. "Artist-run Manhattan Graphics Center celebrates 20 years", Downtown Express, Vol 18, Issue 52, May 12–18, 2006.
  • MacAdam, Barbara A. "Tilman - Minus Space", Art News, January 2008, Vol 107, No 1, p 132.
  • Kimm, Ronni and Jesse Aron Green eds. Dispatches and Directions: On Artist-Run Organizations in Los Angeles. ART2102, Los Angeles, 2011.
  • Machine Learning, exhibition catalog, The Boyden Gallery of St. Mary's College of Maryland, The Painting Center, Gallery Sonja Roesch and Minus Space. Essay by Matthew Deleget.
  • Satinsky, Abigail; Bryce Dwyer & Shannon Stratton eds. "Phonebook: A directory of independent art spaces, programming, and projects across the United States." threewalls, Chicago, 2011.
  • Volk, Gregory. "The Chelsea Alternative", Flash Art, Summer 1999, Vol.XXXII, No.207.
  • Bizewski, Janusz. [2]

See also[edit]