Consider the Alternatives: An Index of Experimental Art Spaces

Consider the Alternatives: An Index of Experimental Art Spaces

By Christian L. Frock | Jan 15, 2013, published on the KQED Arts blog

The Bay Area offers a rich history of alternative and experimental art spaces that have served as platforms for a diverse range of artists. Dig below the surface of contemporary art and you will find alternative spaces at the roots. But what is an alternative space? The definition is open-ended. They are sometimes storefronts or apartments, stairwells or windows -- basically any space that might be used to present art.

In fact alternative spaces are more often defined by what they aren't: they are not conventional commercial galleries, or white cubes, or museums. They are sometimes temporary gestures, defined less by built space than by a drive to support artistic experimentation. They are typically run on a shoestring budget -- or no budget, as the case may be. There may be a hint of commercial activity -- and why shouldn't there be? -- but they do not offer representation in the traditional sense. They do, however, support artists by providing space to realize new ideas. They are always a labor of love and an ongoing investigation of sustainability. Hours may be spotty -- sometimes these folks work day jobs and night jobs to sustain their art habit, so call ahead. Here are a few spaces to consider the next time you are looking for an alternative.

Read the full article here, featuring the following Alternative Exposure Grantees: Krowswork (Oakland), Royal Nonesuch Gallery (Oakland), Stairwells (San Francisco), 2nd Floor Projects (San Francisco), Will Brown (San Francisco)

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