alternative spaces

   Non-profit galleries run by and for artists, which proliferated in American and other cities in the 1970s as independent organizations, considered necessary in an era of increasingly diverse artistic issues, experimentation, commodification, etc. — the museums and commercial galleries were seen as providing exhibition opportunities both too few and too tied to commodification. Alternative spaces championed feminism and ethnic diversity by presenting work by women artists and artists of non-European descent. By the early 1980s the nature of such organizations had diversified. Recent art school graduates could still find storefront venues for their installation, conceptual, video and performance art endeavors, but some alternative spaces had evolved into highly structured institutions with large staffs and funding from foundations, and government entities such as the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The names most current for alternative space are "artists' organization" and "artist-run organization." Representing them in Washington, DC, is the National Association of Artists' Organizations (NAAO).

Glossary of Art Terms. 2014.

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