Ruthie V. has helped Taylor Wang and Alice Mao create Student Art Spaces.

Ruthie V. has helped Taylor Wang and Alice Mao create Student Art Spaces.

IHS students launch youth art gallery

Student Art Spaces gives youth accessibility to show their work in a professional show.

The love of art runs deep in two Issaquah High School students.

Taylor Wang and Alice Mao first met in their AP art class last year. Throughout that class they realized not many students have the accessibility to take such art classes, practice their skills, much less be able to show their work.

In the past, Mao took art classes at the Seattle Artist League under the teachings of Ruthie V. She said at the end of the class, she and other students were able to present their work in a gallery.

“Seeing my work on the wall and hearing people talk about it was great,” Mao said.

In January, Wang and Mao decided to create their own gallery to feature young artists — Student Art Spaces.

Student Art Spaces offers a venue for young creative minds to collaborate and showcase their work. Wang and Mao are dedicated to youth outreach and participation in the arts. They hope to share the privileges they have by giving as many emerging artists as possible a chance to display their work.

The Student Art Spaces mission is to form a creative space for marginalized communities to express themselves and their unique perspectives through a medium where they are largely underrepresented.

Student Art Spaces gallery is called “The Modern Youth Identity.”

Passionate about their project, Mao and Wang didn’t know exactly where to begin. Mao approached her former teacher at Seattle Artist League, Ruthie V., for advice.

“We met up with Ruthie and she said we could use her gallery space in Seattle,” Mao said.

V. became a mentor to the two students, offering advice and access to resources.

“When they approached me about their idea, I loved it,” V. said. “I’ve got the space, and I gave it to them to put on the show.”

Finding a space to hold their gallery show wasn’t their only task. Wang said they did copious amounts of research — learning from other galleries on how to start their own.

“I don’t think there are any other galleries that are quite like ours,” Wang said. “It was difficult since we had to start from scratch.”

However, the students said they received advice and support from other local galleries, including the Tacoma Art Museum.

In addition, the two students applied to various grants and launched a kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. For them, it was important to keep costs low for submitting artists. There are no entrance or submittal fees. Artists also do not have to pay to have their work framed and shipped to the gallery.

Submitting artists can send their work electronically, which is not typical of most galleries. Submitting artists also can send in different mediums of art, including music and film.

They did this to allow all students to have equal opportunity to submit their work.

“Our goal was to raise $500,” Wang said. “We raised almost $1,000.”

Over months of organizing, marketing and fundraising, they have received more than 180 entries.

“We’re really excited we’ve received so many entries, and we’re so grateful for all the support we’ve received,” Mao said.

The gallery show will be Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at 10219 Aurora Ave. North, Seattle.

“We really want to break the stigma that art is a bad career,” Mao said. “We want to show that anyone can do it, and that it can be a sustainable career.”

To learn more about Student Art Spaces, go online to https://www.studentartspaces.com/.

Student Art Spaces gives youth accessibility to show their work in a professional show.

Student Art Spaces gives youth accessibility to show their work in a professional show.

Courtesy photos
                                Taylor Wang, 15, (left) and Alice Mao, 17, (right) have been working with Ruthie V. of the Seattle Artist League to create a gallery exhibition of young, underrepresented artists.

Courtesy photos Taylor Wang, 15, (left) and Alice Mao, 17, (right) have been working with Ruthie V. of the Seattle Artist League to create a gallery exhibition of young, underrepresented artists.

More in News

Issaquah candidate campaign funding

Many candidates chose to raise less than $5,000, allowing them not to report.

Mayor Mary Lou Pauly has appointed Wally Bobkiewicz as Issaquah’s next city administrator. Photo courtesy of city of Issaquah
Wally Bobkiewicz is Issaquah’s new city administrator

The city council confirmed the appointment during its Aug. 12 meeting.

Mark Lundborg, fencer and CFO of Issaquah’s Washington Fencing Academy (WFA), will be competing in the 2019 Veteran World Championships in Cairo, Egypt. Madison Miller / staff photo
Lundborg to compete in at the 2019 Veteran World Championships

The 59-year-old recently won the veteran men’s individual saber at the 2019 USA Fencing National Championships in Columbus, Ohio.

District Court Judge Peter Nault dies after 25 years on the bench

The county council will appoint a judge to fill the open spot.

Dave Stuby’s long career in dispatching was honored last month during a governing board meeting in Kirkland. He is the first enrolled in NORCOM’s Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of NORCOM
Issaquah resident spent 33 years in 911 dispatching

Dave Stuby is the first enrolled in NORCOM’s Hall of Fame.

The intended bike park will be located near the soccer fields of Pad 3, under the BPA power lines and north of the Central Park-Falls Drive trail. Photo courtesy of the city of Issaquah
Bike park construction expected in 2020 if funding is secured

Issaquah Highlands plans to implement a bike park in Central Park.

Rattlesnake Lake. Image by Google Maps
Issaquah man drowns at Rattlesnake Lake

Body recovered by dive unit on Aug. 7.

Spring Chinook salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish and Wildlife Service
State awards millions for salmon recovery

Puget Sound counties received more than $45 million.

Marty Wine and Wally Bobkiewicz are the two finalists for Issaquah’s city administrator. Madeline Coats/staff photo
Two candidates remain for the open city administrator position

Marty Wine and Wally Bobkiewicz sat down with city officials and residents of Issaquah.

Most Read