5 Worthy Artist-Run Spaces That Have Learned to Thrive Outside of Art-Market Capitals

Living in major art cities like New York, Los Angeles, or even Chicago certainly has its benefits. Things move more quickly, opportunities are more regular, and the concentration of people with similar interests and politics makes community-building that much easier. Unfortunately, it’s also expensive to live in those place and hard to make a splash with so much competition. It makes good sense that younger artists are deeply ambivalent about choosing between moving to Brooklyn or doubling-down in Denver.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve grown interested in projects that are happening outside of the big three art cities, projects run by younger artists in places where overhead is lower. Many of these are collectively run or volunteer-based. They rarely factor art market trends into their experimental programs. They’ve got a sense of regional pride and are eager to connect with their communities. They aren’t aiming to become empires, and they rarely know how long they’ll last.

Who, right now, is taking advantage of their unique geographical locations and existing communities? Here is a small, but inspiring, selection.

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