We are so happy to feature Elizabeth who is presenting the project titled, Blank Space, at our event on November 26th!  Read more about her project below:

Project Description

Blank Space is a creative space in Oslo that works in countless aspects of the visual art and design community, since our inception in May 2013. Our visual art house works to make the art scene in Norway stronger, healthier, inclusive, diverse, and representational of the artists working in it.

We are divided in four separate, but equal, parts:

  • GALLERY (minimum of 6 exhibitions per year)
  • WORKSHOPS (average 10 events per month)
  • STUDIOS and CO-WORKING SPACES (three private studios and three shared desks, open to up to 16 additional members every Sunday)
  • COMMUNITY (social and professional events designed to strengthen Oslo’s creative scene)

Our goals:

Break down the barriers in art: Blank Space works with every type of person to reassure them that art is for everyone, regardless of finances, background, education, or job. Rich or poor, young or old, artist or not – everyone is welcome.

Diversify art: Blank Space represents art that isn’t commonly found in a gallery setting to help give these forms of art validation in the public eye. Though we believe the definition of art is much broader, we focus on areas such as illustration, animation, comic books, graphic design, street art, film, game design, and concept art. We also work with traditional artists who explore contemporary applications.

Strengthen education: Blank Space offers a wide variety of workshops, lectures, and events to broaden the creative resources for artists in Oslo. These high quality arrangements vary in topic, theme, and level so that everyone can improve their skills in visual art and design.

Support production: Blank Space encourages action, not just talk. Challenge yourself: Through our studios and events we promote taking risks in art, pushing skills past their current level, and helping others to be the best artist / designer they can be. We help people recognize their mistakes while providing a nurturing environment in which to fix them. We are a meeting place for the creative and the productive. We are a safe haven for the curious and the strange. We are a Blank Space for what the visual art and design community needs.

Why does this idea matter to you and the city of Oslo?

We support creativity from all sides – from inspiration, to production, to distribution. By not focusing on one specific area of the creative market, we are able to create instead a full-scale community center that grows with our audience’s needs and can encompass its ambitious goals. Evidence shows future artists looking to excel in the alternative arts must venture for an education outside of Norway and often don’t come back due to lack of significant opportunities. Blank Space seeks to stop this export of talent by offering a chance to grow in their own country, which offers a dual benefit: growing talent at home and stopping the talent export in alternative fields, and drawing international attention to innovative cultural opportunities within our shores. Blank Space is a multidisciplinary cultural force – we encourage experimentation, cross- field inspiration, and collaboration with the out-of-ordinary. We believe that the art world, and those influenced by it, go forward faster and healthier by expanding our horizons, not to mention developing empathy for our fellow creators. We thrive on being unexpected, fresh, and new. Our projects, our participants, and our audience are all eccentric persons who want to push the boundaries of their skills and perspectives. We deliver that by means of unique network- building projects, exhibitions that focus on underrepresented forms of expression, and classes meant to expand an individual’s capabilities while inspiring them to more expansive projects for the future.

How will you use the micro-grant funding to realize your concept?

This funding would help to transform from a mainly volunteer-driven community into a group of experienced local and international professionals that will offer a qualitative and inspirational, yet well structured, organization that supplies a safe space for the curious – the enthusiasts, creators, cultural entrepreneurs, and working artists in Norway. We will also begin to expand our free / low cost opportunities for curious, non-artistic parties interested in venturing into the art world. Blank Space encourages otherwise alienated individuals to expression through our welcoming atmosphere and staff. Art has a unique pull to people who can’t find solace elsewhere, and these would-be participants often find the art scene a closed and isolated group of people. We believe that everyone deserves to find a creative outlet that suits them, and always have an open door to help anyone who is curious about the art world as it is both in Oslo and generally. This fund would help us keep our costs low (or free) to whom a normal range price tag could be reason they haven’t explored the arts before.

What specific elements of community and/or sustainability are being addressed in your concept?

While maintaining a professional yet fun atmosphere, we welcome anyone regardless of background, experience, or income. We focus on alternative art. For general audiences, art can be classified in two stereotypes: oil paintings of naked ladies or loud performances of angry women involving bodily fluids. While we agree these forms of art undeniably deserve respect, we also agree that the art world is a much more diverse place than that – and all art forms deserve attention, especially those that are simultaneously growing in our contemporary world and under-represented in Norway’s current creative support system. We believe in collaboration. Blank Space has a long list of collaborators spanning all across Oslo’s creative scene, and our perspective is that we can do more together. If we are to create a community where experimentation and thinking out of the box is king – then we must lead the way by working with organizations that would ordinarily fall outside of an art institution’s jurisdiction. We are only as strong as our community, and each of our members becomes a brick in the road leading towards a healthy, diverse, strong, and accessible ideal for creativity in Oslo. By instituting a member-based focus, we can maintain a steady stream of reliable perspectives to make our community better from every angle – we grow not only with our audience’s participation, but because of it. This benefits the market’s strength directly as a whole.

 

How do you contact the project?  Visit them at the following links: