Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Aversano.
Justin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We founded SaveArtSpace in January 2015, right after we graduated with a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. The origin of SaveArtSpace was formed during Bushwick Open Studios 2015, which is an open gallery and studio festival.
We noticed all of the artistic murals in our neighborhood were being replaced by advertisements and were determined to make a difference for this year’s festival. We believe that people should have a say on what they want to see in the public space. To showcase artists and build with the community, rather than selling products to consumers. Our goal is to support artists all over the world through our public art efforts. Giving the people a platform to share a meaningful message, or be recognized as the artist they want to become!
After having the idea of producing a public art gallery with all the billboards around town, we hit the streets to scout the area and get in contact with the billboard companies. That day we called up the billboard advertisers, created a website, incorporated for a 501(c)3 status, and launched the open call! We received over 500 submissions and selected 11 artists for the public art show. It was a success! The day after the festival, we decided to hold the next open call or Miami Art Week in December, and Los Angeles in January repeating the process, again and again, every month!
Today, we are now based in Los Angeles, New York City, and Detroit. We have served over 150 artists in 12 different cities and are committed to supporting artists and building with the art communities all over the world!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The beginning was the most difficult for us because we had no idea what we were doing, where to start, how to raise funding; although we had the name and determination to make a difference through public art. It takes a team to make the dream. I am grateful for Travis Rix, my business partner and Co-Founder. We worked together step-by-step to make the right decisions and reach out to people and organizations that we thought could be helpful to share our message to artists.
After the first and second shows, the boulder of business started to move easier and swifter. We started to understand the process and created a path for us to thrive on. We did the groundwork everywhere we go to really connect with the community, organizations, and the artists everywhere we go. It is more fun than challenging. This is our passion project to make the world a better place and turned out to be a great way to support artists and create a new industry to work in for public art.
Please tell us about SaveArtSpace.
SaveArtSpace is a non-profit organization that works to create an urban gallery experience, launching exhibitions that address intersectional themes and foster a progressive message of social change. By placing culture over commercialism, SaveArtSpace aims to empower artists from all walks of life and inspire a new generation of young creatives and activists.
- $10 per image to submit your art for an open call.
- $28 is an average donation to help produce more public art.
- $1,000 will sponsor an artist of your choice on a billboard in a city of your choice.
- $10,000+ will sponsor a public art and gallery group exhibition in a city of your choice.
- $100,000+ will provide us with an endowment fund to continue operating our business and supporting more artists.
- Website: www.SaveArtSpace.org
- Phone: 8108367454
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/saveartspace
- Facebook: facebook.com/saveartspace
- Twitter: twitter.com/saveartspace
- Other: justinaversano.com