The West Oakland nonprofit gallery Aggregate Space announced Tuesday the receipt of a $90,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. It is one of five Bay Area arts organizations to receive funds from the New York-based nonprofit in this round of grantmaking—but also the newest, and by far the smallest, with a staff of one.
Other recipients include the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco, the Museum of the African Diaspora, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UC Santa Cruz.
Aggregate Space Gallery (ASG), located on an industrial stretch of West Grand and founded in 2011, shows the work of emerging and mid-career artists, focusing on large-scale installation, video and performance—genres often unsupported in the commercial gallery world. The nonprofit is also rare in that they provide on-site fabrication and installation assistance to help artists realize “unimaginable” projects and museum-quality exhibitions.
“From the beginning, we have relied solely on volunteer labor to develop our community and build the space,” says Conrad Meyers, ASG’s co-founder and executive director. “This funding helps us on our journey of growth from an artist-run space to a reliable long-term resource for emerging artists.”
Meyers is technically ASG's sole full-time employee, though he says he and Willis Meyers (co-founder and board president) both dedicate about 30 hours a week to the nonprofit. In addition to volunteer labor, ASG runs its programming with the help of part-time contract workers and grant-funded positions. The Warhol Foundation grant, which cannot be used for general operating costs, will fund 16 exhibitions, 40 artists and 64 public events over the next two years. The funds will also allow ASG to pay artists substantial stipends (upwards of $2,000 for a solo project, Meyers says) for the first time in the gallery’s seven-year history.