At the ripe age of fourteen, New Yorker Audrey Banks came up with the idea to start an exhibition space as a platform to show her paintings. Two years later, she realized she could use the space to showcase the work of her generation and was bent on making her dream a reality. Soon, a friend’s father offered his company’s space at the New York Open Center, and the Teen Art Gallery was born.
“From there, we kind of winged it,” Banks says. “We had no idea what we were doing—no one teaches you how to open a gallery in high school. We used Facebook to spread the word and get submissions from fellow students.” One of Banks’s friends (and current member of the cleverly titled T.A.G. team), Daniel Ramos, remembers how fitting the project seemed at its start. “I was surrounded by tons of talented artist friends, yet I’d never heard of a gallery dedicated to teenage art,” he says. “So when T.A.G came along, it was like an idea that had the perfect niche.”
T.A.G. scheduled its inaugural show in July 2011, when Banks was a junior at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. The untitled exhibition, which was covered by the New York Times, featured twenty-five works by teens aged twelve to nineteen that were hand-picked by the T.A.G. team from more than seven hundred entries gleaned from an open call email, Facebook, and letters sent to high schools in all five New York boroughs. With the mission of redefining the working artist profile and providing a foot in the door for young people interested in pursing careers in the art world, T.A.G.’s effort gained speed, members, and clout.
READ MORE: Click belowthe original article from Teen Art Gallery, written by staff