Imagine: an independent, online/offline platform for contemporary art that emphasizes artists early in their careers. Kate Mothes never imagined her blog would turn into a booming contemporary art community, but it did. Young Space (yngspc), run solely by Mothes, emphasizes new and exciting works within the contemporary art world. She recently has released Dovetail Magazine, an independent arts publication that positions contemporary visual art in dialogue with design, architecture, photography, travel, and global visual culture.
In the midst of obtaining her masters degree in History of Art, Theory and Display from the Edinburgh College of Art, Mothes fully immersed herself in the path of art history. Outside her studies, she found herself constantly drawn to contemporary art, traveling Europe to visit museums in her free time. She found community among MFA students at her university, who shared her curiosity in contemporary art. Mothes was inspired by early career artists who were still experimenting. She explained, “I personally responded to the weird uncertainty that comes from trying all sorts of things in the beginning because there is so much cool energy that comes out of that.” Straying from former focus of art history, in 2014 she created a blog, Young Space, to explore her new interest and celebrate the young artists. Her blog created tangible space to process her thoughts on contemporary art.
Along with the blog she created a Young Space Instagram as a tool to connect with people and artists from all over the world. In 2015, the Young Space Instagram account began to gain a following, leading to experimental temporary exhibitions around the US in collaboration with artists and galleries. Young Space morphed into a platform that highlights early career artists through interviews, supporting them through exposure to the art world and exhibition opportunities.
From the beginning to today, YngSpc is mostly virtual, with online showcases and interviews. Mothes was motivated to create something more tangible, pushing her to create Dovetail Magazine to complement her online work. In July 2020, Mothes collaborated with Montreal based artist and designer, Vickie Vainionpaa, to develop the print and online magazine, Dovetail. The definition of Dovetail is to fit together nicely and conveniently. Dovetail positions visual art in dialogue with architecture, photography, travel and global visual culture. Mothes described the relationship between Young Space and Dovetail, “They really do feel like siblings to me. They have their own personalities.”
Although Mothes has run Young Space on her own, she is constantly collaborating and networking through her platforms. “I invite other art professionals to co-curate projects with me, largely to make opportunities more valuable for artists.” She has a strong desire to be hands on with her projects, but values connections and collaboration within the greater art community.
COVID-19 has had a positive impact on Young Space as the platform already functioned mostly online. With events postponed, artists needed online methods to show their work and Young Space provided online exhibitions. The COVID-19 pandemic has also given Mothes a time to reflect on where Young Space currently stands and how it can improve.
Mothes has a clear purpose behind each project but is open to change in the future. Dovetail Magazine is a way to connect and collaborate personally with creative people around the world, showcasing this work in a tangible publication. Young Space is centered around supporting artists through opportunities, allowing newer artists to build their experience and expose their work to others. Young Space is an entry point for up and coming artists to their next steps. For both projects however they may evolve, Mothes hopes to connect people through art.
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