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1/22 — Lucien Smith



About Last Night: Serving The People Took Over Milk Gallery With "Group Show"

Lucien Smith may be known as “the art world Wunderkind” (thanks to The New York Times), but he’s making a name for himself outside of his own work—with a new nonprofit initiative aptly named Serving The People. With STP, Smith is working to expand opportunities within the art world to artists outside the inner circle, effectively shining the spotlight on new, emerging talent and giving them a space to be seen and heard.

It’s a movement rooted in purpose and community, and for their first-ever physical show, STP landed at none other than Milk Gallery, where 40 works from artists around the world were displayed for “Group Show”. Chosen from an open call submission (where over 800 people applied), these 40 artists were celebrated alongside each other, and STP’s mission of establishing community and opportunity within the art landscape came to life.

“Group Show” is open to the public until February 3, so if you’re in NYC, head over to Milk Gallery to take a peep. And if you’re not in town, not to worry—just scroll through the gallery above, then read our interview with Smith below, to dive deeper on the mission behind STP.

Can you tell us a little about Serving The People for our readers who might not already know?

Definitely. So STP is a creative group that we’ve started, it’s a initiative is to even the playing field for creatives and offer them an alternative venue or platform online and in real life that allows them to get their content heard and seen. This STP “Group Show” is our first physical event so this kind of takes the ethos of what we’ve been doing online and brings it into reality, and its real main purpose is to prove that there is a market for this kind of art. We really want to open that opportunity for artists to feel welcome and to come in and show the viewer their work. And eventually we want to keep on doing this annually. And that will trickle into our music which is STP Records as well as our films. Twenty percent of all our proceeds go to Certain People which is a nonprofit fund for setting up so that we can do a lot of work with younger artists and students and giving back to the community and doing workshops. We also do an event called Stir The Pot in LA, which is like a soup kitchen where we have an artist curate a lot of recycled foods and also attach a sort of educational element to it, whether it’s a lecture or a screening or film or something like that. 

What was the catalyst for you to start STP in the first place?

I’m still a young artist and from my experiences I definitely thought there were certain things that should’ve been available to me and other artists. That necessity kind of just spun the motivation to want to be better. 

And why Milk Gallery?

I’m good friends with Rassi and also I think that a lot of his interests align with mine as far as the community and arts. It’s a special place and is an appropriate setting where art can be appreciated and a sort of synergy between the two brands.

I know there’s 40 artists showing here today, how did you select them?

We did an online call where we basically said any artist can submit their work and got 800 submissions and from there we curated a show together that we thought represented outsider art and experimental art. It spoke to us and the direction we wanted to go in.

Where do you see STP going in the future?

I would love to continue to do projects here, it’s a great space. I think it works for what we want to do, so hopefully Milk is very into that as well. We’ll continue to do online, like I said. There’s tons of spaces too and because we’re a nonprofit and a lot of people are attracted to that or gravitate towards that, it helps us. That’s mainly one of the reasons why we set that up, because we would like to help artists, all over the world, New York, the United States…

The sky’s the limit.


Stay tuned to Milk for more from inside Milk Gallery.

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