UGallery, a curated online art gallery that sells original artworks from emerging and established artists, is teaming up with First Exposures, a photography program for artistic, underserved San Francisco youth.

Starting today, photography created through the First Exposures program will be sold on the UGallery site in a special collection. All proceeds will go to First Exposures and its artists, who range in age from 11 through 18.

The launch includes 30 photographs chosen by UGallery’s curation team. The collection will grow as students cycle into the First Exposures program.

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“We’re physically based in San Francisco so we have an interest in supporting the city where we all live and work,” said Alex Farkas, UGallery director and co-founder. “First Exposures really resonates with what we do … our mission is supporting working artists and this is a big part of how people make a first start with art.”

Despite that UGallery is a global company with clients in some 40 countries worldwide, Farkas says,”We’re firmly part of the community, so it make a good deal of sense to give back to that and be part of what’s around us.” It’s no accident that First Exposures is just down the block from UGallery’s location in San Francisco’s Mission district.

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The duration of this partnership is unclear at the moment. Says Farkas, “Initially, we thought we’d represent the works for the first couple of months, but I see the opportunity for an ongoing partnership — one with the gallery and one with their artists.”

Farkas says that UGallery, since its founding in 2006, has had a lot of experience working with younger artists. Some artists began showing their work on the site while they were still in high school. “We have a history of showing young emerging artists’ work and a number of those people have stayed with us for years. It’s been fun to see the evolution of their artistic process.”

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Since its founding in 1993, First Exposures has paired students with volunteer professional photographers who serve as mentors and positive role models.

Selling and collecting art from online galleries, where potential customers link up with artists, is a growing trend, whereas previously, collecting original art was limited to the physical gallery and auction house locations.

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UGallery, alongside vendors like Artsy and Artspace, as well as e-commerce sites that have a different vision, such as Pixels.com, all sell original art online.

UGallery buyers can browse its collection by price, medium, style, size, color, or artist and try out anything they purchase in their home for a week, risk-free.

UGallery/First Exposures

Featured image: Tungsten, by Marianna, age 18