UKS (The Young Artists Society) is a government financed member organisation that was established in 1921. Throughout its history UKS has worked with different strategies to secure the rights of young artists, both artistically and socially.
In the early years the society existed primarily as a centre for exchanging goods. Members could swap their artwork for basic goods and services such as food and dental appointments. In addition to this UKS also handled a low interest banking scheme, giving their members loans, primarily to cover production costs.
In the seventies UKS was a focal point for the artists’ fight for economic rights in the welfare state. This important political struggle dramatically changed the situation for Norwegian artists for all times.
In 2003 the former director Trude Iversen together with chairwomen of the board Tone Hansen initiated and completed a highly relevant change of premises. This relocation was part of a struggle for recognition of contemporary artistic expressions. UKS moved from a small space in one of Oslo’s oldest buildings to the present location in a newly restored industrial space in the eastern part of the city centre and this changed the possibility of exhibition making in a fundamental way.
Today we are facing new challenges. UKS has gained a position, not only as one of the most important exhibition spaces but also as the biggest interest organisation for artists in Norway. Everyone involved today in UKS has important roles in the Norwegian art life. We are active artists, teachers, tutors, exhibitors, writers and curators. We have a substantial influence on the scene. The founding has increased drastically the last couple of years. With power comes responsibility and our main goal today is to develop several public functions, a reference library, a lounge and an open kitchen.