Photo by Lindsey Mejia. All images courtesy of Sunday Gallery
Ada Rajkovic sits at a large dining table inside her rainbow-lit living room, which also serves as a live-in art gallery space called Sunday. Rajkovic is a Houston transplant living in Los Angeles who graduated from CalArts with a degree in Photography. Rather than making photography into a career, she took her aesthetic skill set and curated art shows to support her talented pool of artist friends. Although Rajkovic has collaborated with friends on various projects including photo and poetry books, music videos, and postcards, and has exhibited her work in the past, she spends most of her time on long-term project Sunday. In addition to the gallery, Rajkovic shares her bedroom with a tiny retail shop filled with bong-shaped ceramic vases and planters, art and photo prints, Sunday branded apparel and accessories, stickers, pins and more. You might even see a Sunday Gallery pop up shop at a local festival.
Photo by Mayan Toledano
Creating Sunday was no easy task, Rajkovic tells The Creators Project. “When you're starting out you don't really know where to begin. At first we threw music shows and the floor felt like it was going to collapse. Then a music venue opened beneath us so we decided to throw only art shows. All of my friends wanted to have art shows so I made it a point to develop more intention behind this idea. As the space grew I realized how much more needed to be done.”
Rajkovic explains that the purpose of Sunday is to make art more accessible and less pretentious. “An art gallery is still an institution with weird hierarchies and can be very clique-y.” There are no entrance fees at Sunday; every show is donation based and any art that’s on sale is set at an affordable price in order to cater to their younger audience. “It’s important to feel connected to art and not alienated. I like to create environments that are comfortable for people to be in.” Sunday emanates color as soon as you walk through the door, unlike your typical white walled art gallery. This is also the origins of the gallery’s name; "Sunday” is in no way a religious reference, and instead literally refers to days of sun—which, in Sunny Los Angeles, is every day. “My ultimate goal for Sunday is to be a space for anyone to experience and understand it," Rajkovic says. "I want it to be more experiential in a way that is meaningful and not just a fun and social space.”
Photo by Ethan Tate
Rajkovic’s keen eye for selecting artists and artwork to exhibit at Sunday is influenced by her childhood upbringing. “My mom is a very politically charged person and had a radio show at Pacifica, KPFK 90.7 (in LA) and 90.1 (in Houston). The radio station promoted healthcare for all which dovetailed into starting Texans For Universal Health Care where I conducted research in my spare time. My mom was really into the Green Party, founded by Ralph Nader 15 years ago, and took me to protests when I was 12 years old. I retained this feeling of doing something good for my community. Even though the Green Party was hated for their actions, it was the right thing to do.”
Photo by Arvida Bystrom
After traveling for a couple years after college, Rajkovic decided to create a space to fulfill her vision. “It seemed like the easiest thing to do, and everyone I know is a musician or an artist so I decided to create a space where I can see the type of art I liked,” she says. "I went to a lot of art shows and always thought there was something missing from it.” Rajkovic feels the need to make the heavily white and male art world more diverse. She's curated exhibits showcasing work from emerging female artists, and the gallery’s ethos is also inspired by female artists who are hustling to constantly put out work, like contemporary feminist stylistic digital artist Molly Soda, video artist artbabygirl aka Grace Miceli, and neon artist Britney Scott.
Photo by Nele Moens
Rajkovic wants to talk about political issues and what place art has in them. For instance, she collaborated with Slow Culture and a group called Critical Resistance to spread the word about race and income-based discrimination in US prisons to highlight issues surrounding mass incarceration and other contemporary social issues. She’s a big supporter of Critical Resistance, which was co-founded by Angela Davis in the ‘90s and works to end the prison industrial complex. “People who have only committed petty crimes are sentenced to more time. It’s incredibly racist because you look at the numbers of black and brown people that are in prison versus white. The system doesn’t work. Originally correctional facilities were meant to be a place to rehabilitate people and make them better individuals but in reality the opposite occurs, it’s essentially modern slavery. No one comes out of jail and has a positive outlook; they get screwed and put in positions to make ends meet in order to live. The system is so corrupt and no one knows about these issues because it’s so concealed. It’s an organized system that continues to allow this type of treatment, taking away a portion of our society to label them as bad people, it’s fucked up.”