MARS was initially established in 2000 by artist and writer Pınar Öğrenci as an architectural research and restoration office, and transitioned in 2010 to the MARSIstanbul, an artist initiative that serves as a hub for artists from Turkey and abroad to develop exhibition projects. The aim to be a “space for art” was born with the first event hosted by MARS, the spring exhibition of artist Erim Bayri. MARS aims to contribute to Istanbul’s art scene by sharing its space through inviting artists, art critics, curators and art audiences.

MARS is supported by SAHA as part of “Grant for the Sustainability of Independent Art Initiatives 2016–2017”.