Smack Mellon's Exhibition Program is at the center of the organization. Designed to advance public interest in the visual arts, the program focuses on providing opportunities for artists to create site-specific works that creatively respond to our space, and work that explores innovative uses of both new technologies and traditional materials. The gallery space provides for large, ambitious shows that allow our artists ample room to explore and present their work. Exhibiting artists also have unlimited access to Smack Mellon’s in-house media equipment. On average, Smack Mellon produces five exhibitions a year showcasing the work of more than 50 artists for 20,000 visitors. We also produce on average one exhibit per year by an emerging guest curator. The gallery, which is free to the public, is open five days a week.
The Artist Studio Program was launched in 2000 in response to the crisis in availability of affordable workspace for artists living and working in New York City. This program provides free studio space, access to a workshop for metal, wood and general fabrication, a common area equipped with the latest technology, and a fellowship (dependent on funding) to six artists for an eleven-month period. Each year, Smack Mellon convenes a panel of arts professionals to select the six Studio Artists from over 600 applicants. The panel also chooses approximately 15 additional “Hot Picks” artists, whose work is featured on our website for one year, along with that of our studio artists. Smack Mellon hosts two Open Studios events annually, as well as sponsored visits from curators, critics and gallerists, which provide significant exposure and invaluable career building opportunities.
In 2007 we developed Arts Education Programs for local youth, in order to better prepare underserved young people for the professional world and to expose them to diverse artistic disciplines. Our Art Ready after-school program partners high school students with professional artists in NYC for a series of studio visits, field trips and a 4-month mentorship in order to help them make a more informed decision about pursuing a career in the arts.
Smack Mellon welcomes curatorial proposals for group exhibitions. Proposals submitted by August 21, 2018, will be reviewed for Fall 2019 or 2020. Applicants will be notified by mid-September.
Please read the guidelines below before beginning the application process.
Proposals for curated group shows should include:
1. A curatorial statement with a description of the exhibition and an explanation of the curatorial theme or concept.
2. A resume of the curator.
3. Images of the proposed artists' work to be included in the exhibition. If new work will be created for the exhibition send images of past work. A maximum of 20 still images can be submitted.
4. Resumes of the proposed artists. The curator may not be one of the exhibiting artists.
5. Documentation of up to three past exhibitions.
6. Two writing samples (no longer than three pages each).
Smack Mellon's mission is to support emerging, under-recognized mid-career and women artists. Exhibitions must include at least 60% women artists. By presenting topical group exhibitions, we engage curators and show artists who are exploring critical social inequities and challenging the status quo around issues like racial inequality, gender variance, the environment, food justice, and education inequality, to name a few examples. We are interested in proposals that consider the unusual architecture of the gallery space and encourage site-specific projects. Smack Mellon provides curators and artists with a small stipend and sends out exhibition announcements and press releases to its mailing list. The curator is encouraged to stop by the gallery during gallery hours to look at the space in order to tailor their proposal to it. The curator must not include their own artwork in the exhibition.
The curator should realize that we expect a hands-on approach at the gallery. The curator is expected to make arrangements with the artists prior to the installation week. The curator is expected to be at the gallery throughout the full week of installation, and the curator and artists involved in the exhibition are responsible for the execution and installation of the artwork. The curator should clarify to all artists when invited to participate that they are responsible for delivering their work to the gallery, as well as installing and de-installing their work. Smack Mellon does not have a full time staff of preparators. Smack Mellon can assist in installation of work requiring a lift or special mounting. Our gallery staff may also assist artists with installation of other complicated projects but will not be involved in helping the artist to build their work on site. Our technical staff will install all of the equipment (projectors, monitors etc.) belonging to Smack Mellon. It will be the artist's responsibility to install and maintain any equipment that belongs to the artist.
Specifics about the installation of artwork and about the equipment that Smack Mellon is able to provide will be discussed after the initial proposal has been reviewed and accepted as a proposal under consideration. The exhibition schedule will be discussed and confirmed with the curator if the proposal is accepted.