Smack Mellon is a nonprofit arts organization located in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Smack Mellon's mission is to nurture and support emerging, under-recognized mid-career and women artists in the creation and exhibition of new work, by providing exhibition opportunities, studio workspace, and access to equipment and technical assistance for the realization of ambitious projects. We see ourselves as a vehicle whereby under-represented artists can create, explore and exhibit their creative ideas outside the concerns of the commercial art world, offering many artists the exposure and recognition they deserve.

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 proposals from emerging and underrecognized mid-career artists. Proposals will be considered for both Gallery One (the larger front space) and Gallery Two (the smaller back space). For Gallery One we encourage site-specific projects and installations that respond to the unusual architecture of the space. Only artists who do not have commercial gallery representation in New York City will be considered.

We accept exhibition proposals on a rolling basis, reviewing submissions periodically through the year. We will be considering submissions for 2024 and later.

Smack Mellon is interested in presenting exhibitions that consider social, political, and environmental issues and formal presentations that are relevant to our time. Through our exhibition program, we seek to support experimental, boundary-breaking work and artists that have demonstrated a dedicated commitment to their practice.

Your submission should include:

1. Work Samples You may include up to ten (10) images and/or three (3) videos that are representative of your artistic career and the work in your proposal. Images should be saved as .jpeg or .png, 1000px maximum in any direction. Videos should be an excerpt of no longer than 2 minutes each. Please DO NOT submit video documentation of exhibitions. We will make exceptions if the exhibition contains video installation (IE: not a single channel video), performance, or other time based elements that cannot be captured by an image.

2. Image information There will be space below each image to provide information about the work. For still images: Include the title, date, medium, dimensions, and a brief description of the work (less than 100 words). For video: Include title, date, duration, and a brief description of the work (less than 100 words).

3. CV Please include exhibitions, residencies, awards, and related projects as well as educational background. Please do not include employment history unless it is directly relevant to the proposed project. PDF only.

4. Proposal as one single PDF, including the following:

  • Where the project will take place. You may submit a proposal for either Gallery One (the large space) or Gallery Two (the smaller space). Your proposed project cannot take up both spaces.
  • General artist statement (250 words or less)
  • Description of the proposed work (500 words or less) that includes a concise explanation of the exhibition concept, and how it will be presented in the gallery space.
  • Drawing(s) or mock-up(s) of the proposed project. This should give us a sense of how you envision using the space.

*Note, it is helpful for the reviewers to know why you are interested in Smack Mellon as the site for your work.

A floorplan is available for download HERE

The side view of Gallery One (the large space) is available HERE

Please note:

Artists should understand that they are responsible for delivering their artwork to the gallery and for the execution and installation of their artwork. Smack Mellon does not have a full time staff of preparators. We will hire up to two freelance preparators to help with the installation of the artwork, but the amount of time available to each artist is limited. Smack Mellon has media equipment available for our exhibitions. Equipment details and installation specifics will be discussed after the proposal has been accepted for further consideration.

Artists are required to do a site visit at Smack Mellon’s space before a proposal is accepted. Smack Mellon does not provide a budget for shipping, transportation, or specific production costs, so please take this into account. Smack Mellon provides an artist fee for all exhibitions, the amount of which depends on the gallery space and funding for that year.

ART READY: Smack Mellon’s Professional Artist Mentorship Program for High School Students

ELIGIBILITY: Open to students in grades 10-12, attending NYC public high schools who are vaccinated against COVID-19
PROGRAM DATES: November 8, 2023 to May 22, 2024
PROGRAM TIMES: Wednesday afternoons, 4:00-6:30pm
LOCATION: Students will meet regularly in person. From November through January, the group will visit each of our artist mentors in their studios as well as meet for trips to museums and galleries. We will hold a culminating exhibition to showcase work participants created with their mentors at our gallery space, located at 92 Plymouth Street Brooklyn, NY.
QUESTIONS? Please contact 718-834-8761 or

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION – The Program is FREE for Participants

Smack Mellon’s Art Ready program brings high school aged artists in 10th to 12th grades into the studios of NYC’s most innovative and inspiring cultural makers. The program is open to students attending NYC public high schools who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Art Ready operates during the school year and includes a series of studio visits with emerging and established artists; a series of field trips to museums and galleries; a portfolio prep workshop; and a four-month arts mentorship. Art Ready connects up to twenty-one high school students with six diverse artists, to gain practical experience working with professionals in a variety of artistic disciplines. There is no fee to participate, and all expenses are paid.

Art Ready engages young people in a way no other arts education program does. It pairs students directly with working artists; the students learn firsthand over the course of a school year what it is to be an artist. Working as mentors, the artists provide professional and creative guidance as the students make decisions about their futures in the arts. Mentor/teaching artists tutor the students in their creative process, introduce them to new ways of working, and engage them in continuous critical reflection.

Group Visits

From November 8th until January 17th, the group of high school students meets with each Artist Mentor who introduces their studio practice showing them the different ways artists navigate life and approach their work. Art Ready visits artists in the fields of graphic design, architecture, sculpture, video, photography, drawing, and textile art. Visits take place Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-6:30pm.

Artist Mentorships

After the group has visited all the Mentors, each student works with one Artist Mentor from late January through May in the Mentor’s studio. Students attend their mentorships in groups of up to 4 students, from 4:00-6:30pm on Wednesdays. Our Artist Mentors are a varied group of professionals that represent the cultural and artistic diversity of NYC. In keeping with Smack Mellon’s mission, a majority of the Mentors are woman-identifying. Our Mentors are also selected based on their interest in sharing their knowledge, experience and skills with students, and all have prior teaching or mentoring experience. All are successful in their field.

Field Trips

We periodically take field trips to galleries and museums. Past field trips have included a tours of The Whitney, Brooklyn Museum, and New Museum, as well as tours and art-making workshop at Urban Glass, Robert Blackburn Printmaking, and Dieu Donné Papermill. 

Final Exhibition

Art Ready culminates in a final exhibition of work created during the program and gallery reception open to students, mentors, families, and friends, located in Smack Mellon’s 6,000 square foot gallery space. 

About the Organization

Smack Mellon's mission is to nurture and support emerging, under-recognized mid-career, and women artists in the creation and exhibition of new work by providing exhibition opportunities, studio workspace, and access to equipment and technical assistance for the realization of ambitious projects. We see ourselves as a vehicle whereby under-represented artists can create, explore, and exhibit their creative ideas outside the concerns of the commercial art world, offering many artists the exposure and recognition they deserve. In 2007, Smack Mellon initiated Art Ready to extend its artistic services to creative high school students.

Please answer the questions on all sections of the application honestly and to the best of your ability. The information in your application is strictly confidential and will only be used by Smack Mellon staff and mentors for the purpose of best meeting the needs of our program participants. You must also provide the name and contact info for a teacher or counselor at your school or another youth program who can be contacted as a reference. Finalists will be interviewed and up to 20 students will be selected with these criteria in mind: their interest in pursuing a career in the arts, their ability to attend every session and complete a 15-week mentorship, and the quality of their application.

Part 1: Completed Application Form
Part 2: Completed Short-Response Questions
Part 3: Release Form signed by a Parent/Guardian (will be emailed to applicants upon completion of this form)
Part 4: Permission to Use Photographs Release Form signed by a Parent/Guardian at the start of the program.

Smack Mellon