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.
Open Call: Fall 2020 Group Exhibition
Application Deadline: April 15, 2020, 11:59 pm EDT
Bound up Together: On the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
Curated by Rachel Gugelberger
September 26–November 8, 2020 (opening date to be confirmed)
2020 marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. This year also marks the 59th United States presidential election, with women's rights taking center stage.
While there is a direct line from the spectacles of the suffragist movement to the legion of activists wearing pink pussy-hats at Women’s Marches protesting the 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump, a broader and more nuanced suffrage history needs to be illuminated. The struggle for women’s rights did not end with the 19th Amendment. Among the urgent issues that are still driving the political debate leading up to the 2020 presidential election include gender equality and voting rights.
Smack Mellon seeks submissions for works that acknowledge the achievements of the 19th Amendment, examine suffrage from a historical perspective and consider its complicated history. Artists are encouraged to submit work that engages with and interprets the theme of suffrage in an expansive way. How has the 19th Amendment built on the intersectional visions and voices that presage the Women’s Suffrage Movement? How has it shaped subsequent legislation, corporate culture, social mores and codes and “gender wars?” How has the Civil Rights Movement intersected with—or been downplayed within the history of suffrage in advancing social justice? How can voters today confront gender equality, women’s empowerment, reproductive rights, voting rights and intersectional human rights?
The exhibition will be organized by guest curator Rachel Gugelberger and will be on view from September 26 through November 8, 2020 (opening date to be confirmed). In an effort to include a wide range of viewpoints, the majority of participating artists will be selected from an open call. Smack Mellon welcomes submissions across media and disciplines, including, but not limited to 2D, 3D, sound, performance, installation, time- and research-based works, and public programs. Submissions of existing works and proposals for new and/or site-specific projects are welcome.
April 15, 2020: Submission Deadline
By June 30: Selected artists will be notified. If selected, artwork must be received at Smack Mellon between 10am and 6pm on September 21 (date to be confirmed). We recommend hand-delivering the work. Artwork can be shipped to the gallery, but Smack Mellon is unable to cover shipping or return costs. Under most circumstances artists will be expected to install their own work. Artists must pick up their work on either November 9 or 10, 2020 between 10am and 6pm. Additional logistical details and scheduling information will be discussed with artists who are selected for exhibition.
Rachel Raphaela Gugelberger is a NY-based curator with a focus on place-based practices around social, cultural, and civic issues. Projects include (after)care, a site-specific exhibition in a former emergency waiting room at Kings County Hospital in East Flatbush, Brooklyn; the inaugural Southeast Queens Biennial; and Jameco Exchange, a site-responsive exhibition and socially engaged education platform in a vacant storefront in Jamaica, Queens. Projects at the intersection of information, data and art, include, Once Upon a Time There was the End, The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY; Data Deluge, Ballroom Marfa, TX; and Library Science, Artspace, New Haven, CT. Gugelberger is currently Residency Program Director & Curator of Programs at Residency Unlimited. She is the former curator at No Longer Empty (NLE) and former director of the NLE Curatorial Lab. Gugelberger has served as a Curator at Exit Art and co-director of Sara Meltzer Gallery.
Thank you for your interest in exhibiting at Smack Mellon!
92 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
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 is located between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, on the East River waterfront in DUMBO Brooklyn. Our 12,000 sq ft facility includes a 5000 sq ft gallery, an office, and a storage space on the upper level and artists studios, fabrication shop, media lab, and kitchen on the lower level.
Smack Mellon has internships available for college students and recent college graduates looking for experience working in a nonprofit gallery. We offer the unique opportunity to learn about running a non-profit organization with a gallery, artist studio space program, and education program serving local teens. Because we are a small organization, interns will have the chance to learn through direct contact with the Executive Director, Director of Exhibitions, Programs Manager, and artists.
The schedule can be flexible, but all interns are expected to commit 8-16 hours per week for 3 months. We review applications on a rolling basis. At the moment we are focused on applications for Spring 2019 (March-June). During this time, interns will work with Smack Mellon staff on a variety of projects in the office, as well as independently-driven projects. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree in a related field and be extremely self-motivated, organized, detail-oriented, energetic and hardworking with strong computer skills. Mac proficient in Word and Photoshop is a must and knowledge of other programs is a plus.
Interns will assist with:
-Office administration: updating website, press kits, info books...
-Assisting with membership outreach and mailings
-Maintaining archive and photographing events
-Assisting with Studio Program (residency) selection panels as needed
-General gallery maintenance--repairing gallery walls and other physical aspects involoved in maintaining the gallery
-Special events and openings
Stipend is $20/day.
To apply, send the following as in a PDF format (Word documents will not be accepted):
1/ Cover letter
3/ One writing sample (3 pages maximum)