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.
Emerging Artists Open Call
Application Deadline: May 30th, 11:59pm
Curated by Emily Colucci
November 16–December 29, 2019 (dates to be confirmed)
In November–December 2019, Smack Mellon will present Idol Worship, an exhibition celebrating the ongoing cultural, social and political significance of role model adoration as an essential survival strategy. Smack Mellon is currently accepting applications from Emerging Artists to be considered for this exhibition.
Self-identifying women, in particular, are often overlooked as figures to be emulated, exempt from the label of “genius” so readily bestowed upon men. Partially inspired by John Waters’s Role Models, a pseudo-autobiography through his influences or “filth elders,” the exhibition will emphasize work that presents women and women-identifying role models as sources of possibility, creativity, courage, self-fashioning and sometimes, transgression. While teens’ fanatical impulse to paper their bedroom walls with imagery of their favorite stars is seen as merely an adolescent phase, Idol Worship asserts how the identification with role models is especially significant for those alienated from dominant social institutions, whether the biological family, history, or mainstream culture.
Idol Worship will be organized by guest curator Emily Colucci, whose proposal was selected through the Curatorial Proposal open call. To help elevate the profile of and bring greater exposure to emerging artists, this exhibition will include a combination of emerging artists chosen from an open call, as well as selected established artists. This open call is only for emerging artists, and at least half of the artists in the exhibition will be selected from this pool of applicants. An emerging artist is considered to be an artist without commercial representation who has a dedicated art practice but few opportunities to show at gallery or non-profit spaces. Submissions will be reviewed by the guest curator and Smack Mellon staff.
Artists whose practice includes paying tribute to, obsessing over, embodying, or otherwise complex engagements with women and women-identifying role models, heroes, idols, or filth elders, whether famous public figures, underground cult superstars, lesser known private muses, problematic faves, or unlikely sources of inspiration, are encouraged to apply. Transdisciplinary artists and cultural producers exploring the potential of role model worship as a source of sustainment are also of interest.
The exhibition will run from November 16 through December 29, 2019 (opening date to be confirmed).
We welcome submissions of existing works and proposals for new projects. All media will be considered, including but not limited to 2D, 3D, sound, performance, installations, time-based, research-based, speculative projects, and public programs. All submissions will be reviewed in the order they are received.
May 30: Submission Deadline. Artists are encouraged to submit early.
Early July: Selected artists will be notified. If selected, artwork must be received at Smack Mellon between 10am and 6pm on November 11. 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 January 2 or 3, 2020 between 10am and 6pm.
Emily Colucci is a writer, curator and co-founder of Filthy Dreams, an award-winning blog analyzing art, culture and politics through a queer lens and a touch of camp. In 2016, she was awarded the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Filthy Dreams. In addition, Colucci has contributed to exhibition catalogues, most recently for Devan Shimoyama’s Cry, Baby at the Andy Warhol Museum, artist books, and online and print magazines, such as Conde Nast’s them., VICE, Salon, LA Review of Books and more. She has previously curated Night Fever at Pittsburgh’s Future Tenant, and co-curated Party Out Of Bounds: Nightlife As Activism Since 1980 at New York’s La MaMa Galleria with Visual AIDS, as well as its satellite installation Courtship Disorder by John Walter in London’s White Cubicle Toilet Gallery at the late George & Dragon Pub.
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)