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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'sExhibition 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 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 500 applicants. The panel also chooses 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 two new 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. Our Summer Arts Intensive is a free, month long arts workshop for low-income middle-high school students. Every August, our gallery is transformed into a giant studio, in which participants work with professional teaching artists to create and exhibit artwork in diverse media, and take weekly field trips to different NYC arts venues.
- Katherine Gressel
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