The LES Studio Program is a three or six month residency program open to under-represented, emerging and mid-career professional working artists. Founded in 2003, the LES Studio Program underscores AAI’s belief that the arts and individual artists are essential elements of the culture, history and future of the Lower East Side community. Artists of all disciplines – painting, photography, sculpture, video, installation, new media – are considered for fully-funded studio space to produce new work and make use of resources needed to support their creative practice. The residency offers 24-hour studio access, the opportunity to present work to curators and critics through AAI-organized studio visits, a curated exhibition at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space and exposure to a broadened general audience during bi-annual Open Studios. Working within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center, a large multi-purpose studio building, residency participants will also have the opportunity to engage with other building artists, some new to the neighborhood and others having worked in the LES for several decades.
Since 2011, Artists Alliance Inc (AAI) has partnered with Residency Unlimited (RU) as part of our Art (Inter)Actions program, which focuses on fostering collaborations with peer institutions and the community. RU supplements AAI’s considerable support with studio visits, networking opportunities and additional resources for AAI artists during their residency. We are proud to expand this partnership in 2014 by inviting RU’s international artists-in-residence to share the AAI studio space. We hope that this shared space will provide an informal collaborative working environment that will give artists from both organizations the chance to gain new insights into his or her work.
Since founding the LES Studio Program, we have helped foster the practice of dozens of artists who have proceeded to establish successful artistic careers, most notably Martin Basher, Sonia Blesofsky, Amy Chan, Blane De St. Croix, Mike Estabrook, Chitra Ganesh, Jeffrey Gibson, Kent Henricksen, Olek, Rune Olsen, and Mary Ting. We are proud of these accomplishments and are delighted to be in a position to offer this opportunity once again, particularly in an area where access to studio space is severely limited or unaffordable.
LES Studio Program participants are selected based on artistic rigor, his/her statement of intent and an expressed interest to work within the Lower East Side. Applications are solicited through an Open Call. Each applicant pool is reviewed by an independent and diverse selection panel composed of artists, curators, arts professionals and past residents of the program.