August 17, 2015

The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), purveyors of the prestigious New York Studio Residency Program (NYSRP) have announced a new initiative for non-student artists called the Studio Practice Residency. The Studio Practice Residency, currently accepting applications, is lead byWilliam Powhida, Artistic Co-Director of NYSRP, and is comprised of six, four-month residencies in the AICAD facility in DUMBO. The Studio Practice program will include visits with prominent New York critics and artists including Paddy Johnson, Ben Davis, Letha Wilson, Christopher K. Ho, Carolyn Salas, Jules de Balincourt, and Adam Parker Smith.

Siebren Versteeg and Nicole Brunel in the NYSRP studios. Image courtesy of AICAD

Mr. Powhida sees this new initiative as a great way to foster a more collaborative workspace between students and practitioners within the studio environment. The Studio Practice Residency will focus on bringing in “working artists who have been out in the world, making their artwork for a while.”

These two programs will share more than the same building. NYSRP brings in a number of visiting artists each year and the Studio Practice Residents will be able to take full advantage of these studio visits. Mentors will meet with residents at least once per month but the schedule will ultimately be determined by the mentors and the needs of the residents.

"We see this as an opportunity for artists to develop a more professional practice," says Powhida, and perhaps the most distinct module of this new program will actually have this effect. The Studio Practice Residency will provide professional development seminars with Amy Whitaker, a former professor at the Sotheby’s Institute. These seminars will focus on building a sustainable artistic practice through financial planning, a skill set often overlooked in the creative class, much to its own detriment. These seminars will focus on marketing, business, and managing a studio-based practice.

Ben Davis and Paddy Johnson will also be leading a workshop in the second half of the residency on gaining visibility as an artist within critical discourse. "Artists will be able to think about how their practice fits within a critical dialogue. It is geared towards helping artists use writing to frame their artwork," says Powhida.

The studios are housed in DUMBO alongside the NYSRP studios in a building owned by the famed David Walentas redevelopment organization, Two Trees. Two Trees single-handedly rebuilt DUMBO and has most recently been in the news for their redevelopment plans for the Domino Sugar factory parcel in Williamsburg. Walentas himself is quite the figure, rags-to-riches fable and all. Two Trees' most recent renovation was of the old Galapagos Art Space building which has been converted to house four galleries: KLOMPCHING GALLERY, Masters Projects, Minus Space and United Photo Industries.