Q: How is the apexart Fellowship different from other artist residency programs?
A: The apexart Fellowship is modeled in response to the standard artist residency program. It removes the mandate for artists to research, produce, network, and promote their work, and instead, requires Fellows to stop all of these activities for 30 days. On their hiatus from art and the art world, we send Fellows to a new and unfamiliar location, where we provide a 30-day cultural immersion and educational program that is decidedly outside of the Fellow’s regular routines, and outside of the visual arts. Fellows have 2-4 activities scheduled for each day, which range in category. Fellows may not make artwork in our program, and the program does not culminate in an exhibition or final project. Rather, Fellows come away from our program with a new sense of confidence, and a well of inspiration taken from the array of new experiences and relationships they forge while on their own in a new city.
Q: Why do you operate so differently from regular residency programs?
A: Artist opportunities for travel are often limited to residencies, art fairs, exhibitions, and biennials. All of these either require the artist to produce new works or focus on career and networking opportunities. Frequently, this happens within institutions that are becoming increasingly homogenized and insular. In this context, artists don’t really get to experience new things, and they don’t learn from the opportunity of travel. We believe that it is important for artists to step outside of their comfort zones. Exposure to new experiences generates curiosity, reflection, and inspiration, which is what our program is about.
Q: How many apexart Fellows are there per year?
There are two wings of the apexart Fellowship: NYC (Inbound) and International (Outbound). apexart awards 8 NYC Fellowships and 5 International Fellowships annually.
Q: Can I apply to the apexart Fellowship Program?
A: In most cases, the answer is no. Applications are not accepted for the Fellowship Program. You may apply to our Fellowship Program only if you have been nominated by one of our invited nominators and if we invite you apply.
Q: I know a great artist or creative individual who hasn’t had the opportunities they may deserve. May I nominate them for this program?
A: In most cases, the answer is no. You may only nominate someone for the program if apexart contacts you and requests your nomination. apexart does not accept unsolicited nominations.
Q: Why is your nomination and application process by invitation only?
A: Our nominations process is by invitation only in an attempt to circumnavigate typical promotional activities of gatekeepers, as well as the self-promotion practiced by so many artists. We aim to displace the selection process as much as possible - away from ourselves, and away from those who are regularly seeking such opportunities - by contacting people we don’t know, or don’t know well. This is to help us reach outside of our pre-existing networks and pre-dispositions, including the art world at large.
Q: How do you find your Fellows?
A: We seek out individuals who don’t often give out opportunities and ask them to nominate a creative individual for our Fellowship. We ask them to consider nominees who are dedicated to what they do but who have not received the opportunities they may deserve. For our Inbound/NYC Fellowship we try to avoid looking for nominators located in global art centers. Fellows are nominated by individuals from their home country who believe their practice could benefit from a non-working visit to a foreign country. For both the Inbound/NYC Fellowship and Outbound/International Fellowship we often contact individuals - often assistant or adjunct professors - and request that they make their recommendation with minimal research. We ask that the nominee be someone they know personally and believe in - as they may only nominate one person. Nominations are made by filling out a short online form that details why the nominee would benefit from and embrace an opportunity to suspend their creative work for one month.
Q: Can I nominate myself? Or, can I give my nomination to someone else, so that they can nominate me for the Fellowship?
A: No, this is not recommended.
Q: What are nominators asked to consider when nominating someone for the Fellowship?
A: To be considered for an apexart Fellowship, we encourage nominators to recommend an individual at least 30 years old to benefit from the prospective of re-evaluation. The ideal Fellow does not have a rich or recent history of arts-related international travel and residency experience, and they cannot have traveled to their Fellowship destination previously. They are ready to take a big break from their regular way of life to embrace a series of new experiences. They are open-minded and willing to shed their identity as an artist or other creative for one month to better engage with their surroundings and with the people they meet. Fellows can come from any creative background; past Fellows have included writers, poets, visual and contemporary artists, curators, producers, those working in theater, and many others.
Q: I have been nominated for the Fellowship by someone that apexart has contacted. Does that mean I have the Fellowship?
A: Not necessarily. apexart reviews all nominations but only invites select nominees to officially apply for the Fellowship. After reviewing all invited Fellowship applications, apexart conducts an interview process with the prospective Fellows.
Q: What do you do for Fellows?
A: We provide round-trip flights to the Fellowship city location; city-center accommodation for one month; local cell phone access for one month; local transportation costs; and all entrance and program fees. We ensure that all Fellows have a reliable primary contact at the location of their Fellowship and provide all program schedules.
Q: What are Fellows expected to do to fulfill the program?
A: Fellows must attend the activities and meetings scheduled for them throughout the 30 days. Fellows must also actively write in the online Fellowship Journal. Financially, Fellows are responsible for their own meals while on the program, and required to budget $600-$1,000 for this purpose.
Q: What kind of activities do Fellows attend?
A: Each Fellow’s program is slightly different, and also varies by location and season, and it is inversely affected by the Fellow’s areas of expertise. Activities range in type, and include workshops, lectures, cultural performances, films, meetings, urban explorations, religious/spiritual ceremonies, volunteering, therapy, and various fitness-related activities.To get a better sense of what Fellows do, we recommend you check out the Fellowship Journals or read our NYC Sample Schedule or our International Sample Schedule. Additionally, you can watch our Fellowship Exit Interviews online.
Q: Do NYC/International Fellows get to select the location of their Fellowship?
A: No, and requests are not considered. apexart determines the International Fellowship location based on the Fellow’s past travel experience, schedule availability, and the organization’s international contacts.
Q: What does this program accomplish? How does apexart ensure the effectiveness of its Fellowship Programs?
A: At one month, six months, and one year following the Fellowship, apexart sends evaluations to its Fellows to better understand the impact of the program, as well as ways it can be improved. Through these survey results, we see that Fellows generally tend to find a new source of self-confidence and willingness to try new things. Oftentimes, Fellows often discover new areas of interest and new ways of working that come to influence their creative practice.
Q: Who can I contact if I still have questions about apexart’s Fellowship Programs?