The panelists who selected the 2017-2018 were Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, Curator at El Museo del Barrio, Kelly Baum, Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Seph Rodney, staff writer and editor for Hyperallergic. 

Preliminary panelists were Wayne HodgeErica MagreyNyeema MorganJean ShinPremnath Rit Sreshta and Bryan Zanisnik, all former Smack Mellon Studio Artists. 


Rocío Aranda-Alvarado is Curator at El Museo del Barrio where she has been organizing exhibitions since 2010. She is working on an exhibition about the persistence of Mesoamerican imagery in contemporary art. Her curatorial work and research focuses on contemporary art and modern and contemporary art of the Americas. Ms. Aranda-Alvarado is also on the adjunct faculty in the Art History Department at the City College of New York. She has been invited to speak at the Smithsonian Institution, the Whitney Museum, the Americas Society, the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture and has taught art history at local universities. Her writing has appeared in various publications including catalogue essays for the Museum of Modern Art and El Museo del Barrio, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Art Nexus, Review, the journal of the Americas Society, NYFA Quarterly, Small Axe, BOMB and American Art.

Kelly Baum is Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. Previously she served as the Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Princeton University Art Museum, having worked as a curator and scholar for almost fifteen years. Kelly has published widely and organized dozens of exhibitions, including Nobody’s Property: Art, Land, Space 2000-2010, Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Untitled; and most recently New Jersey as Non-Site, for which she received a Warhol Curatorial Research Fellowship. Upcoming exhibitions include Beckett’s Decade. In addition to overseeing the Museum’s Sarah Lee Elson, Class of 1984, International Artist in Residence Program, she serves as a curatorial adviser to Princeton’s campus art committee.

Dr. Seph Rodney, has written for several art publications, among them: The Nomadic Journal,  Artillery  Magazine and the blog Hyperallergic. Over the past ten years, he has produced interviews, exhibition reviews and artist profiles. His early start was with writing poetry, and his writing consistently shows that influence.


Dexter Wimberly, Executive Director, Aljira Center for Contemporary Art
Jasmine Wahi, Co-Owner/Director, Gateway Project Spaces & Founder and Director of Project For Empty Space
Connie Choi, Associate Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem
Mike Tan, Owner & Director, Rubber Factory
Rachel Gugelberger, Curator, No Longer Empty and Director of NLE Curatorial Lab
Claire Gilman, Curator, The Drawing Center
Dessane Cassell, The Museum of Modern Art & The Studio Museum in Harlem Curatorial Fellow
Ceci Moss, Independent Curator & Writer  
Wendy Vogel, Independent Curator & Writer 
Kristen Evangelista, Director of University Galleries at William Paterson University
Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Creative Director, Interactive Digital Environments Alliance (IDEA)
Katy Dammers, Assistant Curator & Archive Manager, The Kitchen
John Chaich, Independent Curator
Cecilia Alemani, Curator, High Line
Gabriel de Guzman, Curator, Wave Hill
Susan Thompson, Assistant Curator, Guggenheim Museum of Art
Jane Panetta, Associate Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art
Gabriel Perez-Barreiro, Director and Chief-Curator, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Hrag Vartanian, Editor-in-Chief, Hyperallergic
Ysable Pinyol, Curatorial Director, MANA Contemporary
Laurel Ptak, Director, Art in General

The studios are located in the lower level at 92 Plymouth Street.  Duration of the program is June 1, 2017 - May 15, 2018.

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. The program provides artists working in all visual arts media a free private studio space accessible 24/7 and a $5,000 fellowship (dependent upon funding). The program does not provide living space. Artists also have access to three shared common areas: a state-of-the-art digital production lab; a fabrication shop; and a kitchen/lounge area. Each year, Smack Mellon convenes a panel of arts professionals to select the artists from over 700 applicants. 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.

The Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York City Council Member Stephen Levin, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, and with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of The New York Community Trust, Jerome Foundation, The Greenwich Collection Ltd, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation Inc., Select Equity Group Foundation, and Smack Mellon’s Members.  

Smack Mellon programs are also made possible with generous support from The Roy and Niuta Titus Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Robert Lehman Foundation, Iorio Charitable Foundation, and Exploring The Arts.

Space for Smack Mellon’s programs is generously provided by the Walentas family and Two Trees Management.



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