Eriola Pira

Art in General Residency Program

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Tell me a little bit about Art in General.

Art in General is a non-profit art institution in New York City that supports the production and presentation impactful projects by emerging artists that push the boundaries of contemporary art. Founded in 1981, our artist-driven model prioritizes visionary works and ideas, offering substantial financial and curatorial support at pivotal moments early in artists’ careers, helping catapult them forward.

We are best known for our New Commissions Program, which provides meaningful support to early-career visual artists to create and exhibit major new works, helping further their practice and garner public recognition for their work. Art in General offers the rare time, space, and support necessary for artists to take new risks, experiment, and break new ground. A good example is the last New Commissions exhibition Zach Blas: Contra-Internet, which couldn’t be more timely in asking us to critically reconsider our relationship to technology.

Work produced through these programs is presented at Art in General’s gallery in DUMBO as well as at partner organizations in New York and abroad. Art in General also hosts various public programs in conjunction with its exhibition program, inviting artists, curators, writers, thought leaders, and the public to engage with timely and critical issues in artistic and curatorial practice. Art in General has a long and illustrious history of working with young and emerging artists that have gone on to critical acclaim and offering support that will have a lasting positive impact on artists remains the cornerstone of its vision and program. A full list of the artists we have supported and presented can be found on our website.

For this DUMBO Open Studios, we welcome the public into the studio of our current residents: Daisy Desrosiers (a curator from Montreal), Yang Yuanyuan (an artist from Beijing), and Judha Su (an art critic and writer from Thailand). The Art in General Residency Program provides international artists, curators, and writers with the opportunity to conduct research and create work in a new context and to meet and interact with art communities and audiences in New York City.

What makes DUMBO’s art community different from other arts neighborhoods in the city?

The concentration of art organizations that support artistic artists, especially studio and residency programs is unique to DUMBO. There are quite a few of us here: Triangle Art Association, Smack Mellon, A.I.R. Gallery, Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, and of course Art in General, which makes for a strong community of artists who are all being institutionally provided with space, time, and mentorship to make ambitious work. The artists in these highly selective programs are some of the best in the city, and since residencies such as ours and Triangle’s are international, you can say the world.

Whose studios are you excited to visit this year as a part of DUMBO Open Studios?

Joseph S. Buckley, who is currently an artist-in-residence at Triangle Art Association on the 3rd floor, is working on an upcoming exhibition at Art in General this Fall. We have commissioned a brand-new body of work for what will be Joseph’s first major solo exhibition in the U.S. His work explores contemporary issues around postcolonialism, diaspora, and identity through the medium of sculpture. Buckley is producing an ambitious exhibition that explores power structures through the lens of black identity. It’s a rare opportunity for us as well as for the public to have access to his artistic practice and process of making new work for an exhibition. The work is in all stages of conceptualization and making and there are some curious characters to meet.

What should visitors not miss during their visit to DUMBO Open Studios this May?

A.I.R. Gallery, an organization founded in 1972 as the first not-for-profit, artist-directed and maintained gallery for women artists in the United States is our next-door neighbor and one that we’re particularly fond of as a feminist organization. They will be showing three artists – Kathleen Schneider, Dominique Duroseau, and Karen Leo – in their gallery spaces during DUMBO Open Studios.