The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program has announced their 2017-2018 artists and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The seventeen selected applicants (out of over 1,300) include several names we’ve mentioned on the blog, along with frequent AFC collaborator Jaimie Warren. We’re excited they’ll be AFC’s neighbors at 20 Jay Street in DUMBO.

Since 1991, the program has provided select artists a full year of rent-free studio space in the neighborhood, and organizes an annual open studio event for the public each spring. It’s a hugely formative and important experience—just having a space to work without the stress of paying for it is transformational. Alumni of the program include successful artists such as Eve Sussman, Lorraine O’Grady, and Sarah Oppenheimer.

This year, we’re happy to see that the selection committee (comprised of two rounds of vetting from former studio artists and arts professionals) rewarded some delightfully strange and innovative art makers. Apart from Jaimie Warren’s technicolor art-pop-historical-horror self-portraiture, the studios will buzz with the work of performance weirdo Narcissister (below) alongside the grotesque-personal paintings of Todd Bienvenu. Sharon Louden is perhaps best known for her books “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life” and “The Artist as Culture Producer”, but her art marrying organic and synthetic forms dazzles. Penelope Umbrico, for her part, is well-known for gathering images of mirrors from Craigslist posts, offering glimpses into the lives of strangers (among many other great projects).

Here’s the full list of selected artists:

Laura Bernstein, Anna Betbeze, Todd Bienvenu, Derek Fordjour, Angela Fraleigh, Hong Seon Jang, Osamu Kobayashi, Doron Langberg, Sharon Louden, Bridget Mullen, Narcissister, Jose Rodriguez, Brie Ruais, Martha Tuttle, Brandi Twilley, Penelope Umbrico, and Jaimie Warren.

Read more.

— Michael Anthony Farley for Art F City

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