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Current Studio Artists

This diverse group of seven artists will be in residence at Smack Mellon from July 1, 2019 through June 15, 2020, where they will be given the opportunity to create new work, develop existing work, establish relationships with arts professionals, and connect with their peers in the arts community—all with the financial, technical and administrative support of Smack Mellon. Artists have access to a private studio space and three shared common areas: a digital production lab, a fabrication shop, and a kitchen.

The public is invited into the studios to meet the artists during Open Studio events in April and September. The studios are located on the lower level of our building at 92 Plymouth Street in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. The program launched in 2000 in response to the crisis in availability of affordable workspace for artists living and working in New York City. Since then, the challenge to find affordable workspace has only worsened making our program more needed than ever.

Each year, Smack Mellon convenes a panel of arts professionals to select the artists from approximately 600 applicants. The panelists who selected the 2019-2020 Studio Artists were: Marcela Guerrero, Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Kalia Brooks Nelson, New York based curator and writer and Adjunct Professor in the Photography and Imaging Department in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; and Gabriel de Guzman, Curator and Director of Exhibitions, Smack Mellon.

Preliminary panelists were former Smack Mellon Studio or Exhibition artists: Claudia Bitran, Joan Linder, Rudy Shepherd, aricoco (Ari Tabei), Dannielle Tegeder, and Juana Valdes.

Panelist Bios:

Marcela Guerrero  is Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Prior to joining the Whitney, she was a Curatorial Fellow at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles working on the exhibition  Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985. She has also been a Research Coordinator at the International Center for the Arts of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Her writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues and art journals such as  caa.reviews ArtNexus Caribbean Intransit: The Arts Journal Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, and  Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Guerrero holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Kalia Brooks Nelson, PhD, is a New York based independent curator and educator. Brooks Nelson is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Photography and Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and at Parsons in the School of Art, Media and Technology. She has served as a consulting curator with the City of New York through the Department of Cultural Affairs and Gracie Mansion Conservancy. Brooks Nelson is also currently an ex-officio trustee on the Board of the Museum of the City of New York.

Brooks Nelson holds a PhD in Aesthetics and Art Theory from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. She received her MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts in 2006 and was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program 2007/2008.

Gabriel de Guzman  is the Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Smack Mellon. He is responsible for the successful curation and production of all exhibitions in the gallery. His recent curatorial projects include the group exhibitions  EMPATHY  (2018) and  UPROOT  (2017). Prior to joining Smack Mellon in 2017, de Guzman was Curator of Visual Arts at Wave Hill, where he organized the Sunroom Project Space series for emerging artists, as well as thematic group exhibitions in Wave Hill’s Glyndor Gallery. As a guest curator, he has also organized recent exhibitions at BronxArtSpace, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, Rush Arts Gallery, En Foco at Andrew Freedman Home, the Affordable Art Fair New York, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, and the Bronx Museum’s 2013 AIM Biennial. His writings have been published in catalogues for Wave Hill, the Bronx Museum, BronxArtSpace, Dorsky Gallery, the Arsenal Gallery at Central Park, The Jewish Museum, Rush Arts Gallery, Kenise Barnes Fine Art, and in  Nueva Luz: Photographic Journal. He earned an MA in Art History from Hunter College and a BA in Art History from the University of Virginia.


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 M. 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, 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.