We are genuinely excited to announce that CompassNeedle has officially launched our new program for visual artists.
The program is called Artists (in) Fellowship (AiF). AiF combines the components of a traditional fellowship with new elements for artists making their way in the vast and challenging landscape of New York City. Our program director and co-designer is artist Paul Zepeda, a veteran professional artist and the curator and owner of WetPaint NYC. About his inspiration for helping to design and run our fellowship, Paul says, "I would have loved to have had access to a program like this when I was first starting out... I'm excited to be a part of making it happen for others.”
In this, our inaugural year, we will select five artists to participate in the six-month program. Beginning in February 2019, each artist will be paired with an advisor from the fine art world.
Our advisors this year are international artist Robert Mars, Kelso Wyeth of Gagosian Gallery, art advisor Jess Bruzzaniti, fine artist Deming Harriman and marketing and events specialist Demetra Stacey. Advisors will interview and meet each month with their artist fellow to guide him or her in important career planning decisions and best pathways. In addition to a one-on-one monthly meeting with their advisor, our artist fellows will have access to the whole team of advisors and will receive five master classes, one by each advisor in their area of expertise.
We are excited to have such an experienced and well-respected group of advisors, and we look forward to learning more from them about how to give our artists a practical and rewarding experience.
Artist fellows will also benefit from additional meetings and trips with their advisors, and they will gain important experience from being actively engaged with and assisting their community of fellow artists and advisors in the program.
In addition, we are very excited to announce that as part of their fellowship, each of our five artists will have their work exhibited at the Superfine! Art Fair in Manhattan in May 2019. This four day exhibition will provide our fellows with invaluable face time and real-world experience interfacing with hundreds of potential collectors and future collaborators.
Artists (in) Fellowship was conceived by CompassNeedle collaborators Paul Zepeda and Alexandria Hodgkins after a dialogue with the CompassNeedle leadership about creating a mentorship program that achieved two important goals: first, to add to the traditional model of artists’ fellowships a new emphasis on career help, and second, to put into play an important question from the CompassNeedle team: what are the possible benefits for us creative people of actively working to assist each other even as we work to advance our own careers?
As members of the CompassNeedle team, Mr. Zepeda and Ms. Hodgkins designed this program to extend that question into new and practicable territory. They sought to craft a serious and unique opportunity for visual artists that would have concrete benefits. Ms. Hodgkins, the co-owner of The Living Gallery Outpost, an East Village community art space, has for several years now run community arts programs and residencies. And through that experience she sees a need for more programming that supports career development. Says Hodgkins, "We wanted to create a program for artists that focuses on career planning as well artistic practice. We think Artists (in) Fellowship is a unique opportunity, and we hope to grow the program over time."