VISUAL ARTIST ACCELERATOR
Fellowship.art helps visual artists achieve greater success by providing the support and mentorship needed to maintain a sustainable practice and navigate the industry.
Fellowship.art provides $15,000 budget grants to four artists who will participate in a 12-week accelerator program run by gener8tor. The 12-week program includes coaching, mentoring and networking with visual art leaders from Milwaukee and across the country. It ends with a showcase for the artists to present their work to industry professionals, supporters and community members.
Unlike other accelerator programs, Fellowship.art is completely free. Each selected artist receives a $15,000 grant with no ask of equity, royalties or residuals. Fellowship.art programming is customized to best support each artist, and reduce interference with studio time and existing personal and professional commitments.
The program is split into three sections:
Artists work with mentors and Fellowship.art program staff to customize a 12-week experience, designing a strategy to activate a seminal project that will advance their practice and professional brand. While the activity does not need to be completed within the 12-weeks, the Fellowship period should lay a firm foundation for project realization financially and conceptually.
Artists take part in the Mentor Swarm to identify partners (local, national and international) to consult on the above.
Artists determine which part(s) of their studio practice or business would benefit from intensive focus over 12-weeks. Examples include:
Experimentation or exploration of new studio technique with the help of mentors and professional peers;
Redesign or revamp of portfolio, marketing collateral, CV, artist statement or studio visit “pitch”;
New or improved market strategy via new commercial collaborations, gallery representation, or alternative programming.
Artists individually select one or more cities to establish deeper industry connections and diversify their audience or customer base. Earmarking grant money, artists should expect to conduct at least one trip during the Fellowship.art period.
Exchange activities can include a series of informational interviews and meetings with commercial and academic professionals in another city, engagement in thought leadership, participation in a festival, additional residency or fellowship participation, exhibition engagements and more.
Artists work with mentors and staff to coordinate a series of 12+ high-yield studio visits or critiques in the final phase of the program, putting into practice the new themes and strategies devised in the preceding weeks. These studio visits can be attended by new mentors, collectors and industry professionals.
Artists have a strategy for 12-24 months to complete seminal project, if not yet completed.
Artists showcase work at an end-of-program celebration.
Seven jurors were engaged to select the four artists. While gene8tor and Fellowship.art program staff administered the process, the selections were made by an outside jury in an effort to remove bias. We are thrilled to have worked with the following jurors for selection of the inaugural cohort:
Barry Blinderman, Illinois State University, College of Fine Arts
Chelsey Park, Carlos Rolon / DZINE Studio
Emily White, Gagosian Gallery
Erin Cluley, Erin Cluley Gallery
Gia Hamilton, Joan Mitchell Foundation
Lilia Kudelia, Dallas Contemporary
Lucas Spivey, Cultural Hustlers
In the spirit of being transparent about Fellowship.art’s process to select the four artists, the application/review process is outlined below.
Phase 1: Ranking
After all applications have been collected, a jury of external industry experts (outside Wisconsin) including curators, gallerists, administrators, and other cultural producers and practitioners will narrow the applicant pool to the upper quartile.
To remove bias, the panel will include representation across disciplines, and jurors will not review submissions by artists they have previously worked with. At least four experts will review each submission.
This will be done solely based on the three work samples artists provided in their application, along the “artist statement” or “story” supplied as the application narrative.
Phase 2: Second Round Ranking & Virtual Interviews
Applicants ranked in the upper quartile will be invited to participate in a 20-minute, semi-final virtual interview. Artists will receive prompts ahead of the virtual interview to help them prepare for the conversation.
Jurors will again rank the narrowed pool of applicants based on the dialogue from the virtual interview and the full content provided in the applications. At this point, jurors are encouraged to closely review all supplied web and social media links to help narrow to a final group of 10-12.
Phase 3: Studio Visits
Up to 12 finalists will be selected to participate in 30-minute, final-round studio visits in Milwaukee, WI. Fellowship.art staff will work with finalists to coordinate a meeting location/installation space if one is not readily accessible.
The jurors will select four artists based on talent, ambition and their ability to be significantly impacted by the program.
Be currently enrolled as a student(s).
Apply as a collective or studio.
Live outside of the seven-county Greater Milwaukee area (Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties). Note: 3 of 4 positions will be earmarked for Greater Milwaukee artists. One position may be filled by a national applicant.
Be a visual artist, studio or collective creating original work.
All participants must be at least 18 years old.
Be able to participate, in person, in the 12-week accelerator.
Demonstrate a commitment to pursuing a professional career in visual art.
gener8tor is a turnkey platform for the creative economy that connects startups, entrepreneurs, artists, investors, universities and corporations. The gener8tor platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, corporate programming, conferences and fellowships focused on entrepreneurs, artists and musicians.
gener8tor is a nationally ranked, GOLD-tier accelerator in the U.S. as ranked by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project.
gener8tor also runs Backline, a 12-week accelerator program for musicians.