Smack Mellon turns 20 and marks the milestone with a large exhibition of 90+ works by artists who have participated in their Artist Studio Program, curated by Charlotta Kotik, the former curator at the Brooklyn Museum, and loyal champion of artists and art spaces.
“The 20th Anniversary Show fully attests to the steadfast adherence to the philosophy of artistic freedom and full inclusion, practiced by Smack Mellon for the past twenty years. Giving an exposure to emerging and under recognized artists Smack Mellon became a platform for the development of ideas for the future. Its large space offers a unique opportunity to develop projects that would otherwise never be realized. Although an exhibition of works by the Artist Studio Program participants that commenced sixteen years the 20th Anniversary Show well represents the overall exhibition practice of the space. The sheer number of artists does not allow for the installation of the large scale projects for which Smack Mellon is know for, however the extraordinary range of styles, techniques, media and above all of the ideas, displayed in the individual pieces, bespeak the support of the varied identities and artistic freedom which made Smack Mellon one of the preeminent alternative spaces in the City. As a long time resident of Brooklyn I have closely followed the exhibitions at Smack Mellon since it’s founding in 1995 and its later Artist Studio Program. It was an honor to serve on the Artist Studio Program panel, and now to become a part of events celebrating the double anniversary. It is the vision of the artists, their commitment to ideas and the will to pursue them, as well as the foresight of Smack Mellon’s staff and leadership that we are celebrating in this exhibition.”
Curator Emerita, Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum
Smack Mellon has made a significant contribution to supporting emerging and under-recognized mid-career and women artists through providing studio workspace and access to equipment and technical assistance for the realization of ambitious projects. As an early pioneer in Dumbo and over the past two decades Smack Mellon has served hundreds of artists and hundreds of thousands of people have visited our galleries and studio spaces. One of the highlights of our 20th Anniversary celebration is Ward Shelley’s timeline drawing The First Twenty, which includes the name of every artist that created or presented work at Smack Mellon, as well as featuring the transformations of the neighborhood’s cultural life since our inception.
Smack Mellon was founded in 1995 and incorporated in 1996. In 1998 we began a partnership with the Walentas family and their company Two Trees Management. At that time, Two Trees had a number of vacant historic, industrial properties throughout Dumbo and was interested in providing their spaces in-kind to not-for-profit organizations to use for cultural programming. From 1998 to 2005 we occupied a Civil War-era iron foundry, which had been turned into a spice milling and grinding factory in the 1950s. Our current location is a former coal fired boiler house that provided steam for heat and power to several industrial buildings in the neighborhood. We thank the Walentases and Two Trees for providing awesome and inspiring spaces for our programs and we thank all of the foundation, government and individual donors who have supported our mission over these many years. It is by their generosity that Smack Mellon has been able to succeed in providing opportunities for artists to create ambitious projects and present them to diverse audiences.
Golnar Adili, Nadia Awad, Nicole Awai, David Baskin, Amy Bennett, Jesse Bercowetz, Lea Bertucci, Sonya Blesofsky, George Boorujy, Michael Paul Britto, Matt Bua, Haley Bueschlen, Torsten Z. Burns, Maria Buyondo, Eduardo Cervantes, Patty Chang, Mike Crane, Jennifer Dalton, Melissa Dubbin & Aaron S. Davidson, Blane De St. Croix, Esteban del Valle, Molly Dilworth, Oasa DuVerney, Ira Eduardovna, David Ellis, Emcee C.M. Master of None, eteam, Nona Faustine, Chitra Ganesh, Ghost of a Dream, Skye Gilkerson, Cate Giordano, Susan Graham, Kirsten Hassenfeld, Valerie Hegarty, Tyler Henry, Wayne Hodge, Janelle Iglesias, Yoko Inoue, Steffani Jemison, Jennie C. Jones, Gautam Kansara, Jena Kim, Shin il Kim, Hiroshi Kimura, Chelsea Knight, Tom Kotik, Liz Magic Laser, Joan Linder, Andrea Loefke, lovid, Erica Magrey, Joanna Malinowska, Esperanza Mayobre, Diane Meyer, Megan Michalak, Joiri Minaya, Cheryl Molnar, Ivan Monforte, Nyeema Morgan, Carlos Motta, Shana Moulton, Rachelle Mozman, Lori Nix, Jeanine Oleson, Jessica Ann Peavy, Meredith Pingree, Shannon Plumb, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Lina Puerta, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Claudia Schmacke, Dread Scott, Donna Sharrett, Jean Shin, Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, Kwabena Slaughter, Stephen Sollins, Suzanne Song, Micki Spiller, Mónika Sziládi, Ari Tabei, Dannielle Tegeder, Chat Travieso, Kako Ueda, Juana Valdes, Kai Viestra, Tobaron Waxman, Saya Woolfalk, Seth Wulsin, Rona Yefman, Bryan Zanisnik.