The A.I.R. Fellowship Program was established in 1993 by former artist member, Stephanie Bernheim, in order to support underrepresented and emerging self-identified women artists in New York City. Each year, six artists are awarded a year-long fellowship to develop and exhibit a project at A.I.R.

In the last 25 years, more than 100 artists have had the opportunity to have their first solo exhibition in New York City with the support of the A.I.R. community. This program encourages artistic experimentation and rigor by providing a space where feminist historical precedence and intergenerational dialogue are at the forefront. Essential to this process is a series of professional development workshops, close collaboration with an A.I.R. artist-mentor, scheduled studio visits through the year—including one with the panelists—and participation in the Unforgettables Reading/Working Group.

Since 2009, A.I.R. Gallery names one yearly A.I.R. Fellowship seat in memory of the artist, activist, writer, and feminist Emma Bee Bernstein (1985-2008). In recognition of Emma’s significant contributions as a young artist, the youngest A.I.R. Fellowship recipient receives the honor of holding the Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship.



  • A self-identified woman artist

  • Have not had a solo exhibition at a permanent commercial gallery in NYC in the last 10 years

  • Are residents, or within commuting distance of, New York City metropolitan area for the duration of the program

  • 18 years or older

  • Not a student or enrolled in any degree seeking program at the time of the program

  • Not participating in a comparable development program or residency program

  • Not currently be a member, employee or board member of A.I.R. Gallery, and never have had a solo show at A.I.R.

  • Not a Fellowship alumna



  • Free membership at the A.I.R. Gallery for one year

  • A solo exhibition in the Fellowship Gallery fully supported by A.I.R.

  • Professional development workshops led by a professional in the field

  • Printing of exhibition announcement cards

  • Participation in membership-based exhibitions

  • Access to the gallery space, resources and career development assistance during program tenure

  • One-on-one studio visit with one of the review panelists

  • An artist-mentor at A.I.R. Gallery to work with throughout the program

  • A stipend at the end of their participation in the program, pending available funding


A.I.R. hosts a Fellowship Q&A Info Session on Thursday, September 12, 2019, 6:30-7:30 pm. Please RSVP at info@airgallery.org—limited seating available.

Selection Process

Each year, a blind selection review is conducted by a panel of outside curators, and established artists. Through a multi-round process, artists are selected based on the quality and commitment to their work. A final interview and selection is made by A.I.R. Artists. A mandatory in-person interview is held prior to being accepted to the program. The A.I.R. Fellowship Program is open to artists working in all media and seeks to work with those that could benefit from the opportunities that the program offers. Six artists will be awarded a Fellowship. Previous curator and artist panelists have included: Rina Baneerjee, Phong Bui, Dan Cameron, Amber Esseiva, Lia Gangitano, Leslie Hewitt, Matthew Higgs, Rujeko Hockley, Christine Kim, Florence Lynch, Piper Marshall, Catherine Morris, Lisa Oppenheim, Faith Ringgold, Lumi Tan, Andrea Scott, Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels, Ruba Katrib, and Xiaoyu Weng.

This years 2020-21 panelists include Gina Beavers, Nicole Russo, and Monica de la Torre.

Gina Beavers creates sculptural paintings that explore the digital landscapes of our everyday lives. Beavers’ ongoing play with notions of reality and physicality provides a dynamic platform through which to consider wider cultural and social dialogues. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at galleries including Michael Benevento, Los Angeles; GNYP Gallery, Berlin; Carl Kostyal, London; James Fuentes, New York; Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York; Cheim and Read, New York; and Canada Gallery, New York, among others. In March 2019, MoMA PS1 opened Beavers’ first solo museum exhibition, Gina Beavers: The Life I Deserve, which is accompanied by the artist’s first monograph.

Monica de la Torre works with and between languages. Her latest book is The Happy End/All Welcome. It was published by Ugly Duckling Presse, which also put out her translation of Defense of the Idol by Chilean modernist Omar Cáceres in 2018. Born and raised in Mexico City, she is a contributing editor to BOMB Magazine. Recent writing appears in Artforum, A Public Space, and The Literary Review. Her new book of poems, Repetition Nineteen, is forthcoming from Nightboat in 2020. She teaches at Brooklyn College.

Nicole Russo is Owner and Director of Chapter NY, representing artists such as Sam Anderson, Mira Dancy, Milano Chow and Jesse Darling. In 2001 Russo started her career at Tilton Gallery, located on the Upper East Side. She then became Director at Leo Koenig Inc. (now known as Koenig & Clinton). While a Director at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Russo founded Chapter NY in 2013 as a weekend-only project space on the Lower East Side. In 2015, Chapter NY shifted to a full time gallery with a continually expanding roster. In addition to running Chapter NY, Russo organizes Condo New York with Simone Subal.

For more information on current and past panelists, click here.

Learn more about our current and past fellows here.

The online application is FREE to all applicants and can be accessed by clicking the button below: 



Have more questions?

Please visit our frequently asked questions page regarding the fellowship program. 


The A.I.R. Fellowship Program is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as generous support from the Bernheim Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, The Gifford Foundation, and individual donors to the Emma Bee Bernstein Fund.


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