The A.I.R. Fellowship Program was established in 1993 by former NY 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 92 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 inter-generational dialogue are at the forefront.  Essential for this process are a series of professional development workshops, the close collaboration with an A.I.R. artist-mentor, scheduled studio visits through the year- including one with the panelists, and the 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


Selection Process

Each year, a 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, and Andrea Scott. 

This years 2019-20 panelists include Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels, Ruba Katrib, and Xiaoyu Weng.

Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels is the founder of We Buy Gold, a roving gallery presenting exhibitions, commissioned projects, and public events. The inaugural project was located in Bedford- Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is a suite of four exhibitions (ONE., TWO., THREE. And The Yard), which encourage the dissection and deconstruction of structures of power by artists working in a cross-section of media. The second iteration was in Manhattan’s Chinatown in April with the exhibition, FOUR.  She is also on the curatorial team of The Racial Imaginary Institute, which seeks to change the way we imagine race in the U.S. and internationally by lifting up and connecting the work of artists, writers, knowledge-producers, and activists with audiences seeking thoughtful, innovative conversations and experiences. Joeonna was a founding Director of For Freedoms, the first artist-run Super PAC which uses art to inspire deeper political engagement for citizens who want to have a greater impact on the American political landscape. She is also a Director at the Jack Shainman Gallery where she manages artists within the gallery roster including Hank Willis Thomas, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Nina Chanel Abney and Meleko Mokgosi among others. Her multi-faceted role includes building and maintaining institutional and client relationships, organizing and presenting exhibitions, and strategic planning for long term goals and growth of the gallery.

Ruba Katrib is Curator at MoMA PS1 in New York. From 2012 - 2017 she was Curator at SculptureCenter in New York, where she served as Adjunct Curator until spring 2018. At MoMA PS1 she has curated solo exhibitions with Fernando Palma Rodríguez and Julia Phillips (2018). At SculptureCenter, she organized the group exhibitions 74 million million million tons (2018) (co-curated with artist Lawrence Abu-Hamdan), The Eccentrics (2015), Puddle, pothole, portal (2014) (co-curated with artist Camille Henrot), Better Homes (2013), and A Disagreeable Object (2012); and solo shows of the work of Carissa Rodriguez (2018), Kelly Akashi, Sam Anderson, Teresa Burga, Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC), Nicola L., Charlotte Prodger (all 2017), Rochelle Goldberg, Aki Sasamoto, Cosima von Bonin (all 2016), Anthea Hamilton, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Magali Reus, Gabriel Sierra, Michael E. Smith, Erika Verzutti (all 2015), David Douard, and Jumana Manna (both 2014). Katrib was co-founder of the residency and exhibition space Threewalls in Chicago, and has also held positions at the Renaissance Society and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, where she currently serves on the Graduate Committee. She is a research advisor for the upcoming Carnegie International, which opens in 2018, and a member of the Advisory Board for Recess, a non-profit artist residency and exhibition space in New York. Katrib is one of the curators of SITE Santa Fe’s biennial, along with José Luis Blondet and Candice Hopkins, opening in August 2018.

 Xiaoyu Weng  was appointed as an Associate Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to spearhead The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative in 2015.  At the museum, she has co-curated the exhibition Tales of Our Time (2016-17) and One Hand Clapping, on view from May 4 – October 21, 2018. Previously, she served as the founding director of the Kadist Art Foundation’s Asia Programs and launched the Kadist Curatorial Collaboration, which organizes exhibitions that stimulate cultural exchange, and she oversaw artist residencies and the building of the contemporary Asian art collection. From 2009 – 2010, she worked as a curator at the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College of the Arts (CCA). Her other recent projects include Soft Crash at Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, Italy (2016); Robert Zhao Renhui: Flies Prefer Yellow at Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco (2014-15); Landscape: the virtual, the actual, the possible? at Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2014); Invisible Hand: Curating as Gesture, the second CAFAM Biennale at Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing (2014); and Ming Wong: Making Chinatown at Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco (2013). Educated at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing and the CCA in San Francisco, Weng also writes on contemporary art and visual culture in various periodicals and has contributed to numerous publications. 

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


How to apply

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. 

A.I.R. also hosts one Information Session on October 3, 2018 from 6:30-7:30pm. At this time we are at capacity and the RSVP is closed.



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.


Feb_2018_LOGOS_PR_format (1).jpg