Zygote’s BIPOC Residency Now in Its Third Year

Print by 2022 Fellow, Sydney Jefferson.

In May 2021, Zygote Press hosted its first cohort of BIPOC residents in what was initially a one-month program, designed to give local artists of color the opportunity to expand their artistic practice into the printmaking realm. Now, two years later, the program has evolved from a one-month residency to a three-month fellowship, with pending funding for a year-long fellowship in 2024. Based on feedback from alumni residents, we have expanded the duration to give artists more time for instruction and experimentation with different printmaking processes. The fellowship typically results in a body of work, and helps artists develop long-lasting and meaningful relationships with the Zygote community. Fellows are paired with mentors and teaching artists to support the fellow’s individual goals. In biweekly check-ins Zygote’s residency coordinator, Michael Whitehead, discusses the artist’s progress and needs. In 2021 and 2022, the program culminated in a group exhibition. Under the guidance of Brittany Hudak, Zygote’s gallery manager, and with input from residency advisors, the artists installed the work created during their residency in Zygote’s gallery. The 2022 group exhibition, Transmutations, (shown in March of 2023) sold close to $4,000 of artwork.

Maintaining many of the core elements of the inaugural residency, the current updated format will allow artists to strengthen their abilities within the printmaking medium while bolstering their ties to fellow artists, staff, and the larger artistic community rooted in Cleveland. Most of the fellows go on to serve as paid jurors on future iterations of the fellowship, are invited to work as Zygote teaching artists, become Zygote studio artists, and maintain long-term relationships with the Zygote community.

The deadline to apply to the Fall 2023 BIPOC Fellowship is September 1. Zygote will be announcing the 2024 Open Call later this fall. The selected fellows will receive 24/7 studio access, twenty hours of instruction with Zygote staff/teaching artists, a yearlong Zygote membership, and a $500 stipend. At the end of this year, the spring and fall cohorts will once again collaborate to envision a collaborative exhibition of their work. The exhibition is scheduled to open in March 2024.

For more information, please visit zygotepress.org/awarded-residencies.


Open Call for Fall 2023 BIPOC Fellowship, deadline: September 1, duration: October 3–December 12

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