Art Lab Project | Exhibition Incubator

What is the Art Lab Project |

Art Lab at one time was an informal way for the residents to meet and have social interactions around their studio practices. Over time the conversations became more invested and started to lead to one-on-one conversations about potential exhibition opportunities with and Dab Art Co. (our partner gallery in Los Angeles and Ventura, CA). We began to realize the relationship between the curators and the artists, were creating unique exhibitions with richer meaning. Thus began the formalization of our processes and exhibitions related to exhibition outcomes.

This project is an 10-week studio project where the artists are committed to showing up each week to present their progress, receive feedback from peers, receive feedback from the curators, and utilize the collective to help solve technical or conceptual issues. Participating artists are expected to apply for participation and have their proposals validated by the curator in advance to be considered for the exhibition outcome.

LAB DAY | Due to the response we are launching the program with 2 potential days to select your meeting time. You will be able to select one of the following times Saturdays from 1 PM- 2:30 PM CST or Fridays from 1-2:30 PM. Program attendance is mandatory at 85%. We realize emergencies occur and it is hard to plan, but we want to be fair to the community since the group dynamic does play a role in the success of the final exhibition and artists’ outcomes. We also realize that our artists are professionals and will make every attempt to be present and communicate issues in advance so we can make a plan. Communication is key here.


Application: Applications for Art Lab can be made at any time via (see the apply button in the main navigation of our site).

Proposal: If your initial application is accepted you will be contacted with a link to google documents for the submission of your proposed project. Proposals should consider the following

  • Theme of the current Art Lab is meant to be general. We do not want to take artists away from their current studio projects. We do want you to consider the theme as a context within which to put your work. For instance, the summer session starting in May will have the theme “color”. We will work together to ensure whatever you propose can be fit into the context of color.
  • Timeline. Please keep in mind the project needs to be completed within the 10-week timeline. Scale your project appropriately. For instance, if you are working on a series in your studio already you can use this project but perhaps only complete one piece. Be clear in your proposal about how your project fits the timeline.
  • Exhibition. Remember this is for professional exhibition on and potentially within the galleries of CDMX, Los Angeles, or Ventura. Just because you are accepted, created a proposal, showed up, and finished a piece does not mean your work will be shown. In some cases, the project may not be ready for display, require more time in development, or may not match the gallery mission.

Here is a sample proposal which I created for a mural project in english and spanish

Check-in. Each week we will select different artists to do a check-in for the group to better understand and support your process. Please show up prepared to discuss your progress, processes, pitfalls, successes, and more.

Acceptance. Once an artist is accepted into the Art Lab Project they will have a 30 minute meeting to discuss their project in week 1 of the project to fine-tune the proposal. The artists will also meet with the curator in week 9 to review their final submission for 30 minutes. In week 10 the entire group will meet to discuss the show outcomes before the show is scheduled for Artsy or gallery production.

Week 1 and week 9 the group will not meet formally, but those who desire will be able to log into the space and proceed as desired.

WHO | Participating artists will be from the residency subscription group, invited artists, invited curators, invited educators, and others.


There will be a separate fee assessed for the Art Lab Project to participate apart from the membership structure paid by residents. Fees will be announced within the application process and are based on time, specifics of projects, and other factors. We strive to keep this affordable but also to ensure there is sufficient support to make this function.


Residents will be allowed to participate without exhibition outcome and without extra fee assessed as a benefit of the residency or with fee and exhibition consideration. See the residency subscription levels for discount.

SCHOLARSHIPS | As with all projects and exhibitions there is a percentage of participants who do not pay. This element we believe is essential to the diversity of voices in the group. We do not want to exclude artists based on their ability to pay, but we do need to create a balance. There will be a limited number of scholarships available based on the group enrollment. Please contact Micheal Swank directly to discuss the specifics of your situation.

EXTRA BENEFIT | It is very rare that artists receive feedback during the creation process for an exhibition. This project closes that gap and the applied artists will have one-on-one time with the curator, guest curators, or others as determined during the 10-week project.

The next Application opens April 2021 for a start date of May 7th to July 10th. Exhibition Date announced during Art Lab Process (approx August).

APPLY | If you have already submitted to (APPLY button in the main navigation) and been accepted or placed on the waiting list you are set. You may request the link to the google form to submit your proposal here.