Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A.I.R. Fellowship in memory of Emma Bee Bernstein

A.I.R. Gallery is honored to announce the permanent naming of one of its yearly A.I.R. Fellowship Program Awards in memory of the artist, activist, writer, and feminist Emma Bee Bernstein (1985-2008). A.I.R. Gallery’s Fellowship Program supports the burgeoning careers of six emerging and underrepresented women artists each year. In recognition of Emma’s significant contributions as a young artist, writer and feminist, each year one Fellowship Recipient, under the age of thirty, will receive the additional honor of holding the A.I.R. Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship.

Contributions towards The Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship can be made at www.airgallery.org or can be sent to A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front St., #228, Brooklyn, NY 11201. A.I.R. Gallery is a not-for-profit 503(c) organization. All donors will be acknowledged on A.I.R. Fellowship Program materials.

Emma Bee Bernstein graduated from the University of Chicago in 2007, receiving a BA with honors in Visual Arts and Art History. She exhibited her work at the Smart Museum in Chicago, the University of Chicago, as well as A.I.R. Gallery. Her writings on feminism and art were published in M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online and in a tribute volume, The Belladonna Elders Series #4. In Emma's Dilemma, a film directed by Henry Hills, Bernstein interviewed dozens of artists from the downtown NYC art scene. GirlDrive, a book of interviews and photographs on the younger generation’s relation to feminism, co-authored with Nona Willis Aronowitz, will be published by Seal Press in the fall of 2009. Bernstein worked as a curatorial assistant at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Renaissance Society; as a docent at the Smart Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum; as a Teaching Artist at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art; and was an involved mentor and teacher for the Step Up Women's Network. Emma Bee Bernstein was the daughter of A.I.R. gallery artist Susan Bee and poet Charles Bernstein.

Critic Carey Lovelace wrote in Art in America in 2007: “Since 1972, the trailblazing A.I.R. gallery in New York, the world’s first women’s gallery, has provided quiet support for those operating outside the art world’s market-obsessed precincts.” The A.I.R. Fellowship Program for Emerging and Underrepresented Artists, established in 1993, has helped launch the careers of over 35 women artists. Each year the program offers six women artists the opportunity to have their first solo exhibit, or first solo exhibit in ten years. Recipients participate in eighteen months of professional development workshops, receive a studio visit with an art professional, and are mentored by A.I.R. artists and staff members.

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