Attention Artists! Free studio space for 1 year! 40th St AIR

The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) awards West Philadelphia artists 1 year of free studio space at 40th and Chestnut Sts. In exchange, each artist shares his/her talents with the West Philadelphia community by leading workshops, teaching classes, exhibiting in the area, etc. Founded by artist Edward M. Epstein in 2003, the program addresses the need for studio space in West Philadelphia, assists artists with career development, and makes the 40th Street area a nexus for visual arts.

AIR is NOW accepting applications for the 2010-2011 round of artists. Applications are due May 10, 2010.

The next round begins August 15, 2010 and runs 1 year.

Please keep reading for application information.

The mission of the 40th Street Artist-in-Residence program is:

  • To address the need for artist studio space in West Philadelphia by offering studios rent-free, on a rotating basis, primarily to those artists who reside in/are affiliated with Philadelphia neighborhoods west of the Schuylkill River.
  • To assist in the career growth and provide exhibition opportunities for new and emerging artists and those whose work has not been recognized in mainstream venues.
  • To enrich the area around 40th Street by placing artists in the neighborhood who share their creative talents with members of the local community.

If accepted to the program, you will be granted a studio space at a site at either 4007 Chestnut or 4013 Chestnut Street for a period of one year, beginning on August 15, 2010 and ending August 15, 2011.

You will be encouraged to use that time to develop your own creative work. In exchange, you will be asked to share your talents with the community through a minimum of 80 hours of outreach work over the course of the year. Examples of this include creating a public installation or holding a workshop or class in the neighborhood. Support will be provided to help you develop this project. In addition, the artists in residence will have opportunities to work together to plan group exhibitions, both of their own work and of their outreach work. Monthly meetings (or more when necessary) will help facilitate this work as well as create opportunities for artists to share ideas and create community.

Please note that the sites are not live-in facilities. The studios are available at all times, but the buildings are shared; you must be considerate of other tenants. The spaces can accommodate a variety of creative activities, including painting, sculpture, installation art, photography, and performance art. Collaborative as well as individual efforts are welcome. Ceilings are high (approximately 12 feet in some areas); rooms range from 100-300 square feet. Some areas have ample natural light, while others have none at all (making them ideal as darkrooms). The studios are not furnished. The buildings also have small yards in the rear that may be used for assembling larger works, or as a place to exhibit sculpture. The spaces have ventilation, running water, and 120- volt AC outlets. However, the facilities will not accommodate highly toxic chemicals, welding, or high-powered electrical equipment. Note also that within the spaces, there is open access to the different work areas; we count on resident artists to show respect for others’ property and privacy.

Overall, the 40th Street Artist-in-Residence program strives to create a community of artists who share their talents with each other and with the surrounding community.

To apply, please complete and submit the application that can be found HERE
by May 10, 2010, and email it to or mail it to 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program, 4007 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104. Do not drop off materials; there is no guarantee they will be received. We can return application materials if you include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

If you have problems accessing the online application, email us for a PDF or Word document.

Feel free to email with any questions about the program or application process.


40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program

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