Abrons Arts Center’s Visual Art AIRspace Residency annually supports 4 New York City-based visual artists.

2022-23 Visual Artist AIRspace Resident cohort. Image by Daqi Fang

Abrons Arts Center's Visual Artist AIRspace Residency annually supports 4 New York City-based visual artists. Visual Artist AIRspace Residents receive an artist fee and a semi-private studio for nine months at Abrons Arts Center. Throughout the residency cycle, studio visits are arranged with critics, curators, artists and other arts professionals to foster critical and professional development. The residency period will culminate in a group exhibition at Artists Alliance Inc (AAI)/Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space.

Curatorial Focus

The word “sanctuary” comes from the Late Latin word “sanctuarium,” which means a sacred place or a shrine. A sanctuary evokes ideas of spirituality and protection yet it also brings forth the idea of a hideaway that suggests an imminent threat.

Abrons’ curatorial focus for our Spring 2024 season is "sanctuary". The 2023–2024 Curatorial AIRspace Resident (to be determined in Spring 2023) will curate the Visual Artist AIRspace Exhibition according to this subject.

Program Components

Eligibility Requirements

Important Dates

Questions? Email [email protected]

About Organizational Partners

Abrons Arts Center is a program of Henry Street Settlement, a social services agency with nearly 130 years of experience providing front line support to New Yorkers. Since the founding of our Neighborhood Playhouse in 1915, Abrons has been a space for artists of all ages and stages to experiment with and share new ideas.

Artists Alliance Inc. is an artist-founded and artist-centered non-profit that provides a free and accessible platform to produce, experience, and understand contemporary art in the Lower East Side–a longstanding epicenter for creative experimentation and cultural diversity. AAI fosters forward-thinking and experimental practices of emerging and underrepresented artists and curators with funded residencies and paid exhibition opportunities, and advocates for art-making that challenges how we experience ourselves and our communities.

Calling Out: Visual Artist AIRspace Residency Exhibition, 2022. Photograph by Olympia Shannon

Calling Out: Visual Artist AIRspace Residency Exhibition, 2022. Photograph by Olympia Shannon

2022–23 Visual Artist AIRspace Residency Cohort

nina macintosh

nina macintosh is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and organizer born and raised in Manhattan (Lenapehoking). Working between film, painting, ceramics, and printmaking, macintosh explores and honors the parallel grief of gentrification and dissociation– ruptures from home, body and land. Key to their practice is also working collaboratively on films to approach healing and collective liberation from different roles.

Emily Manwaring

Emily Manwaring lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Manwaring graduated from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art with a BA in Fine Arts. The influence of New York lives in her paintings and sculptures from depictions of public transportation to the brick buildings that fill the city. With her family being from Trinidad and Haiti, the diaspora is celebrated through the vibrancy of the work. Manwaring’s work focuses on the heartening interactions of everyday life. The works are intimate snapshots of people’s lives, and captures how joy and love is shared with others.

Alex Dolores Salerno

Alex Dolores Salerno is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Informed by queer-crip experience, they work to critique standards of productivity, notions of normative embodiment, the commodification of rest, and 24/7 society. Salerno’s practice incorporates found, used and accumulated objects to depict the materiality of interdependence and reveal tensions between our needs and societal values of self-reliance. Beds and bedding are some of their primary materials which allow them to explore the bed as a site of care, collectivity and protest. Salerno’s practice embraces slowness, and they argue that to celebrate diverse bodyminds requires a reconfiguration of time and value away from capitalist frameworks.


Shirt is a multiform artist from Queens, New York City. Working across rap music, writing, performance, video, photography, painting and sculpture, Shirt’s practice often resembles the interplay between Black Dada, Conceptual Art and Hip-Hop, forming a bricolage of language, sound and object wherein notions of authorship and publics are blurred to create a more expansive readership. Exploring modes of social critique through a deep investment in radical imagination and found practices, Shirt’s work considers ways of unlearning and seeks to propose questions such as: Who gets to be called an artist? and What is considered art?


Abrons Arts Center’s Visual Artist AIRspace Residency program is made possible through the generosity of The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Artists Alliance Inc. (AAI) is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City. Programming support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Further exhibition programming is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation, The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc for their continued support. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers and interns, without whom this program would not be possible.