The May residency hosts three to four artists or curators each year for between three weeks and three months. May invites potential residents to submit proposals, and accepts proposals on an ongoing basis.
All residencies culminates in a three month exhibition which is produced by the resident-artist and May’s production team. Additionally, May hosts artists round tables and other educational programming which occur concurrently with each exhibition. All educational programming is open to the public and is moderated by local and international arts specialists or specialists in fields related to the exhibition.
While applications are generally accepted on an ongoing basis, we are currently not accepting applications. We are in the process of redesigning the program application process. Thank you, and check back again soon!
This past year at May brought some very exciting headway. It is because of your dedicated support that May was able to make such amazing progress. May presented the work of artist Tameka Norris as an official venue for Prospect 3. For May, becoming an official venue for Prospect 3 was a goal among many which served as motivation to achieve many smaller, but very important foundation-building goals.
Since 2012, May has produced nine solo exhibitions. All of which have established May as a unique space for experiencing contemporary art as distinctly intended by its artists. May has been setting a standard for the production and exhibition of contemporary art within a non-institutional, multi-sensory spacial envelope. May does not set forth standards of presentation or architectural rules which are replicated from exhibition to exhibition. We deliberately make this choice because we believe that the branding, aesthetics and intent of the institution are a distraction from the artist’s intent—we want the art to speak for it self. Concurrently, our publications bring transparency to the artist’s intent and process. However, we don’t impose interpretations on our audience. An artist could deliberately choose to use an institutional aesthetic in their installation, but that choice is a pre-rationalized one—it is a choice that precedes the physical production of their desired art experience. In architecture, the practice rests upon two principal constraints: the creative intent of the architect and the programmatic, functional needs of the client within their chosen site. Reflected within the framework of the institution of contemporary art, the role of the institution should be to provide the artist with the tools necessary to fulfil both the creative intent, and the functional needs within the given space. The curator should simply assist the artist in deliberate art place-making, versus only providing a place to hang artwork, or a pedestal to place sculpture—though, the latter could be a deliberate need of the artist’s intent!
The white-box model of art presentation was one which represented creative freedom from the institutionalized art museum codes of conduct; it was thus a continuous clean slate for new art, media and ideas. But for too many, the white-box now also embodies sentiments of exclusivity, and it now unavoidably has self constructed artist codes of conduct. As art presenters we can no longer afford to use exclusivity as a tool to elevate the value of contemporary artwork; that approach is dysfunctional. The intent and products of our contemporary artists must be made more accessible and conceptually unencumbered if we truly hope to convey our artist’s ideals. We need to elevate contemporary art to a position in society where it is a legitimate player in the evolution of our global culture, where the current, long standing owner of that title is pop-culture.
I look forward to your committed support and please visit us soon!
As an program integral to the mission of May gallery & residency, May books publishes books, zines and other printed matters which bring transparency to the concepts and fabrication processes of artwork produced and shown at May gallery. Formerly also a bookshop project incubated by May, which is now called The Stacks, May books will continue to provide educational materials to help make art more accessible to a broader audience.
As a part of May’s residency program, we preserve the resident-artist’s creative intent by documenting the dialogue between the resident-artist, community members, curator and preparator, as well as the creation of the exhibitions at May.
May books prints its publications primarily in-house on our high speed risograph duplicator, donated by RISO, inc. This helps to keep printing costs minimal and our publications affordable. We also print through either local offset printers and Blurb.com, depending on the needs of the project.