Taking Aim

Bronx Museum Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Artist In the Marketplace (Aim)

For three decades, the Bronx Museum of the Arts’ Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program has helped to demystify the often opaque professional practices of the art world for artists at the beginning of their careers and has introduced the work of these emerging artists to the public. On June 26, the Bronx Museum will open two exhibitions to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this ground-breaking program, Taking AIM and Bronx Calling: The First AIM Biennial on view through September 5, 2011.

Guest curators Marysol Nieves and Mónica Espinel will look at the history of the AIM program alongside many of the key events that have helped shape the field of contemporary art as it has become more complex, decentralized, and global over the past 30 years. Taking AIM will feature materials related to the history of the program, and the centerpiece of the exhibition will be a timeline mural commissioned for the anniversary designed by AIM alumna Amy Pryor.

In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of AIM, the Bronx Museum and Fordham University Press will publish Taking AIM! The Business of Being an Artist Today, a detailed guide with information and tools to help emerging artists develop strategies for building and sustaining successful careers.

“AIM was launched 30 years ago to give participants in the program real-world experience on how to survive as a professional artist, the type of training you don’t get in art school,” said Bronx Museum Director Holly Block. “The idea behind AIM is to empower artists, asking them what they want to learn about the profession, helping them network and build a sense of community, and exposing their work to new audiences. We believe that artists play a critical role in exploring the issues and ideas of our time and supporting emerging artists is part of the core mission of the Bronx Museum.”

AIM is structured as a “collaborative residency” in which participants work directly with established artists, collectors, art critics, curators, dealers, lawyers, and other art world professionals. AIM sessions provide information, instruction, and professional guidance by addressing areas of practical concern to artists, among them curatorial practice, copyright law, exhibition and public art opportunities, gallery representation, grant writing, income taxes, and marketing. The 13-week seminar is offered annually in two sessions, each with 36 artists, and culminating with an exhibition of the participants’ work. Among past participants in the AIM program are Glenn Ligon—who was one of the early AIM artists and whose work was first exhibited at the Bronx Museum—and Polly Apfelbaum, Rina Banerjee, Amy Cutler, Anton Vidokle, and Phoebe Washburn.

In 2009, an International Artist Residency was added to the AIM program. In the last two years, eight international artists have participated in the AIM sessions, including Raymond Romero (Venezuela, 2008), Andre Komatsu (Brazil, 2009), Billie Zangewa (South Africa, 2009), Dulce Gomez (Venezuela, 2009), Magdi Mostafa and Mahmud Kahled (Egypt, 2010), and Samba Seydi and Ibrahima Niang (Senegal, 2011).

The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Founded in 1971, the Bronx Museum of the Arts is a contemporary art museum that connects diverse audiences to the urban experience through its permanent collection, special exhibitions, and education programs. Reflecting the borough’s dynamic communities, the Museum is the crossroad where artists, local residents, and national and international visitors meet. The Museum’s home on the Grand Concourse is a distinctive contemporary landmark designed by the internationally-renowned firm Arquitectonica.

To get to the Museum, visitors can take the B or D train to the 167 Street/Grand Concourse Station stop and walk south along the Grand Concourse two blocks. Please note: D trains do not stop during rush hour peak times (from 6:15 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Manhattan-bound trains, and from 4:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Bronx-bound trains). Visitors can also reach the Museum via the 4 train to 161 Street/Yankee Stadium. At the exit, walk east three blocks to Grand Concourse and north four blocks along Grand Concourse. For more information please visit www.bronxmuseum.org.