Publicly launched in 2005, Art in General’s New Commissions Program centers on developing and exhibiting new and challenging work by artists at a pivotal point in their practice. We commission new projects in any medium or form—from painting to sculpture to performance to video to other, perhaps undefined, types of art or interdisciplinary work.

The organization works closely with artists to provide curatorial and logistical support to help them to develop their project from idea to final form. The high level engagement means that the process can involve an extended phase of research and development for the artists and Art in General. Through the New Commissions Program, we hope to challenge artists to work beyond the scope of their customary practice and to take risks, away from the marketplace, in a supportive environment.

Since the program’s launch, Art in General has invited and commissioned new works from five to eight artists every year. Artists are chosen through an annual open call competition or selected by Art in General after extensive research, studio visits, and meetings with artists. The open call has no thematic or spatial parameters, and artists can choose to present a project proposal based on long-standing or emerging interests. The art project proposals presented by these artists are developed and presented through exhibitions, events, or other forms of programming at Art in General.

The Commissioners’ Circle special membership directly supports this program. Click here to learn more.

Former New Commissions artists have gone on to receive additional exhibition opportunities and much critical acclaim, including the following:

Sharon Hayes, Melissa Martin, Lee Walton, Alejandro Cesarco, Xaviera Simmons, Jihyun Park, Adam Simon, eteam, Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri, Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Melanie Crean, Andrea Geyer, Bernadette Corporation, Judi Werthein, Fawn Krieger, Little & Fergason, Chris Moukarbel, Carlos Motta, Carla Herrera-Prats, Jan Baracz, Dave Hardy, Josh Melnick, Julia Oldham, Guy Benfield, Chuck Yatsuck & Justin Rancourt, Shana Moulton, Kambui Olujimi, Redmond Entwistle, Isola & Norzi, Ohad Meromi, Brendan Fernandes, Jason Bailer Losh, AUDiNT, Zefrey Throwell, Mounira Al Solh, Rob Carter, Katrin Sigurdardottir, robbinschilds, Mounira Al Solh, Christopher Duffy, Kimberlee Venable, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Meriç Algün Ringborg, Letha Wilson, Ola Vasiljeva, The Still House Group, Alex Ito, Lisa Oppenheim & Lisa Tan, Jill Magid, Halsey Rodman, Lisi Raskin, Mika Tajima, Daphne Fitzpatrick, Zachary Fabri, Basim Magdy, Lea Cetera, Marwa Arsanios, Matt Lips, Halmos, Andrea Galvani, Lior Shvil, Nino Chubinishvili (Chubika), Donna Huanca, Alison O’Daniel, Ieva Epnere, David Kennedy Cutler, Juntae Teejay Hwang, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Sara Magenheimer, Rachel Rossin, Juanli Carrión, Freya Powell, Postcommodity, Danilo Correale, Zach Blas.

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Art in General was founded in Lower Manhattan in 1981 and supports the production of new work by local and international artists primarily through its New Commissions Program and its International Collaborations program. Art in General also produces an annual symposium What Now? on critical and timely issues in artistic and curatorial practice.

General Support of Art in General is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Cowles Foundation; Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The New Commissions Program is made possible by the Trust for Mutual Understanding; National Endowment for the Arts; Jerome Foundation; Ruth Ivor Foundation; The Greenwich Collection; and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation. Support has also been provided by Commissioners’ Circle leaders Jeffery Larsen and Joseph Bolduc; Commissioners’ Circle supporter Cher Lewis, and Commissioners’ Circle members Nader Ansary, Roya Khadjavi-Heidari, Mary Lapides, Richard Massey, Ron and Lucille Neeley, and Leslie Ruff.