apexart is a not-for-profit art space in Lower Manhattan. Founded by artist Steven Rand in 1994, it was conceived to offer opportunities to independent curators and emerging and established artists, as well as to challenge ideas about art, its practice and curation. apexart realizes this mission through exhibitions, an international residency program, a book publishing initiative, and public programs and events. To date it has worked with over 1,500 artists from around the world in its exhibition and residency programs. September 2010 marked the publication of apexart's third book, Playing by the Rules: Alternative Thinking/Alternative Spaces, a collection of essays on the role of alternative spaces in the art world.
apexart has exhibited over 150 exhibitions and hosted over 100 residencies.
Presenting eight shows annually, apexart’s exhibition program seeks to put new people in the position of curator through three different initiatives: the invited curator series, Unsolicited Proposal Program, and Franchise Program.
Each year, apexart presents two exhibitions organized by invited individuals, three exhibitions selected through the Unsolicited Proposal Program, and three exhibitions selected from the Franchise Program. These last two programs are open call curatorial opportunities that allow anyone from anywhere to propose an exhibition to be presented by apexart at its Tribeca location (in the case of the Unsolicited Proposal Program), or elsewhere in the world (in the case of the Franchise Program).
Past invited curators include: Simon Critchley, David Byrne, Boris Groys, and Dave Eggers. Past Unsolicited Proposal Winners include: Gary Fogelson and Michael Hutcherson (2011), Courtenay Finn (2010), and Sandra Skurvida (2009) Past Franchise winners include: Katharina Rhode (South Africa, 2012), Corina Oprea, Isabel Löfgren, Judith Souriau, Milena Placentile, and Valerio Del Baglivo (Sweden, 2011), and Logan Bay (Thailand, 2010)
The apexart Residency is an alternative educational program that invites creative professionals to leave their familiar surroundings for a month-long stay in a foreign country. Inbound Residents travel to New York, while Outbound Residents are sent from New York to locations including Ethiopia, Thailand, and Brazil.
apexart provides each resident with a detailed schedule of daily activities, meetings, and unexpected new experiences designed to provide creative and professional development The program is a geographical, historical, and intellectual exploration that combines the high and the low, art and non-art, and the mundane with the extraordinary and seeks to catalyze ideas for future work. Participants—from different disciplines and at different points in their career—are recommended by noted individuals from their home country who believe their practice could benefit from a non-working visit to a foreign country.
apexart’s publishing program examines timely issues in contemporary art and culture with new essays by members of the field from around the world.
In 2006, apexart published its first book, On Cultural Influence: Collected Papers from apexart International Conferences. This book, a compilation of essays presented at three apexart Conferences, offers a unique perspective of international viewpoints of the changing cultural landscape. Cautionary Tales: Critical Curating, published in 2007, asked academics, writers, and curators to consider how the proliferation of 'cultural producers' has changed the definition, evolution, and purpose of the curator over the last ten years. apexart’s most recent book, Playing by the Rules: Alternative Thinking/Alternative Spaces, published in 2010, addresses the perceived rules of the development and running of alternative spaces, and where those rules came from. The book provides new inspiration and fresh perspectives for those working in these spaces.
To complement its exhibitions and residency, apexart also presents approximately 30 events annually that are designed to contextualize its activities for its audience, and provide opportunities for artists, curators and cultural thinkers to engage in conversation.