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The Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (ISP) 2015


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I discover this program late last year and I'm debating on applying for the Studio Programs before the deadline April 1st. The description on the site is super vague.  Does anyone have any experience applying to this program, then please respond. I have read some post from last year on this site, but they weren't extremely helpful. I'm extremely confused if you have to send out physical paper documentation of your work??? I thought that was extremely odd and old school, they don't accepted cd's and said nothing about flash drives. I have other questions, I'll wait into I get a response.

 

Hopefully this forum will serve as discussion platform for this interesting  'mysterious' program. 

 

Thanks! 

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I saw their exhibition in 2013. It's a very rigorous theory driven program. Not ideal for people interested in making. Most of the people in the program already have MFAs, but not all. It is also a way to get exposure to the NYC art scene/market.

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The application is very old school, but yes that is the way it is. I wouldn't want to discourage you from applying, because if you think you would want to do it I think applying is always good, but just keep in mind that being accepted is going to be pretty difficult without a lot of preparation and having the recommendation from artists who have already gone through the program. What Coreythegiraffe said is all true.

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I discover this program late last year and I'm debating on applying for the Studio Programs before the deadline April 1st. The description on the site is super vague.  Does anyone have any experience applying to this program, then please respond. I have read some post from last year on this site, but they weren't extremely helpful. I'm extremely confused if you have to send out physical paper documentation of your work??? I thought that was extremely odd and old school, they don't accepted cd's and said nothing about flash drives. I have other questions, I'll wait into I get a response.

 

Hopefully this forum will serve as discussion platform for this interesting  'mysterious' program. 

 

Thanks! 

 

you're a printmaker (huge strike one) who hasn't gotten his or her MFA yet (strike two)

my advice is don't apply. it'll be a waste of your time and money.

 

it's for people who make theoretical art. the only two people I know who went there both did conceptual videos with a marxist bent and had already gotten their MFA's from Columbia. that program is impossible to get into and is only for a specific subset of artists. if you look at the faculty and past faculty there is literally no one who is a painter (or a printmaker for that matter)

 

trust me on this one

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you're a printmaker (huge strike one) who hasn't gotten his or her MFA yet (strike two)

my advice is don't apply. it'll be a waste of your time and money.

 

it's for people who make theoretical art. the only two people I know who went there both did conceptual videos with a marxist bent and had already gotten their MFA's from Columbia. that program is impossible to get into and is only for a specific subset of artists. if you look at the faculty and past faculty there is literally no one who is a painter (or a printmaker for that matter)

 

trust me on this one

 

 

Your comment is a little brash, I didn't ask for a critique on my eligibility for the program.  As a previous posters has stated, individual have been admitted without a MFA and even the website considers candidates without MFA's.  So I don't know what your getting your information from, but's not from the program. If your going publicly post something make sure it's factual, instead of speculation.

 

I have decided to defer my application into next year.  Yes my work is 'center" around  printmaking, but would not consider myself a printmaker, but more interdisciplinary and theory base.

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yeah maybe it's a little brash (sorry) but it's true

 

anyone who tells you to apply to the program or to even consider applying for it next year is doing you a giant disservice

I went to your website - your work is quite good but it's really not "social practice" or engaging theory (even if you have an intellectual or theoretical approach). you're also very young.

 

the people that go to that program are most in their 30's and doing work that has very little/nothing to do with craft and explicitly addresses institutional critique, labor, globalism, capitalism, identity politics, etc. a lot of the work is text based (i.e. art writing)

 

as I said before, your work is good and you have the kind of background that will probably help you get into other equally prestigious residencies like skowhegan, macdowell, yaddo, vermont studio center (w fellowship) among others. I would focus my energies on those. you need a totally different type of statement of purpose for those types of residencies than you would the whitney isp.

 

I know I sound like a jerk and a know it all but I'm giving you good advice. talk to your professors about it when you start your MFA next year and see what they say. Maybe I'm wrong (you never know).

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Im going to have to agree with mlk. 

You are exceptionally young, even for MFA programs, and the Whitney ISP is for artist's who are older, more accomplished, and have more experience. 

If you are interested in NYC, I would totally encourage you to check out the New York Arts Practicum. It's a 2 month residency/assistantship program. I attended in the summer of 2013 and it was great. 

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yeah maybe it's a little brash (sorry) but it's true

 

anyone who tells you to apply to the program or to even consider applying for it next year is doing you a giant disservice

I went to your website - your work is quite good but it's really not "social practice" or engaging theory (even if you have an intellectual or theoretical approach). you're also very young.

 

the people that go to that program are most in their 30's and doing work that has very little/nothing to do with craft and explicitly addresses institutional critique, labor, globalism, capitalism, identity politics, etc. a lot of the work is text based (i.e. art writing)

 

as I said before, your work is good and you have the kind of background that will probably help you get into other equally prestigious residencies like skowhegan, macdowell, yaddo, vermont studio center (w fellowship) among others. I would focus my energies on those. you need a totally different type of statement of purpose for those types of residencies than you would the whitney isp.

 

I know I sound like a jerk and a know it all but I'm giving you good advice. talk to your professors about it when you start your MFA next year and see what they say. Maybe I'm wrong (you never know).

 

Honestly don't know what the issue is...  I email them,  and they have accepted undergrads in the pass. 

 

Does anyone have any real information on the whitney program. 

 

Ahh...as I'm about to graduate from an MFA, I find myself lurking on here again....

AKW94-- I have to second mlk and coreythegiraffe. The best advice I've received thus far is try not to force yourself into a program that is not a good fit for you...and you just have to be objective and honest about who you are, the type of work you make, AND what you want to get out of the program/school/residency/whatever. 

If you want the prestige, you can easily get that with other residencies--ALSO you can do internships that will greatly effect you for the better. 

I have a friend who is in the Whitney ISP program right now....she makes phenomenal work but she also just finished her Phd in film and media studies before attending. She's an artist, but also an incredible writer--and those two go in tandem together for her. She told me that the studios are in Manhatten (who can afford to live there?) and your studio is basically a cubicle...kind of like CSU Long Beach layout. (if anyone has seen them) 

I'm being serious. They are traditional cubicle style like in an office and you basically get to see what everyone is up to. I by no means think this is bad, but you have to consider 1. what type of work can you make in that environment 2. what kind of mentality that breeds 3. what do you honestly want to get out of it? <-----(I personally think this fuels the writing component in the program)

The program is incredibly rigorous and highly conceptual. This next part is going to be real talk. 

If you really still want to go there, (hey maybe not this yr, but keep it on your radar) you need to beef up your CV and portfolio. I'm not talking solo shows or group shows, I'm talking about the awards, grants, residencies, publications, reviews of your work. You don't need a lengthy thing--but it really does show the committee that you are self sufficient (which the program wants you to be) and you are capable of producing a 'buzz' about you. In terms of your portfolio, if you have writing samples they're going to want it--even if you're just reviewing artwork in your local network. 

 

Like mlk said, the program is for a very specific subset of artists...and I know you are hung on they've taken undergrads before--but let's be real they may have been older and they may have had better connections than you. My last vice is please don't hold your career to another's and ask, "why not me?" It's a really long journey, some people hit the stratosphere early, and others don't. 

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Not trying to force myself in a program. Just trying to get more information regarding the program.

 

I talk to one of the program coordinator their a few minutes ago. She told me to apply and that they have taken undergrads, regardless of age, and yes it is a competitive program. There is emphasis on making physical work, but also there is theory base component to the program. They also offer credits to students. No you don't have to have a "flashy" resume/CV.   I hope this help future applicants and current. 

Edited by AKW94
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Not trying to force myself in a program. Just trying to get more information regarding the program.

 

I talk to one of the program coordinator their a few minutes ago. She told me to apply and that they have taken undergrads, regardless of age, and yes it is a competitive program. There is emphasis on making physical work, but also there is theory base component to the program. They also offer credits to students. No you don't have to have a "flashy" resume/CV.   I hope this help future applicants and current. 

 

Sounds like you know what you want, good luck on your app. 

I would just follow up with anyone who is following the thread--it only benefits you as an artist to look at other artists CV's (either at the program you're applying to or residency). Not only can that offer you an opportunity to research and learn about other residencies, galleries, grants, etc that maybe you haven't heard of (and potentially apply to in the future) but can also offer an abstracted idea of what type of individual the program/residency is looking for. (in some cases)

Edited by aethiryn
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