Each year, 18th Street Arts Center seeks to stimulate public dialogue around the role of artists in society. Programs at 18th Street Arts Center encompass our residency-based exhibition series Artist Lab, our annual Curator in Residence award, artist exhibitions in our Atrium Gallery, related artist and curator presentations and lectures, and an annual publication.

18th Street Arts Center’s core gallery program, Artist Lab, functions as an ‘artist laboratory’ that fosters exploration and experimentation, providing an in-depth opportunity for artists to critically develop their practice. Structured as both a residency and an exhibition, individual artists or artist teams may develop new work or generate provocative programming that investigates new avenues within contemporary art making practices. Artists are encouraged to use the space–which is open to the public–in a dynamic capacity, collaborating with other artists, using the gallery as a studio, developing on-going programs and events, creating installations, or modifying their exhibition layout over the course of their 3-month residency.

The Curator in Residence is an annual award for a California curator designed to support curatorial research and to promote the development of critical discourse in the field of contemporary art. Through this initiative, 18th Street awards innovative curators with a yearlong residency, an on-site curator’s studio, and a $10,000 award to investigate and develop ideas within a thematic framework fundamental to his or her practice. The Curator in Residence is also awarded funds to generate their own public programs or symposium to be presented at 18th Street Arts Center related to their field of research.