Studio Residency Open Calls

Aferro Studios Residency program image

Aferro Studios offers open calls for the studio residency program on an as-needed basis in order to fill 19 studios throughout our 5-story building. For 15 years, artists accepted into the program have been able to work in their studios 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 6-month rotations (with renewal options), and gain access to visiting curators and inclusion in collaborations with a wide range of organizations, including museums, orchestras, and galleries.

Many residency alumni have commented that the building is a kind of “context within a context” — one that encourages incubation of ambitious self-organized, sometimes collaborative projects that might otherwise have not been possible for the artist to achieve. Gallery Aferro focuses on this aspect when choosing artists to participate, as well as a commitment to a chosen field, excellence of artwork, demonstrated interest in engaging the public, etc.

And to learn more about what this open call entails, please continue reading below …

Standard Studio Residency Open Call

Gallery Aferro is a 19-year-old artist-run, alternative arts space where creative minds can share, collaborate and craft works that elevate the power of art in a culture that challenges the value of creative expression in our daily lives. When Aferro opened its doors in 2003, we recognized an absence of affordable studio spaces for artists who needed a dedicated place to pursue their art without fear of economic development pushing them out of their community. 

So in 2006, Aferro launched a pilot project that would grow into a Studio Residency program designed to uplift artists in an environment where they can make works as audacious, complex or experimental as they please. Forever committed to providing a platform for the exchange of ideas in service of advancing human dignity and beauty, Gallery Aferro’s Studio Residency program encourages artists in a genuinely accessible, yet engagingly rigorous atmosphere to make art that otherwise would not be possible. 

Located just 5 blocks from Newark Penn Station and within walking distance to other downtown galleries, as well as a wide range of local businesses and notable sites, Aferro Studios is housed in a 5-story, evocatively repurposed, 20,000 sq. ft. building built in 1899, during the height of Newark’s vibrant Gilded Age. Over the past 15 years, this creative enclave has become an epicenter of almost ceaseless activity by a varied and lively population of gallery staff, volunteers, artists, youth, and community residents, all within the dense cultural, architectural, and historical context of New Jersey’s largest city.

Aferro Studios – Standard Studio Residency expectations

This open call is for artists and writers working in almost any media who would like to continue their creative practice in an urban studio residency in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Each residency at Aferro Studios consists of a 6-month rotation for a monthly fee of $295, with the possibility of renewal after the initial term. Collectives are welcome to apply, and there are no geographical restrictions.

The work-only studios vary in size, but average more than 600 sq. ft. in workspace with dedicated storage and high ceilings. Embodying the DIY aesthetic of creative minds unafraid of taking risks, resident artists at Aferro Studios enjoy 24/7 access to large studio spaces, ongoing first-consideration for a range of on- and off-site opportunities, cross-promotional engagement via our studio blog, and community-oriented events to aid in developing your craft, career, and network — all within the heart of Newark’s downtown district with easy access to the Montclair, Jersey City, and New York City art scenes.

Selection for the program is based on excellence of work, an interest in engaging with the public via one’s art-making process, the probable impact the program will have on the artist’s ability to create works that otherwise would not have been possible, and a demonstrated commitment to a chosen field, especially in the face of financial or other personal disadvantage.

The growing network of Aferro Studios alumni is a powerful, multigenerational group of contemporary artists working across genre and media. Participation in the residency program includes a platform to share and participate in a community of artists and art lovers through informal networking and participation in seasonal cultural events. As a presenting and workspace organization run by artists, we are dedicated to providing opportunities to our residents in the form of exhibitions, commission referrals, advocacy, visiting curators, and letters of recommendation.

This open call opportunity is for an initial term of August 21st, 2022 – February 20th, 2023


Be prepared to submit the following items via Gallery Aferro’s Studio Residency application form.

  • Full Name
  • Artist’s Name (if different from your Full Name)
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

Only send the following submission documents as attachments (i.e., .doc, .pdf, Google Drive files, .jpgs, .png, etc.). Do not send oversized files like .tiff, .psd, or Word docs from Pages)

  • CV/Resume
  • Artist Statement
  • Proposal for what you would do with your studio and how participation in the program would be beneficial to you
  • Work Samples: You may submit up to 10 examples of work. Each image sample must be limited to approx. 1 MB. Each video (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.) sample must be limited to approx. 10 MB. Also, within the filename itself or in an additional document, please include full artwork information pertaining to each sample with the following information: Artist’s name, work title, media, dimensions, edition, and/or other relevant information)

Applicants are encouraged to make an appointment to look at the studios during gallery hours, Wednesday – Saturday / 12 – 6pm. Feel free to email us with questions or other information you may need at

The open call for submitting your application to the Aferro Studios Residency program is now closed.

Move-In Date: August 21, 2022