The Norwalk Art Space is a 501c3 non-profit organization which opened in June 2021 with the mission of increasing opportunities and equity in the local arts community. Our goal is to provide free high-caliber art education to under-served high school students, and free exhibition space and studios to under-represented local artists. We want to enrich the local community and create a vibrant arts hub for the public to enjoy, with free admission to all events. Our beautiful building, ADK House, was named in honor of our founder Alexandra D. Korry, whose vision inspires everything we do.
All donations from our First Anniversary Celebration will be used to support our Art Education Program, which focuses on under-served high school students (ages 13-18) in Norwalk, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. The teachers of our Art Education Program are our very own Resident Artists and Korry Fellows.
Each year, we select a cohort of eight artists from the local area; four early-career "emerging" artists to participate in our Resident Artist Program and four established, mid-career artists for our Korry Fellow Program. Selection is based on the quality of artwork, interest in giving back to the community and working with teens, and numerous other criteria, all viewed through a DEI lens. Our goal is to have each year's cohort of eight artists be majority female and majority people of color.
The Resident Artists (RAs) are the core of our Art Education Program and the principal teachers of our free weekly art classes for high school students. Each Resident Artist receives a free, private art studio within our facility for one year and free exhibition space in our stunning gallery in two separate 8-week exhibitions. In return, each RA teaches three different classes during the year - one during our summer session (5 weeks long) and one in each of the fall and spring semesters (9-10 weeks long). The RAs design their own curriculum in collaboration with our Educational Co-Directors and Korry Fellows, with the aim of supplementing and building on the art programs in the public school system.
The more experienced Korry Fellows act as mentors for the Resident Artists and teach single-day workshops for high school students. Each Korry Fellow curates his/her own 8-week exhibition in our gallery, with the support of our Artistic & Educational Director. The student workshops are based around each Korry Fellow’s exhibition and area of expertise. Each workshop is limited to 10 students, allowing time for personal interaction between students and experienced professional artists.
Our weekly classes are also limited to 10 students, so we have the capability to serve 40 students per semester/session (possibly increasing to 50 students per semester with the addition of a 5th weekly class in Fall 2022). In total, we will have 180-190 available spots in classes and workshops in the coming year.
The benefits to both our Resident Artists and students from this program are enormous. Our small class sizes allow Resident Artists to gain teaching experience in a low-stress environment while offering personalized instruction to each student. The RAs have a full year in which to practice and improve their art skills, exhibit their work, learn from our more experienced Korry Fellows and gain teaching experience to add to their resumes. The high school students receive high-quality art instruction, completely free, and access to a community of artists offering support and mentorship. Students have the opportunity to experiment with different art styles and media, learn about career options in the arts, and enjoy cultural events in a welcoming and inclusive space.