Joan Mitchell Fellowship Application Guidelines

APPLICATION DUE DATE: Monday, April 22, 2024 at 5:00 PM EDT

For more information on the Joan Mitchell Foundation and Joan Mitchell Fellowship, please see the Fellowship Background Information document.

Application Info

Application Format

The application is hosted on the platform Submittable and contains 33 questions, including contact information, ten work samples, an artist statement, a statement about the potential impact of the award, a statement about your interest in the cohort engagement aspects of the Fellowship, a short 150-word biography, a resume or CV, and demographic information

Artist Information

Contact information, including website and social media links, is not shared with the jury.

The demographic questions, which include the option to decline to answer, are for the Foundation’s use. We collect this information to gain a better sense of the communities we are reaching and where there is still work to do. Your answers will be visible during the review process. We may share anonymous demographic statistics publicly when we announce the selected artists, as well as with our Board and other specific constituencies, but we will never share personal demographic data publicly, beyond anything you decide to include in your public materials (which you would have a chance to review if selected as a Fellow)

Work Samples

The application requires ten (10) work samples showcasing recent work. You may submit 10 still images, or a combination of up to eight images and up to two minutes of video in one or two samples. See “Application Suggestions” section for more detail on work samples.

  • Work portrayed in still images should be uploaded as single file images at least 72 dpi with a file size of 25MB or smaller. Total file upload submissions, including work samples and other uploads, may not exceed 800 MB.
  • Files can be uploaded in any of the following formats: .pdf, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .m4v, .mov, .mpg or .mp4. All files must be labeled with the artist's last name, followed by a first initial and number 1–10 (example: Mitchell_J_Image1).
  • Composite images are only allowed when depicting front and verso, or multiple perspectives of one work, but may not be used to show multiple works.
  • The qualification of “recent” work varies from applicant to applicant, depending on the way an artist works. We advise that you include work mostly created within the past 5 years, if possible, but it is not a requirement. We encourage you to consider how the work that you submit aligns with your written statements.

Video Submissions

You can submit up to two minutes of video as part of the total ten work samples, in one or two samples. If you don’t have editing ability and the video submissions are longer than two minutes combined, please provide a cue time for each video. If no cue time is provided, jurors will be instructed to watch the first minute of any submitted video files.

Some examples of acceptable video submissions include documentation of an installation or sculpture, detailed video of a painting to see its surface, or a performative or other time-based work. Video should not be submitted to convey a biographical narrative or act as an overview of an artist’s practice, such as promotional materials or interviews. We generally discourage the use of video to show process, unless it feels essential to understanding a practice.


Each work sample upload has a set of fields (metadata) to add the title, date, materials, dimensions, and a brief description of how or where the work was made/shown as well as any additional context that the jury may benefit from to understand the sample. It is highly recommended that applicants complete these sections. We cannot stress how much value this provides jurors to appreciate and understand the works shown. Please limit yourself to no more than 150 words per work sample.

About Narrative Statements

Artist Statement

The artist statement is your opportunity to explain your artistic concerns, creative intentions, and process to jurors who may not have any familiarity with your work. Your chosen work samples should align with your statement. Can a viewer understand the questions you are asking or tackling within your work? Jurors are asked to consider whether the artist presents a clear and consistent vision throughout the application, and whether the statement enlightens their understanding of the work (or vice versa). We suggest using the first person when writing your statement; having someone else read it can be especially helpful in getting feedback prior to submission. You have 300 words to use; we encourage using them. A common critique from jurors is that artist statements sometimes pose questions or ideas that are not evident in the work samples, or vice versa.

Impact Statement

Through the impact statement, you are aiding the jurors’ assessments of the overall reverberations of this award on your life and practice. Why is this a pivotal moment for you to receive the Joan Mitchell Fellowship? You might consider sharing anything related to your professional or personal goals, interests, or dreams. Remember that this is not a project-based award; while you might be considering a new project or phase of your career, sometimes only focusing on one particular plan may not tell the jurors enough about what you might accomplish in a five-year span. We recommend using the maximum space you have for this statement, up to 300 words.

Cohort Engagement Statement

In your cohort experience statement, use the space provided to reflect in particular on what you hope your engagement with the national artist cohorts developed through and fostered by the Fellowship will be. Be sure to address what your contributions to an artist community of this type could be, and what about that spirit of community you feel would be most beneficial or impactful for you. This is the space to think about how being part of a group of peers that learns together and from one another would make an impression on you and your artistic practice. We recommend using all 200 words for this statement.

No Supplemental Materials

Jurors will be asked not to review your website or social media accounts, so be sure to address anything you feel is essential or important within your application.

Application Suggestions

Selecting Work

We encourage you to submit completed work that conveys your current artistic vision and what you are passionate about. Works in progress are generally not as useful to the jury in determining or understanding an artist’s current practice as completed work, but should you choose to include some, we highly encourage using the metadata to describe the work and the reason you chose to include it. Likewise, exhibition shots are best used to show scale or how work is installed, but may not always be the best way of showing your work. Do not use exhibition shots to show multiple works.

Making a decision between submitting a singular body of work or multiple bodies of work is a highly personal decision. If you have had a long career, you might consider submitting work that spans beyond the recommended five years, so as to demonstrate the larger arc of threads of inquiry and commitment to your practice. Jurors often want to understand the range of an artist’s work, and sometimes submitting a single body of work may not demonstrate fully how you speak about your practice, and the ideas and questions you propose in your artist statement.

Jurors will review applications and work samples in the order that they are submitted, solely on laptops, through Submittable’s image viewing function. Having high resolution images is highly recommended so that jurors are able to zoom in to view detail that might not be visible from a distance.

Personal vs. Professional

This award is designed to support artists at any stage of their career; feel free to address where you feel you are in your career and why it is important to you to receive this support. We recognize artists as full people who have lives that are intertwined with AND separate from the artistic practice. Be sure to provide well-rounded responses in your narrative statements, integrating the personal and professional circumstances that are relevant to how this award would impact your life. We often see that incorrect assumptions about financial or personal circumstances (particularly related to recognition or career stage) can impact a jury’s thought process. Keep in mind that while the jurors may recognize your name or your work, they are not always privy to all of your circumstances.

Submit Early

We recommend that you not wait until the day of the deadline to upload materials. Depending on internet speeds and file size, image uploads can take a long time and could potentially delay the submission of your application.

Check and Double Check

We suggest having someone you trust and who understands your work and artistic vision review your application for thoroughness, completeness, and comprehension before you submit. Submission of your application is final.

Application Logistics

Accessing Application

We use the online platform Submittable to accept applications. You will need to use the link included in your invitation email to access the application for the first time. Once you have started your application, you can log into your account and find your application under “Submissions”. If you do not have a free Submittable account, you will need to create one prior to accessing the application:

The application can be saved and returned to as often as needed before the deadline and won’t be reviewed until submitted. Make sure to click the "save draft" button at the bottom of the application every once in a while, and always prior to closing the tab or window.

Access Needs

If you have specific access needs for submitting your application, or if using Submittable is not ideal for you, please contact Sarah Dhobhany, Artist Programs Associate, for assistance at [email protected]. We do not want anyone to be deterred from applying because of online or any other access needs.

Reuse Of Application

If you have been nominated in the past and would like to use an old application for your submission, please contact Sarah Dhobhany, Artist Programs Associate, at [email protected].

Submittable Issues

If there is an error within your application or if you are having difficulties with Submittable, please contact Sarah Dhobhany, Artist Programs Associate, at [email protected].

Sharing Nomination

This information is not confidential; however, we ask that you not share your nomination publicly until the awards have been announced. The Foundation plans to announce the 2024 Fellows in August 2024. Feel free to list your nomination on your resume once the awards have been announced.

Other Questions?

If all of the information above has not answered your questions, or has created more, or if for any reason you are hesitating to apply, please contact us! You can reach Lilia Sterling, Artist Programs Manager, Grants, at [email protected] or Sarah Dhobhany, Artist Programs Associate, at [email protected].