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The Berwick Retires the Artist in Research Program



With a bit of sadness, the Berwick announces the end of its Artist in Research (AIR)  Program. Started in a former whoopie pie factory in Roxbury's Dudley Square in 2003, the Berwick's AIR program has served numerous artists and artist groups and has invited a wide range of audiences into those artists' art-making processes. Within (and outside of) our studio walls, Artists in Research have sent helium balloon wishes into the sky, built suspended biospheres, experimented with pirate radio,  mounted politically engaged tea parties, hacked musical instruments, built a bike-bus, transformed weather data into sculpture and then into musical scores, collaborated with Dudley Square youth, made credit-card sound art, and much, much more.  We've been honored to have incubated the ideas of the artists who have come through our program and are humbled to witness their continued development afterward.  

The AIR program provided a studio, funding, and most importantly, critical perspectives for a widerange of inventive artists and their projects early in their careers. Uniquely structured to give artists constant feedback through studio visits, critiques, performances, workshops, and access to our wide reaching network of artists and art professionals, the AIR program has provided local, national and international creative producers with a space for experimentation, critical reflection, and community essential in the early stages of their careers. In return, the AIR Program was a place for its curators to grow, learn and experiment as artists, administrators, and collaborators. The artists and the communities their projects engendered, the press that made our artists visible, and the program supporters that gave us their vote of confidence have all been critical contributing elements to the development of the AIR Program and the Berwick as a whole.

 And so, the Berwick would like to acknowledge and thank all those who made the AIR program the success that it has been: the AIR artists who have bravely opened their studios and their practices to the public; the AIR curators who have worked tirelessly to grow and sustain this program and its artists with limited funds and limitless heart; and the members of the Boston arts community who have volunteered their time, thought, and support as AIR jurors, critics, and resources.  It has been a privilege to participate in the making of this exciting program and in the creation of new work and new ideas along the way.  We would also like to thank our audiences, collaborators and individual donors, and to highlight the LEF Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for recognizing the value of such an endeavor by taking a chance on  funding individual artist projects.  Best of luck to all AIR alumnae in your future projects, and congratulations on creating a unique and vibrant place for contemporary artwork in the city of Boston.  

The Future  

Though the closing of the AIR era is a significant programmatic shift, the Berwick Research Institute is still here. As we evolve, we are still passionately committed to our core mission. We will continue to support emerging artists with the opportunity for fiscal sponsorship and a laboratory where they can experiment with new forms and concepts without the pressure of a commercial environment. We will explore new ways to bring artists and audiences together to foster a community based on dialogue, while encouraging play as a means of doing research. And we hope you, our community, will join us in the process. We welcome your support and ideas as we move forward. Stay tuned.



Bonnie Bastien - bonnie at berwickinstitute dot org

Daniel DeLuca - daniel at berwickinstitute dot org

Megan Dickerson - megan at berwickinstitute dot org

Heather Kapplow - heather at berwickinstitute dot org

Dana Moser - dana at berwickinstitute dot org 

Deb Nicholson - deb at berwickinstitute dot org 

Meg Rotzel - meg at berwickinstitute dot org

Hanna Rose Shell - hrshell at mit dot edu

Ryan Sciaino - ryan at berwickinstitute dot org

Andi Sutton - andi at berwickinstitute dot org 


Curators, Bonnie Bastien and Nova Benway - 2008-2009  

Nathalie Miebach 

Jesse Kaminsky

Joshua Pablo Rosenstock

Eve Essex

Curators, Bonnie Bastien and Rosie Branson Gill - 2006-2007

Kelly Sherman 

Véronique d'Entremont

Liz Nofziger

Jon Taylor 

Maura Jasper

Matthew Shanley

Founder and Curator, Meg Rotzel with support from Mary Fuller and Natalie Vinski 2002-2005 

Vaughn Bell 

Devil Music Ensemble 

Kirsten Forkert

Christy Georg 

Heather Kapplow

Carolyn Lambert and Fereshteh Toosi 

John Osorio-Buck

Jessica Rylan

Morgan Schwartz

Aliza Shapiro

Amy Sharp 

Helena Sidiropulous

David Webber


Curators, Andi Sutton and Susan Sakash 

The Institute for Infinitely Small Things

Matthew Mazzotta and Heather Clark

John Ewing

About the AIR Program

The Artist in Research (AIR) Program was a residency program created under the Berwick Research Institute’s non-profit umbrella that provided emerging conceptual artists essential time, space, community and, most importantly, critical feedback. High value was placed on a sustained period of dialogue and critical analysis, with no expectations for the completion of artwork. Instead, curators encouraged the research and interrogation of an idea, and experimentation with the subsequent results.