"The apexart Fellowship: An Experiment in Vertical Cultural Integration" explores the methodology, practice, and effects of apexart's unique Fellowship model.
The apexart Fellowship is an alternative educational program that invites creative individuals to leave their familiar surroundings for a month-long stay in a foreign country. The program provides new sources of inspiration through exposure to new cultures, interests, and experiences. Unlike an artist residency program, the apexart Fellowship provides a rich, 30-day schedule of non-art activities, all while requiring Fellows to refrain from producing creative works. The apexart Fellowship schedule prioritizes educational experiences that are outside of the Fellow’s stated interests. This diversity of activities leaves Fellows with new ideas, approaches, and content to incorporate into their creative practices. In doing new and interesting things, and having time away from their usual responsibilities, apexart Fellows can reflect on what they do with greater perspective. apexart Fellows keep a public journal for the duration of their program, and participate in a recorded exit interview at the end of their Fellowship, which can be found online. By providing a space for contemplation and exposure to new experiences, the apexart Fellowship is designed to be a catalyst for creativity.
This book brings together contributions by past Fellows, art funders, a psychotherapist, as well as reflections on the Fellowship program by apexart Founder and Executive Director Steven Rand. The entries share personal accounts of participating in the Fellowship, as well as thoughts on the merits of apexart's unconventional program where participants do not make artwork, but are rather vertically integrated into a culture by doing what locals do rather than what a traveling artist or tourist would do.