The NLE Curatorial Lab (NLE Lab) is a socially conscious platform for experimentation in curating, and a professional development program for emerging curators and arts professionals interested in direct experience curating in an expanded field.

NLE Lab extends No Longer Empty’s mission to curate site-responsive and community-centered exhibitions and programs in unique spaces. With a focus on research, project-based learning, and collaboration, NLE Lab is designed to deepen an understanding of the development of exhibitions and related programming within a specific urban context. The program includes a curriculum of critical readings, guest speakers, site/historical research, studio/exhibition visits, and incorporates community engagement as a fundamental component in the formation of curatorial themes.

The Fall 2017 session

The Fall 2017 session will be led by Rachel Gugelberger, Curator at No Longer Empty and Director of NLE Lab, and will take place in Jamaica, Queens, culminating in a collectively curated exhibition at York College Fine Arts Gallery.

NLE Lab is partnering with York College, CUNY, on the inaugural Southeast Queens Biennial. The conceptual framework of the biennial is Southeast Queens itself, its diverse voices and artistic and cultural ties to the local and global community. Artworks presented will be by artists who live or practice in southeast Queens as well as those who have strong connections to the area. Scheduled to open in February 2018, the exhibition will include works in all media, commissioned pieces, and related programming in collaboration with community organizations.

Two tuition-free scholarships will be awarded to curators/arts professionals in Southeast Queens based on need.

Information Sessions:

  • Wednesday, June 14, 6 – 8 pm at No Longer Empty. RSVP by Monday, June 12
  • Saturday, June 24, 11 am -1 pm beginning at Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL). RSVP by Wednesday, June 21

Access & Inclusion:

To request additional information regarding accessibility or accommodations at the information session, please contact us at or (917) 426-2666.

About the Fine Arts Gallery at York College

Located in Jamaica, Queens, the York College Fine Arts Gallery is part of the Department of Performing and Fine Arts at York College, City University of New York (CUNY). Opened in 1989, the gallery presents three to four professional exhibitions a year, ranging from solo and thematic group exhibitions to student shows at the end of each semester. With an enrollment of more than 8,000 students, York serves as one of CUNY’s leading liberal arts colleges, granting bachelor’s degrees in over 40 fields and a growing number of professional programs granting Master’s degrees. The York College public art collection includes works by luminaries including Elizabeth Catlett, Frank Stella, and Martin Puryear.

Founded in 2013, NLE Lab has presented exhibitions and programming at Jamaica Colosseum Mall, in a former ballroom in the South Bronx, a beauty salon in Chinatown, and an abandoned storefront in Greenwich Village. Past instructors include NLE’s Rachel Gugelberger; Petrushka Bazin Larsen, Independent Curator and Executive Director, The Reading Room; Sara Reisman, Artistic Director, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and Manon Slome, Co-Founder and Chief Curator of No Longer Empty.

The 2017 NLE Curatorial Lab is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel of North America.

Dates: October 10, 2017 – February 24, 2018

Location: Jamaica, Queens

Application Deadline: Friday, July 14 at 11:59 pm EST


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