Tombolo Artist Residency Program 2024


The Tombolo Artist Residency is your opportunity to collaborate with Tombolo: we will design shirts based on your artwork as you work towards a solo exhibition that we host in New York City. The 7-month residency culminates in a solo show in New York City where Tombolo will take 0% commission; along the way, we will create two unique Tombolo shirts from your work, from which you will receive royalty payments for each shirt sold. We will also provide a stipend and marketing exposure via Tombolo's channels, and mentorship from Tombolo's founders. 

The Tombolo Artist Residency is our love letter to emerging artists everywhere. We want to create something wonderful together.
This is the third year of the program: Our 2023 artist in residence Jiannan Wu was chosen from nearly 350 applicants. His exhibition will be on display at our 208 Mott Street store from February 8 to February 15, and the two shirts from the collaboration are now for sale. You can shop the collaboration and read more about it in our blog post here. We collaborated with our 2022 artist in residence Alexis Zambrano on two shirts. One is now in our evergreen collection and the other was a made-to-order limited edition preorder that sold out within 24 hours. 

The application for the 2024 Residency closed on February 29. Sign up for our newsletter to be alerted when the winter 2025 application opens.


The Artist will be provided with a stipend of $3500 for the 7 months of the residency from April to November; while presence in New York City is encouraged, the residency can be done remotely. The Artist will use this time to create work for a solo show to take place in New York City in Winter 2024/25. During the residency, we will design two shirts together (one based on an existing artwork and one newly commissioned that will likely be a made-to-order preorder). The Artist will receive royalties from every shirt sold. 

What You Can Expect from Tombolo

  • $3500 stipend for materials and other expenses 
  • A solo exhibition show in Manhattan with an opening event, hosted and paid for by Tombolo as the gallerist with 0% commission taken
  • Mentorship from the Tombolo Founders and direct collaboration with the Tombolo team
  • Tombolo will spearhead creative development of the shirts and handle all production, marketing, photoshoot, etc.
  • Exposure and promotion of the collaboration at the exhibition, on social, and website
  • Tombolo’s PR team will help promote the collaboration
  • Royalties from each shirt sold 

What Tombolo Can Expect from You

  • Artist to showcase a body of work at the exhibition at the end of the residency
  • Artist to deliver two shirt designs created in collaboration with the Tombolo team:
    • One shirt design will be completed in the first month based on an existing work by the artist. This shirt will proceed to production immediately and be available for sale at the time of the exhibition (seven months after residency start date).
    • The second shirt will be designed from scratch based on a new artwork. The shirt may or may not be physically available at the solo show depending on the timing; more likely, it will be a made-to-order preorder at the time of the solo show. That new artwork will be displayed alongside a sample of the matching shirt at the exhibition. 
  • Tombolo will have the right to use these artworks to make these clothing items and the rights to sell these items. 
  • Artist to assist in creating a small installment in a section of the Tombolo NYC retail store to accompany the shirts sold on site 
  • Artist to self-install works at exhibition and is expected to collaborate on the event planning, invitations, and be present in New York for the duration of the show (approx. 7 days), as well as leading up to the show to help prepare.
  • The artist's body of work must be present in NYC for the show; if an artist is conducting the residency remotely, they will have to handle logistics and costs of getting their work to NYC for the show. 

Who Tombolo Is Looking For

  • The Tombolo artist has a unique creative vision and the strong work ethic needed to bring it to life. 
  • The artist’s medium and work must be translatable onto a shirt and this will be a key determinant in choosing the winning applicant.
  • Social following is nice to have, but not mandatory. But artist must have Instagram and should be comfortable creating content for social media including documenting their creative process.
  • Artist's presence in NYC is a plus but is not required. Presence in NYC for the 5 days leading up to the solo show and the show itself (approx. 7 days) is required. While Tombolo is providing a stipend and 100% of sales from the exhibition, Tombolo does not currently offer housing. Applicants from outside of New York City would need to secure and finance their own housing solution.
  • Artist should enjoy the Tombolo aesthetic: playful, nostalgic, kinky and vibrant. Loose, breezy, and soft to the touch. Our clothing is designed to transport the wearer to a different time, place or state of mind. 
February 1: Application opens
February 29, 11:59pm: Application closes
March 10-20: Finalists have been chosen and contacted
March 20-30: Finalist interviews (1-2 rounds), winner chosen
Week of April 1: Kickoff Meeting
Late April: First Mock Ups for Shirt 1 based on existing work / Initial Concepts for artwork for Shirt 2 Delivered
Mid-End of May: Deadline for delivery of final artwork for Shirt 2
May to October: Continued stipend as resident completes body of work; collaboration to finalize shirt designs and proceed to production; preparation for solo exhibition (event planning, exhibition curation, logistics, etc.)
Winter 2024 / 2025: Solo Exhibition 

Tombolo is a NYC-based brand that launched in 2018 that makes escapewear for everywhere. With original artwork and kinky, nostalgic flair, we want our clothing to be the ultimate wearable form of self-expression. For everyone: male or female, beach or bar, rain or shine. And everything in between. Tombolo has enjoyed working with a roster of talented roster artists since day one and is excited to formalize this collaborative approach and elevate emerging artists more than ever before.
You can learn more about Tombolo across this website and see our previous artist collaborations here.