Artist Residencies

This blog serves as an adjunct resource for our book, “Design: A Beginner’s Handbook.” Many of our readers are just starting to investigate the visual arts – some are students, others working on their own. In past posts we’ve presented lists of educational resources, from universities to adult education classes. But what happens after you’ve completed your education and are actively involved in making work?

One of the great things about being in school is that you are part of an artistic community. You get to interact with other artists, exchanging ideas and support. The transition to working on your own can be a difficult one. Isolation from other artists, the pressures of earning a living, lack of space, are all obstacles that need to be overcome. Many artists, both emerging and experienced, find that a temporary artist’s residency is reenergizing, presenting them with fresh ideas and opportunities.

There are numerous types of artist residencies. Some are residential, offering a place to both live and work, while others provide work space only. Some last a week, others for several months. Many are free, even providing a small stipend, while others have fees. There are invitation only residencies and ones for which you can apply. Today I want to provide you with a short list in alphabetical order of programs in the United States that include both living and work space, are free of charge and that have an open application process. For a much more extensive list of all types of residencies I encourage you to check out Res Artis.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Art is located in Omaha, Nebraska and has regular and thematic residencies throughout the year (the current thematic residency is Sci Fi and The Human Condition). Artists receive a live/work studio space of 820-2400 square feet with a private kitchen and bath, and a stipend for expenses.

Chinati Foundation, which is located in Marfa, Texas, differs from the others listed in that there is only one artist in residence at a time. The artist receives a studio, an apartment and a $1000 stipend. Residencies are for a two month time period.

Djerassi Resident Artists Program is in a bucolic setting in Woodside, California (near Silicone Valley and San Francisco). The thirty day residency is designed as a retreat experience with a studio, housing and chef-prepared meals included.

Headlands Center for the Arts is located across from San Francisco in an old military base that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Residencies are four to ten weeks and include studio space, chef-prepared meals, housing, and a travel stipend.

Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin provides two to six month residencies as part of their Art and Industry Program. Artists are able to work in the Kohler Companies Pottery, Iron and Brass Foundries and Enamel Shop where they have access to technical assistance from working specialists. Artists receive studio space, housing, materials, use of equipment and round-trip transportation.

The MacDowell Colony is in Peterborough, New Hampshire, an area that combines a striking natural environment with a robust cultural scene. Residencies are from five to eight weeks and artists receive a live/work space and meals.

National Park Service Residencies provide artists with opportunities in varied natural and cultural settings. Residencies usually last two to four weeks. Each park has it’s own application process and unique residency.

Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program is located in the rather remote location of Roswell, New Mexico. Artists receive living and work space and a stipend of $800 a month and can apply for a materials stipend.

YaddoSaratoga Springs, New York, provides living and studio space, along with meals. Residencies range from two weeks to two months.

Here is an article about artist residencies that you might find useful.

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