artist residencies to look at

Courtesy Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

Sophie Barbasch, 2011 artist-in-residence at Bemis Center
for Contemporary Arts

More Reviews

by Alanna Martinez, Chloe Wyma

Published: March 16, 2012

The path to a successful art career can be a twisting one,
but one commonly traveled route is the artist residency.
There are hundreds of residencies out there, ranging from
highly prestigious programs that are invitation-only
like those of Artpace, the Walker Art Center, or UCLAs
Hammer Museum, all of which mainly invite established
artists to create fully funded projects to more open, or
even experimental, retreats.

Not all residencies are created equal, and while some may
help you get a leg up in the art world, you may still have
to pay for the opportunity. Programs can be grouped several
ways: Some are fully funded without fees; some are partially funded with fees; some offer stipends/awards; still others
are project/work based. There is even a thriving
“alternative” category (check out Part 2 of this series
where well look at some of the funkier options out
there). Despite the wealth of programs in the United States, and a plethora of funding options, there are few
user-friendly guides though Res Artis and the Alliance
of Artist Communities online directories are valuable
resources. Below, we assemble information on 20 programs
that cover the spectrum, offering the most important
information for each, including who is eligible, important
alumni, pros, and cons.


18th Street Arts Center
Who: Local and International emerging artists
When: Visiting Residency 1-3 months; Mid-Term Residency 1 or more years; Long-term Residency varies
Where: Santa Monica, California
Notable Alums: Suzanne Lacy

The Santa Monica Center (once the headquarters of High
Performance Magazine) has been in existence since 1988, and
has a mission to “provoke public dialogue through
contemporary ART making,” offering the three options listed
above for would-be participants. The Visiting Artist
Residency hosts 16 to 20 emerging to mid-career artists,
chosen annually, who are funded through partner
organizations or self-funded. Travel costs and stipends are
accomodated. Artists are given live/work studios through the center, as well as equipment and representation on the Web

[Fine Print]: While the Mid-Term Residencies may provide
more space for a longer period of time, they are not funded
and only offer live/work day studios for rent. Still, the
prices are subsidized at below market value, from $1-2 per
square foot, and between 400-1,000 square feet.


Adolf Konrad Artist-in-Residence Newark Museum Arts Workshop Who: Emerging Artists in all areas of visual art
When: Five weeks between January and February
Where: Newark, New Jersey

One of the rare institutions with an open application
process, the Newark Museum offers artists a stipend of
$1,300 and access to fibers, metals, and a mixed-use studio, as well as access to the museum collections, special
exhibitions, educational loan collection, and library.
Participating artists will may act as jurors for the next
years selections.

[Fine Print]: For the duration of the residency, artists are considered museum staff and must abide by staff hours of 9
a.m. – 5 p.m.


Atlantic Center for the Arts
Who: Emerging to mid-career artists
When: Three weeks
Where: New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Notable Master Alums: Radcliffe Bailey, Will Cotton, Rineke
Dijkstra, Mark Dion, Carsten Nicolai, Rob Pruitt, James
Siena, Thomas Struth

A mentoring program that pairs notable master artists with
chosen associate artists to work closely for two hours a
day, five days a week, with 24-hour access to studios and
equipment. Since residencies are not product-driven, time
can be spent on previously existing or new projects.

[Fine Print]: $850 non-refundable residency fee, $25
application fee, provided partial financial aid based on
available funds.


Bemis Center for Contemporary Art
Who: Non-student artists
When: Residencies last between six weeks and three months.
Where: Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha might not be an internationally recognized arts
destination (yet!), but the artist-run Bemis Center
Residency sweetens the pot with a generous and flexible
package to artists: a palatial live/work studio housed in a
refurbished warehouse, a $750 monthly stipend, and access to on-site facilities.

[Fine Print]: $40 application fee. Bemis fellows are obliged to present a 20-minute presentation or performance of their
work. At the end of the residency, artists are also asked to donate an artwork that represents their experience at the


Chinati Foundation
Who: Emerging to established artists of any age, background, and discipline
When: The dates and duration of the residency are flexible, but usually last between two and three months.
Where: Marfa, Texas
Notable Alums: Christoper Wool, Rita Ackermann, Ellen
Altfest, Steve Roden, Mark Flood, Adam Helms, Charline von
Heyl, Matthew Day Jackson

Founded by Donald Judd in 1979, the Chinati Foundation
provides resident artists a furnished apartment on the
museum’s grounds, a private studio in the sleepy town of
Marfa, and a stipend of $1,000 to pursue their self-directed projects. Resident artists also have unlimited access to the museums collection and archive. A museum exhibition of
the artists work takes place at the end of the residency.

[Fine Print]: Check under the bed for rattlesnakes and


The Edward F. Albee Foundation
Who: Emerging writers, visual artists, and musicians
When: Any four and six week period between the middle of May and the middle of October
Where: Montauk, New York

Founded in 1967 by dramatist Edward Albee, the eponymous
foundation maintains the William Flanagan Memorial Creative
Persons Center. Commonly known as “The Barn,” the center is
a modest communal environment for writers, painters,
sculptors, and composers. Visual artists are provided a
studio space in addition to a bedroom.

[Fine Print]: The foundation offers no stipend. Residents
must provide for their food, travel, and miscellaneous
expenses. Its a two-mile walk to the beach.


Who: Emerging artists with a new media focus or collectives
with up to three members
When: Five-month residency; Eleven-month fellowship
Where: New York, New York
Notable Alums: Cory Arcangel, Sanford Biggers, Scott
Patterson, Marina Zurkow, Rashaad Newsome

Either individually or as a collective, residents
participating in the five-month program are awarded a $5,000 stipend in three installments to complete projects and use
the resources of Eyebeam. There are no attendance
requirements, and artists are given 24/7 access to the
building. Participants of the eleven-month fellowship
program are awarded $30,000 and in addition to their
projects will lead public seminars, exhibitions, educational programming, and are an integral part of Eyebeam’s research

[Fine Print]: Artists must already have the skills necessary to complete their projects or be able to obtain them
independently, as there is no technical assistance
available. There are no private studios and residents share
a communal lab with desks, storage cabinets and other shared facilities. Fellows are asked to spend at least four
workdays at Eyebeam during business hours.


Fire Island Artist Residency
Who: Emerging queer artists
When: Summer
Where: Fire Island, New York
Notable Alums: A.K. Burns

In its second year this residency has already set a
prestigious precedent its inaugural selections were made
by AA Bronson and Bill Arning. Visiting artists during the
summer included Nayland Blake and Lyle Ashton Harris.
Amenities include free live/work space in a converted beach
house, a meal stipend, studio visits with renowned queer
artists, and visiting artist talks. This year jurors will be Dan Cameron, senior curator of the Orange County Museum of
Art, and artist Marlene McCarty.

[Fine Print]: $25 application fee


Kansas City International Residency Program
Who: Priority given to international artists who have never
work in the US, although U.S.-based artists are welcome to
When: One to three months
Where: Kansas City, Missouri
Notable Alums: Alicia Candiani

A unique program for mid-career international artists for
immersion in Kansas Citys burgeoning art scene, the
Kansas City Artists Coalition hosts a maximum of five
artists with private rooms and shared studio space for one
to three months.

[Fine Print]: While the program is mostly for international
artists, you must be able to speak English. Rooms and
studios are not funded by the program but are available by
contracts with fees.


Lower Manhattan Cultural Councils Workspace
Who: Emerging non-student artists working in a range of
disciplines and genres. Writers are also eligible.
When: The nine-month residency lasts from September to May.
Where: Lower Manhattan, New York, New York
Notable Alums: Olek, Latoya Ruby Frazer, Simone Leigh, Mary
Mattingly, Alison Ward, Rashaad Newsome, Liz Magic Laser,
Kate Gilmore, Work of Art contestant Trong Nguyen

Workspace transforms temporarily vacant lower Manhattan
office spaces into studios for visual artists. The grantees
are awarded private or semi-private studios in downtown
Manhattan, a one-time stipend of $1,000, and free publicity
in the form of online features and open studios. Workspace
residents also have the opportunity to apply for visiting
artist status at SVA, NYU, and Harvestworks.

[Fine Print]: Workspace residents are responsible for their
own housing. Since studio spaces are not medium specific,
artists must also provide their own tools. If accepted,
international participants are responsible for their own
visa, travel, living, and housing expenses, and


Lower Manhattan Cultural Councils Swing Space
Who: Visual artists and performers with at least three years of experience in their field who wish to execute a
short-term project in an unconventional space.
When: Residencies last five months.
Where: Lower Manhattan and Governors Island, New York, New
Notable Alums: Work of Art champion Kymia Nawabi

Workspace’s more inclusive sister program, Swing Space
provides artists and performers free space to carry out
short-term projects. Visual artists are placed in studios on Governors Island for five months, while performing arts
projects are given rehearsal space in Lower Manhattan for up to 250 hours.

[Fine Print]: Swing Space does not provide any production
support or stipend.


MacDowell Colony
Who: Emerging and Established Artists
When: Five to eight weeks typically
Where: Peterborough, New Hampshire
Notable Alums: Faith Ringgold, Meredith Monk, Willa Cather,
Jeffrey Eugenides, E.L. Doctorow, Jonathan Franzen, Janet
Fish, Studs Terkel, Michael Chabon

The first artist colony in the U.S., MacDowell has a long
list of accomplished alumni from across the arts. Isolated
cozy studios are spread over the grounds, and artists are
greeted with hand-delivered picnic basket lunches each day.
Annually, 250 artists complete residencies that are fully
paid for by the not-for-profit colony, sharing space and
producing work communally. Living space and studios are
provided all studios also have attached bathrooms, beds,
and some boast showers.

[Fine Print]: No phone or Internet access in studios and
artists must provide their own materials.


MAK Center Artists and Architects
Who: Young international artists and architects/students of
When: Early March
Where: Los Angeles, California

Awarded twice yearly to two artists and two architects, the
MAK-Schindler Scholarship offers six-month residency at the
historic Mackey Apartments in L.A., designed by iconic
architect Rudolf Schindler. Funded by the Federal Ministry
of Education, Arts and Culture of the Republic of Austria
alongside the MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied
Arts/Contemporary Art, Vienna, artists receive a monthly
stipend, support of the museum staff, numerous networking
opportunities, a public exhibition, and a place in the MAK
Center archives.

[Fine Print]: The focus of independent projects is to
explore the relationship between art and architecture within the city of Los Angeles.


National Park Service Residencies
Who: Emerging and established artists
When: Varies depending on residency
Where: Parks across the United States

Who knew that the National Park Service has 42 existing
artist-in-residence programs spread throughout the country,
ranging from month-long live/work experiences at Weir Farm
National Historic Site in Wilton, Connecticut to the former
Japanese internment camps of Manzanar National Historic Site in Independence, California! The NPS has three models of
A-I-R programs: “Volunteers-in-Parks” requires artists to
volunteer by presenting a program or demonstration for the
public; “Partnerships” require a non-for-profit and the park combine to provide the resources for the residency; and the
“Paid Staff” option involves hiring artists as seasonal
employees to create public works or programming.

[Fine Print]: All the programs and locations are different.
Less than 10 percent of the programs provide studio space or stipend.


Who: Emerging artists (summer residency open to arts faculty only)
When: Fall Residency is September 2-October 6, 2012 ; Summer Residency is June 3-August 18th
Where: Saugatuck, Michigan
Notable Alums: Richard Artschwager, Nancy Spero, Jerry
Saltz, Claes Oldenburg, Joan Mitchell, Nick Cave

One of the oldest and most prestigious art schools in the
U.S., Ox-bow is located on an idyllic 115-acre property of
farmland, marshes, and dunes. A mecca for recent BFA grads,
Ox-Bows Residency Program offers a two-to-five week
residency in the fall as well as a two-week summer residency open to arts faculty only. Evenings feature slide lectures,
studio visits, and other arts programming.

[Fine Print]: The program costs $250 per week, though
scholarships are awarded to 10 artists who demonstrate
financial need.


Studio Museum in Harlem
Who: Artists of African and/or Latino descent.
When: Residencies begin in late September and continue for
eleven months.
Where: New York, New York
Notable Alums: David Hammons, Alison Saar, Maren Hassinger,
Stanford Biggers, Julie Mehretu, Kehinde Wiley, Mikalene
Thomas, Kira Lynn Harris, Simone Leigh, Clifford Owens

Every year, the Studio Museum offers three 11-month studio
residencies to emerging artists of color working in any
media. Selected residents are awarded free studio space, a
$20,000 fellowship, plus a $1,000 stipend for materials.
Artists have 24/7 access to the Museum’s third-floor
studios. At the end of the residency, the artists work is
presented in the Museum.

[Fine Print]: Artists must secure their own housing. They
are expected to work in the studio a minimum of 20 hours per week and participate in open studios and public programs.


Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture
Who: Emerging artists over the age of 21. An academic
background in studio art is not required.
When: June through August, annually. The application
deadline in November
Where: Madison, Maine
Notable Alumni: Alex Katz, Eve Sussman, Dana Schutz, Kalup
Linzy, Clifford Owens, Ellsworth Kelly, William King, Nancy
Graves, and Janet Fish

Sixty-five participants are accepted annually to this
prestigious and intensive nine-week summer residency taught
by resident and visiting faculty artists. This rigorous
program includes one-on-one critiques, faculty lectures,
and — allegedly — rigorous partying.

[Fine Print]: Tuition is $5,500, although partial
fellowships are available those who demonstrate need.


Smack Mellon
Who: Non-student artists
When: Eleven-month residency from May to March.
Where: Brooklyn, New York
Notable Alums: Liz Magic Laser, Jennifer Dalton, Patty
Chang, Yoko Inoue, Sharon Hayes

Launched in 2000 in response to the dearth of affordable
work-spaces for emerging artists in New York City, the Smack Mellon Studio Program provides visual artists working in any media a $5,000 stipend and a private studio in a renovated
industrial building between Brooklyn’s burgeoning
haute-hipster enclave, Dumbo.

[Fine Print]: Resident artists are responsible for their own housing. The $5,000 stipend is dependent upon funding.
Some of the studios dont have windows.


Vermont Studio Center
Who: Emerging to established painters, writers, sculptors,
printmakers, and photographers
When: Monthly
Where: Johnson, Vermont

The artist-run Vermont Studio Center is the largest artists’ and writers’ residency program in the U.S., hosting 50
international visual artists and writers per month. Artists
are welcome to live and work for anywhere between four and
12 weeks on a charming 30-building campus along the Gihon
River in Vermont’s Green Mountains. Meals are served and
prepared by an in-house chef.

[Fine Print]: Although need-based aid is available, the fee
for the residency comes out to nearly $1,000 per week (a
4-week residency currently costs $3,950.)


Woodstock A-I-R
Who: Artists of color working in photography
When: Annually
Notable Alums: Latoya Ruby Frazier, Justine Reyes, William

The program offers seven residencies for artists and one
critical studies residency for a curator/critic.
Living space is located a short distance from the Center of
Photography at Woodstock and 24-hour access is given to
darkrooms, as well as stipends for food and travel, staff
support, and honoraria.

[Fine Print]: Keep in mind that you’ll be in one of the most popular hippie havens in the country.

Amanda Williams
Freelance Curator and Arts Administrator
0272 252 383


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