Need Advice on Landing the Perfect Artist Residency?

Need Advice on Landing the Perfect Artist Residency?

An artist residency is a terrific option in a creative’s occupation to spend committed time on artwork as properly as to meet new artists. There is a great deal to take into consideration before and throughout the application approach, these types of as performing areas, funds, and how to capture the consideration of application reviewers.

It is significant to look into the details of each residency you are contemplating, as lots of versions in size, emphasis, and determination. There can be a great deal to discover about residencies ahead of you start out implementing, so just take some time to go through about the vital factors that can aid you locate the excellent just one for you, and hear from some artists about their individual activities with residencies and why they carry on to participate a lot more throughout their occupations.

What to look for in an artist residency


Most residencies final concerning a couple of weeks to a couple of months, so the time you have to devote to a single can narrow down your lookup and variety. There are from time to time charges included (additional on this below), together with selections to make about your latest housing. How much you want to travel can be a determining aspect as well, as most residencies will not deal with the price to get to them.

Natalie Baxter, a sculpturist based in upstate New York whose residencies have involved Wassaic Task, Vermont Studio Middle, Stove Performs, and Konstepidemin, spoke about the change in residencies all through her 20s versus now with a family.

artist residency

Sculpturist Natalie Baxter, who has accomplished artist residences from Vermont to Tennessee to Sweden, finds for a longer time timeframes to be much more advantageous for her function now that she has a spouse and children.

Baxter’s first residencies were month-prolonged, as well as shut to New York Metropolis, where she worked at the time. The time period of time authorized her to examine the new notion she used to get the job done on but also proceed with her occupation in the city while economically becoming in a position to keep her residing problem.

Now that she is married and has a family, Baxter has liked the time with residencies that are a handful of months prolonged rather than just 1. In her most new residencies, her loved ones has traveled and used time in Tennessee and Sweden. In her impression, a residency that is only a person month in her occupation would not be as valuable. With a extended residency, she is equipped to unfold her concentration throughout her do the job, family members, and checking out a new region.

Space and Provides

Determining on the suitable studio space can be important, depending on your craft. Distinct residencies range in the studio spaces they offer you, these types of as sizing, place, and communal functioning place. Just one residency may possibly supply individual rooms to operate in, even though a further could have all the artists performing in a large space collectively. Most residencies offer housing and accessibility to regular foods or a kitchen area. Make certain you verify particulars and inquire about what areas and sources will be accessible, as nicely as if the lodging align with your best performing natural environment.
Nono Flores, a Georgia-based mostly illustrator, and animator who concluded an intercontinental artist residency at Chateau Orquevaux in France, was a lot far more targeted on finding the new place and city she located herself in. Considerably of her perform was exterior the studio space she was offered, sketching the French landscape, properties, and other citizens at operate.
Determine with your aims in intellect what is the excellent place for you to get the job done in. If you’re performing on a big-scale piece, you are not going to want a smaller studio you simply cannot go all-around in, and vice versa. But be adaptable a new room may have issues that can open up you up to extra inventive solutions and exploration in your perform.
It is also crucial to know what type of supplies you can deliver and what will be out there to you even though you are at a residency. For instance, if your perform demands a sewing machine and you do not desire to convey your personal, it is greatest to make guaranteed one particular is available. If you do not require a big room to operate, you can make that crystal clear in your application. Flores was able to operate primarily in sketchbooks and with individual supplies, but Baxter, who works greatly in textiles, could not deliver her household studio entire of resources to every single area. In its place, Baxter would request vintage and secondhand textiles and fabrics to operate from, frequently permitting her findings impact what she would generate.
For your willpower, contemplate the possibility to do the job in new mediums or experiment with what is regionally readily available if you are not ready to bring all the standard provides with you to a residency. Inspiration and resources drawn from the region exactly where the residency is found have the possible to take your operate in an thrilling new route. 

Grants, Fees, and Fellowships

Attending a residency can be expensive, particularly with the time off do the job, present housing, journey, and residency expenses. Most residencies do have fees to be a part of, so it is normally helpful to know the grants and fellowships offered when you use.

Sometimes, anyone who applies for a residency is mechanically thought of for any fellowship out there. On acceptance, you hear whether or not you also obtained a fellowship. Other residencies could possibly have fellowships stated with the software information, and it is up to the applicant to also implement to the fellowship.

Some fellowships could require a selected history or creative aim to be eligible. It’s vital to know no matter whether it is correct to implement for a fellowship at a residency or not. All through the software, a residency may perhaps check with for extra products or a published statement on how the fellowship can continue to assist you with your perform.

Based on the specifications of the grant or contributor that supports a fellowship, you may be required to make anything for the residency or do some do the job. In Flores’ circumstance, she desired to develop a little something to depart guiding at the residency. She sketched substantial photos of the chateau that hosted the residency. Baxter has done a similar thing, as perfectly as supplied artist talks and open up studios at various residencies.

Baxter does make a issue of being in a situation to do perform like open studios and talking with visitors, as the time with your operate can be a personal exploration.

“It’s significant to know when to invite anyone into your studio,” she explained. “Giving talks can be demanding for anyone who hasn’t finished them just before, especially if your get the job done is particular to you.”

Given that Flores’ residency was only a couple months, there was a person open studio present at the conclude for the neighborhood community to view their work.

“I experienced put in as a lot time seeking to be a aspect of the city as possible, so it was wonderful to have common faces arrive and see what we all experienced been working on,” she mentioned.

Vital Takeaways from an Artist Residency

artist residency

An artist residency can offer you time alone or time with peers that enable you master and increase.

Network and Group

In the course of her before residencies, Baxter emphasized that a major component of her accomplishment in participating was the networking and friendships she formulated.

“An Artist Residency is good when you are early on in your profession,” she stated. “They are an possibility to meet some others and to community with artists.”

In the course of one unique residency, Baxter was all over several generations of artists and listened to about everyone’s journey in their respective professions. It was excellent for her to listen to from many artists at various points in their lives and how an artist residency can transform each individual individual more than time.

For Flores, her artist residency proved to be an option for potential work. She grew to become close with the director of her residency, even placing up an opportunity to get the job done for them the following summertime. The interactions she formulated though at her residency were however critical to her, and Flores needs to proceed allowing for people to develop more than time.

Agenda and Composition

One particular of her beloved issues about her residency was the schedule that Flores founded for each and every day. She would get up, get some espresso, and spend most of her time outdoors sketching in the early morning. In the evenings, the residents would all acquire for a family members supper before turning in for the night.
This regularity in schedules and do the job was just one of the motives that each Flores and Baxter liked their residencies. For the duration of time, every was capable to create established times for performing and completely dedicate them selves to the inventive system.

“The time allows for a new headspace,” stated Baxter. “You’re able to eliminate interruptions and concentrate on your strategies.”

Even with a escalating relatives, Baxter notes the importance of balancing operate and family. She praises her husband or wife, who she credits for creating residencies a aspect of her job a reality.

Reaction to Society and Tradition

Need Advice on Landing the Perfect Artist Residency?

For Nono Flores, the loaded, rural French countryside of her artist residency permitted for peaceful meditation in her function with loads of natural factors incorporated.

When applying to residencies, the new strategy or route you pitch will enormously direct your perform, but quite often, the impact of the new area and men and women can rework your operate even further in strategies you might not anticipate.
This is true for both equally Flores and Baxter, who permit exterior forces like landscape, people, and components impact the get the job done they needed to do.

Baxter’s use of new materials for every area would renovate her tips and condition them into closing items. Whilst however concentrating on her acknowledged craft and approach, the varying alternatives authorized for much more experimentation outside the house her household studio.
Your practical experience in a new area can also impact just how significantly function you get completed. Don’t feel pressured to have the highest amount of productiveness an individual can accomplish. An important part of an artist residency is encountering a new area and discovering.

You can spend your time understanding a new ability from an additional resident or reading about new tips. Some impressive artist residences like the Orange Door are even devoted to offering artists downtime to rest, recharge and communicate about their function with other people devoid of calls for for production!

Residencies are for you to greater your get the job done, so as extended as you feel you are progressing, the ways you go about the time aren’t that suitable.

How to Stand Out in Your Artist Residency Application

There are different means an artist can stand out when implementing to residencies, but throughout the board, the finest way is to implement to sites that press your suggestions ahead.
When Baxter would utilize for an artist residency, she generally experienced a new concept that she would like to dedicate some time to function on. Doing a residency was a great, set quantity of time for her to dive into this new thought. Fleshing out the particulars of the operate that you would like to do in your application can demonstrate how carefully your strategy or perform can align with related prospects.
Becoming authentic in your application also reveals that you presently know about wherever you are applying. Go through apps intently to know if you are the very best fit for a residency. Getting trustworthy about your targets and suggestions can aid these reviewing know if you fit all the requirements, they are seeking for in a resident. Numerous applications demand a rate to implement, so it is finest not to waste far too much time and electricity on purposes and residencies that never seem like a fantastic suit.
When prepping your portfolio or function to include things like with your software, make guaranteed information are substantial good quality. Good shots of function that exhibit the most amount of money of element and legitimate-to-lifetime shade are in your best fascination to include. Darkened or grainy shots will not clearly show your operate in its very best gentle.
Test deadlines to know when is the very best time to post your software. Some residencies might accept apps all 12 months prolonged, but other folks will only open programs for a shorter total of time. If you’re fascinated in a summer months residency, apps may well want to be submitted up to 9 months to a 12 months in progress. Take note how significantly time you’ll need to have to get your application together before submissions close.
Residencies can be a terrific profession instrument for seeking new tips and shelling out dedicated time with your work. Whether or not you devote a several months or a few months in a new metropolis or the depths of the woods, an artist residency can be a effective practical experience, making it possible for for new group, framework, and friends.

To locate some of the top rated artist residency programs, see “8 Artist in Residence Systems to Jumpstart your Job.”

Have you participated in an artist residency? How did the encounter impact your resourceful exercise and your career? Permit us know in the opinions.

Kendall Shepard

Kendall Shepard

Kendall Shepard is a writer and advocate located in Brooklyn, NY. Her writing on ending mass incarceration can be located at Her other work has been highlighted in Artemis and District, as properly as at the LA Manner Festival.