Need Advice on Landing the Perfect Artist Residency?

Need Advice on Landing the Perfect Artist Residency?

An artist residency is a good option in a creative’s profession to expend focused time on artwork as properly as to satisfy new artists. There is a good deal to take into consideration ahead of and through the software method, this kind of as doing work areas, finances, and how to capture the attention of application reviewers.

It is important to appear into the specifics of every residency you are looking at, as lots of variations in duration, concentration, and determination. There can be a ton to discover about residencies ahead of you start out implementing, so just take some time to browse about the critical variables that can help you discover the fantastic one for you, and hear from some artists about their have activities with residencies and why they carry on to take part extra all through their occupations.

What to appear for in an artist residency


Most residencies previous between a few of weeks to a several months, so the time you have to dedicate to 1 can slender down your research and collection. There are often costs concerned (more on this below), alongside with choices to make about your latest housing. How considerably you want to vacation can be a determining aspect as very well, as most residencies won’t go over the expense to get to them.

Natalie Baxter, a sculpturist centered in upstate New York whose residencies have bundled Wassaic Undertaking, Vermont Studio Center, Stove Operates, and Konstepidemin, spoke about the distinction in residencies all through her 20s compared to now with a household.

artist residency

Sculpturist Natalie Baxter, who has accomplished artist residences from Vermont to Tennessee to Sweden, finds lengthier timeframes to be more useful for her do the job now that she has a loved ones.

Baxter’s first residencies had been month-prolonged, as well as near to New York City, in which she worked at the time. The time interval permitted her to explore the new strategy she utilized to operate on but also proceed with her occupation in the city whilst economically currently being in a position to retain her living circumstance.

Now that she is married and has a household, Baxter has enjoyed the time with residencies that are a handful of months long fairly than just a person. In her most the latest residencies, her family has traveled and put in time in Tennessee and Sweden. In her view, a residency that is only a person month in her occupation would not be as valuable. With a more time residency, she is able to distribute her focus across her perform, family members, and checking out a new region.

Room and Supplies

Selecting on the ideal studio room can be crucial, based on your craft. Distinct residencies change in the studio spaces they present, this sort of as dimension, area, and communal functioning area. A person residency could offer person rooms to operate in, although yet another might have all the artists doing work in a big area collectively. Most residencies give housing and accessibility to typical foods or a kitchen area. Make positive you examine specifics and inquire about what areas and resources will be obtainable, as well as if the lodging align with your ideal operating surroundings.
Nono Flores, a Ga-centered illustrator, and animator who completed an intercontinental artist residency at Chateau Orquevaux in France, was a great deal additional centered on getting the new country and town she identified herself in. A great deal of her work was outdoors the studio area she was offered, sketching the French landscape, buildings, and other people at work.
Determine with your objectives in thoughts what is the best house for you to work in. If you’re operating on a substantial-scale piece, you’re not heading to want a tiny studio you just cannot go all over in, and vice versa. But be adaptable a new house may perhaps have worries that can open up you up to a lot more inventive alternatives and exploration in your work.
It is also important to know what kind of components you can provide and what will be available to you even though you are at a residency. For example, if your function needs a stitching machine and you never would like to carry your possess, it is finest to make confident one particular is accessible. If you do not have to have a significant place to function, you can make that clear in your software. Flores was in a position to get the job done primarily in sketchbooks and with individual components, but Baxter, who functions greatly in textiles, could not convey her house studio complete of elements to each individual locale. In its place, Baxter would request vintage and secondhand textiles and fabrics to get the job done from, quite often allowing her findings impact what she would build.
For your self-discipline, look at the opportunity to work in new mediums or experiment with what is locally out there if you are not ready to deliver all the typical provides with you to a residency. Inspiration and components drawn from the area in which the residency is situated have the likely to take your work in an thrilling new path. 

Grants, Fees, and Fellowships

Attending a residency can be high priced, especially with the time off perform, recent housing, vacation, and residency fees. Most residencies do have costs to be part of, so it is always beneficial to know the grants and fellowships available when you implement.

From time to time, any person who applies for a residency is routinely regarded as for any fellowship obtainable. On acceptance, you hear irrespective of whether or not you also been given a fellowship. Other residencies could possibly have fellowships stated with the software info, and it’s up to the applicant to also use to the fellowship.

Some fellowships may perhaps have to have a specified history or artistic emphasis to be qualified. It’s essential to know no matter if it is acceptable to implement for a fellowship at a residency or not. During the software, a residency could question for additional products or a composed statement on how the fellowship can proceed to aid you with your perform.

Dependent on the requirements of the grant or contributor that supports a fellowship, you may possibly be needed to generate one thing for the residency or do some work. In Flores’ scenario, she required to develop some thing to depart powering at the residency. She sketched significant photos of the chateau that hosted the residency. Baxter has performed a comparable detail, as nicely as supplied artist talks and open up studios at numerous residencies.

Baxter does make a issue of becoming in a position to do operate like open up studios and conversing with website visitors, as the time with your perform can be a private exploration.

“It’s crucial to know when to invite someone into your studio,” she reported. “Giving talks can be annoying for somebody who has not carried out them before, particularly if your perform is own to you.”

Given that Flores’ residency was only a couple weeks, there was one open up studio clearly show at the end for the neighborhood neighborhood to perspective their get the job done.

“I had expended as considerably time seeking to be a element of the city as feasible, so it was pleasant to have common faces come and see what we all had been working on,” she explained.

Critical Takeaways from an Artist Residency

artist residency

An artist residency can present you time by itself or time with friends that help you learn and develop.

Community and Local community

For the duration of her previously residencies, Baxter emphasized that a significant component of her accomplishment in participating was the networking and friendships she designed.

“An Artist Residency is wonderful when you’re early on in your job,” she explained. “They are an possibility to fulfill some others and to network with artists.”

In the course of a person specific residency, Baxter was around a lot of generations of artists and listened to about everyone’s journey in their respective careers. It was great for her to hear from several artists at various details in their lives and how an artist residency can remodel just about every specific in excess of time.

For Flores, her artist residency proved to be an opportunity for long term perform. She became shut with the director of her residency, even location up an opportunity to get the job done for them the subsequent summertime. The relationships she made while at her residency were continue to vital to her, and Flores needs to keep on making it possible for individuals to increase in excess of time.

Program and Structure

A single of her beloved items about her residency was the schedule that Flores recognized for each individual day. She would get up, get some espresso, and expend most of her time outside sketching in the early morning. In the evenings, the people would all gather for a spouse and children evening meal in advance of turning in for the evening.
This regularity in schedules and work was just one of the explanations that both Flores and Baxter savored their residencies. For the size of time, just about every was ready to create set times for operating and absolutely devote on their own to the inventive method.

“The time will allow for a new headspace,” explained Baxter. “You’re capable to eliminate distractions and concentration on your tips.”

Even with a escalating spouse and children, Baxter notes the great importance of balancing function and family. She praises her lover, who she credits for producing residencies a portion of her job a actuality.

Reaction to Modern society and Society

Need Advice on Landing the Perfect Artist Residency?

For Nono Flores, the wealthy, rural French countryside of her artist residency allowed for silent meditation in her function with lots of natural components incorporated.

When implementing to residencies, the new strategy or route you pitch will greatly lead your operate, but frequently, the impact of the new house and persons can renovate your get the job done even additional in techniques you may not count on.
This is real for both Flores and Baxter, who permit outdoors forces like landscape, folks, and resources influence the perform they wished to do.

Baxter’s use of new materials for just about every spot would rework her thoughts and shape them into final pieces. While even now concentrating on her regarded craft and system, the different choices authorized for a lot more experimentation exterior her dwelling studio.
Your encounter in a new room can also influence just how considerably work you get finished. Really don’t feel pressured to have the utmost sum of efficiency an particular person can accomplish. An vital aspect of an artist residency is encountering a new space and mastering.

You can commit your time discovering a new talent from a different resident or studying about new tips. Some ground breaking artist residences like the Orange Door are even devoted to giving artists downtime to rest, recharge and converse about their get the job done with other people without the need of needs for generation!

Residencies are for you to greater your work, so as long as you really feel you are progressing, the ways you go about the time are not that applicable.

How to Stand Out in Your Artist Residency Application

There are unique ways an artist can stand out when making use of to residencies, but across the board, the best way is to apply to locations that thrust your suggestions forward.
When Baxter would apply for an artist residency, she usually had a new plan that she would like to dedicate some time to do the job on. Accomplishing a residency was a good, set amount of money of time for her to dive into this new strategy. Fleshing out the facts of the do the job that you would like to do in your application can clearly show how intently your notion or get the job done can align with related options.
Staying genuine in your software also shows that you presently know about the place you are making use of. Examine applications intently to know if you are the greatest match for a residency. Staying trustworthy about your plans and ideas can support these examining know if you in good shape all the criteria, they are looking for in a resident. A lot of programs have to have a rate to apply, so it’s most effective not to waste far too a great deal time and energy on applications and residencies that do not seem to be like a superior in shape.
When prepping your portfolio or get the job done to involve with your software, make confident information are significant excellent. Good photographs of operate that present the most sum of depth and legitimate-to-lifestyle color are in your finest interest to involve. Darkened or grainy photographs will not show your get the job done in its ideal mild.
Look at deadlines to know when is the best time to post your application. Some residencies could accept purposes all year extended, but other folks will only open up programs for a shorter amount of money of time. If you are fascinated in a summer time residency, applications may want to be submitted up to nine months to a calendar year in progress. Note how much time you are going to require to get your application collectively prior to submissions close.
Residencies can be a terrific job tool for hoping new ideas and paying out dedicated time with your get the job done. Whether or not you invest a few weeks or a couple of months in a new metropolis or the depths of the woods, an artist residency can be a effective knowledge, allowing for for new neighborhood, framework, and friends.

To come across some of the prime artist residency systems, see “8 Artist in Residence Plans to Jumpstart your Job.”

Have you participated in an artist residency? How did the practical experience affect your resourceful apply and your career? Allow us know in the comments.

Kendall Shepard

Kendall Shepard

Kendall Shepard is a writer and advocate situated in Brooklyn, NY. Her crafting on ending mass incarceration can be discovered at Her other do the job has been showcased in Artemis and District, as well as at the LA Vogue Festival.