A residency can be short—a couple of weeks, or long—a year or more. Often they are at some beautiful, out of the way space, but they can also be at a hotel, a thrift shop, or an art center or school. Some residencies offer free room or room & board, some actually pay you to come (Bemis Center, in Omaha, Nebraska, is one of these), and some just are spaces and you have to come up with the money to both get there and then pay them something for your stay. In all cases, a residency can offer you a way to experiment in a new setting, get away from your daily distractions, meet new people, recharge your creative batteries, and/or completely change the way you work.
If you are thinking about a residency, make sure you think through all of the issues involved. If they are charging you, can you afford it? Will you quit your job or can you get a leave of absence? Can you afford to move your stuff—even if you just have to move your supplies—to the residency location? Are you prepared to be away from your family/friends/pet/significant other (most won’t allow you to bring your pets or S.O.)? There is a lot to consider, so make sure you think it through.
40th Street Artist in Residence Program awards West Philadelphia artists on year of free studio space at 40th & Chestnut Streets. In exchange, artists share their talents by leading workshops, teaching classes, exhibiting in the area, etc.
The Center for Art in Wood offers the International Turning Exchange, in which five artists, a scholar and photojournalist from around the world come together in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The resident fellows include artists working in wood, sculptors, and furniture makers.
The Clay Studio Resident Artist Program offers individuals the opportunity to further develop their work, to establish professional contacts and standards, and to work within a community of like-minded individuals in an urban environment. Once chosen as a resident artist, one is entitled to retain their residency for up to five years.
Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program. The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program awards rent-free non-living studio space to 17 visual artists for year-long residencies. Its mission is to provide working studio space and community for artists. Artists are selected annually based on merit from a competitive pool of applicants by a professional jury comprised of artists and members of the SWSP Artists Advisory Committee.
MuralLAB Artist Residency Program, a collaboration between MuralARTS and Breadboard, offers a unique hybrid residency with stipend for emerging artists. Current residency opportunities will be listed on this page.
Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership Artist Residencies are designed as collaborative ventures between teachers and artists placing trained, knowledgeable, practicing artists into schools and community settings. In these residencies, artists work intensely with up to three core groups of students acting as mentors, facilitators, and technical advisors to the students as they undertake experiential arts projects.
RAIR (Recycled Artist-In-Residency) is a group of dedicated individuals working to connect art and sustainability in conjunction with Revolution Recovery, LLC. We provide artists with salvaged materials and comfortable workspace while increasing awareness about the waste stream.
Creative Glass Center of America Fellowships at Wheaton Arts Center allow artists the use of private studios and excellent facilities within a respectful sanctuary of concentrated time. This is an exceptional opportunity for artists to utilize one of the finest facilities of the glass medium, known internationally. Not only do artists get exceptional access to these facilities and various process mediums, but they also receive generous stipends, private studios, technical assistance, comfortable housing and institutional support.
The Marlin and Regina Miller Art Gallery at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania annually requests proposals from artists, craftspersons, and designers for the production of an original, temporary, site-specific installation for our exhibition space. Stipend and housing is provided.
The Center for Emerging Visual Artists annually offers the New Courtland Fellowship, which provides an intergenerational program to residents of both senior care facilities and attendees of drop-in centers throughout the city. Teaching artists are selected to lead 10-week workshops for senior citizens and volunteer students, which results in the creation of collaborative pieces of quality art and culminates in a highly visible exhibition in May, Older American’s Month. They occasionally offer other fellowships and residencies, so sign up for their email list to get the latest opportunities.
These are a few notable residencies that Tyler alumni have participated in recently. There are literally way too many to list here, but these are some to watch for that can be free. This will also give you an idea of the different types of residency programs you might find.
Bemis Center. Founded in 1981, by artists for artists, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts provides a diversity of residency opportunities to work across conceptual, material, performative, and social practices. Bemis facilitates the development of material and intellectual interests; and maintains an alumni program that further extends Bemis support. We offer artists-in-residence unmatched critical and technical guidance, access to assistants and interns, an established network of resources, and opportunities to engage in dialogue with Bemis Center communities.
Vermont Studio Center. The Vermont Studio Center is the largest international residency program in the US, hosting more than 50 visual artists and writers each month from across the country and around the world.
Pajama Factory Artist in Residency Program. The Pajama Factory Artist-In-Residence program provides artists with an expansive, flexible environment in which to work, and a platform for the exchange of creative ideas between participants and the community. All artists-in-residence are provided furnished housing at no charge. Artists are responsible for their food, travel, and miscellaneous expenses and art materials.
National Park Service Artist in Residency Program. There are programs for visual artists, writers, musicians, and other creative media. Programs vary, but residencies are typically 2 to 4 weeks in length and most include lodging. Often artists are invited to participate in park programs by sharing their art with the public. Each park in this directory has its own application process and timeline, so please visit the park's website for further information.
McDowell Colony. The mission of The MacDowell Colony is to nurture the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of the imagination. The sole criterion for acceptance to The MacDowell Colony is artistic excellence. MacDowell defines excellence in a pluralistic and inclusive way, encouraging applications from artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics.
VCU Fountainhead Fellow. What is it that a young artist who has just received an MFA requires to facilitate their research beyond the confines of graduate school? A studio, a residence, some teaching experience, and a stipend. Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts offers one each in Craft, Painting & Printmaking, and Sculpture
Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. The program provides early career, self-directed artists time, space and support to experiment and develop a new body of work in a creative supportive community environment of 160 rotating visiting workshop artists/instructors and hundreds of students. The program encourages early career artists who embrace community and enjoy working in a team environment to apply.
The three best places to find national and international residencies are The Alliance of Artists Communities, a national and international association of artists’ communities and residencies, Residency Unlimited (like their Facebook page, and residency opportunities will show up in your Facebook feed), and ResArtis, an association of over 300 centers, organizations, and individuals in over 50 countries offering artist residencies. You can search by deadline or filter by United States to find domestic residencies. Wooloo is another resource for both international residencies & open calls.
Note that many of the open call lists in the Finding Open Calls on Showing Your Work that also list residencies in their opportunity lists.