Applying to Artist Residencies

In the last week I applied to three different artist in residence programs for the summer. Each year I apply to at least a few. Its good practice to work on applying to things because it forces you to update your resume, artist statement, and work. And you never know which ones you might get accepted into.

Each artists process for applying to an artist in residence program is a little different depending on their needs and life situation. It’s helpful before you start applying to do your research on different residencies according to the criteria below. Below is a list of 8 important things to consider when applying to a residency:

1. Location
Decide where you want to go! Maybe you want to go far away and experience a place you have always wanted to visit but also make your art! Or, maybe you choose a place because of the weather or closer to friends and family. It also might be that you don’t care about location and want to choose based on the factors below.

2. What do you want to accomplish?
Some artists attend residencies with a specific project in mind. Decide if you want to apply with a project you have been wanting the time and space to focus on. Or you may want to go in with an open mind and have no agenda and see what happens.

You can also decide what you want to work on based on the type of residency and artists attending. For example some of the artists might be working in different media and you might want to collaborate with them.

3. Price
Know what your budget is and if you can afford it. Some residencies offer stipends and pay you to attend. Some require tuition but offer financial aid and scholarships. If you attended art school, there might be alumni benefits for artist residencies that offer lower prices or acceptance to alumni from your school.

4. Size
Do you want to attend a residency where you meet a lot of other artists and socialize? Or do you want or need time all to yourself to focus and immerse in the work? Some artists love the energy and feedback from others in a residency, and some love alone time away from distractions. It just depends on where you are at and what your needs are at the time.

5. Accommodation
Consider what type of studio’s they offer, are they big or small? If you are messy, can you make a mess or do you need to stay tidy? Do they offer food and how is it? Where will you sleep? You want to know these things, especially if you are living there for a month.

6. Stay organized
Create a spreadsheet with your residencies so you know when you deadlines are, how much the application fee is, and when the residency takes place.

7. Prepare your application materials
Make sure your work looks good. Images should be sized correctly and meet the application requirements. Also be sure that your online presence is updated including website and all social media platforms.

8. Keep going!
Like any other application whether you get accepted or rejected, it’s important to keep making work and applying. My recommendation is if you don’t have time to consider all the above, just pick a few and apply, and then once you get in, you can decide if you want to go or not.

You might be asking, how do I begin researching and finding residencies? Google, and instagram is obviously a great way to start, but here is also a list of resources:

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