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All You Need to Know About Artist Residencies

All You Need to Know About Artist Residencies

Banff Centre Ceramic Studio's Kilns.

Valerie Atkisson / ArtBistro

One of the oldest residencies in the country is The MacDowell Colony. “It was founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire, in 1907. The colony’s mission today, as it was then, is to nurture the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which to produce enduring works of the imagination. More than 250 writers, composers, visual artists, photographers, printmakers, filmmakers, architects, interdisciplinary artists, and those collaborating on creative works come to the colony each year from all over the United States and abroad. Colonists receive room, board, and the exclusive use of a studio. In addition to ideal working conditions, artists-in-residence benefit from the experience of living in a community of exceptional artists.

Cortney Bethel from the MacDowell Colony gave me some tips to pass onto you. “Start the application process early and read through all the materials on the site in preparation. It is important to write clearly about what you will be working on at the colony. The ideas expressed in the writing should be supported by the work samples so that the panel can be confident that you can do the work proposed. Have someone else review your proposal for clarity, cohesion and writing mistakes.”

She also advised artists to keep it simple. It your idea is complex, it is best to call the colony to discuss the best way to present it. Not all residencies would welcome calls of this kind, but MacDowell Colony will.

Michelle Laflamme-Childs of the Santa Fe Art Institute states the following guidelines:

1. Read the application requirements CAREFULLY and follow them. We receive dozens of incomplete or incorrectly submitted applications.

Photo credit: Santa Fe Art Institute

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