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Thread: Artist in Residence Programs

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Forest Grove, Ore.

    Artist in Residence Programs

    How do artist in residence programs tend to work? For example, what tend to be the responsibilities of the artist, and what are those of the organization offering an artist in residence program?

    Isn't the duration of time typically a year?

    Is there promotion that's involved?

    What might be the nature of the projects in which the artist engages? I would think that some aspect of the projects would need to benefit the organization.

    Is there usually some sort of contract, or can it be sort of a written understanding?

    I've been wondering about initiating such a program, so having a better understanding of those that exist would be very helpful.

  2. #2
    Greg Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: Artist in Residence Programs

    I did one in Breckinridge, CO. Funded by the town. They wanted community minded projects that lasted 2-8 weeks. Mine was 2 weeks. It didn’t pay, but they provided an apartment, studio space, and art supplies. I loved the experience.

    If you are thinking of starting a program, they call it the “Little Tin Shop” artist in residence and there are full time city employees that run it. Try contacting them to ask questions. I found them easy to work with.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Re: Artist in Residence Programs


    There is an enormous variation in AiR programs; duration, paid/unpaid, facilities and so on depending on the organisation and their philosophy. I would search on the net to find out what is available. A good place to start is . I did a residency last year and researched after to find others and discovered the variety. There was I another link I stumbled upon but can't find it now, Covid put paid to any progress there.


  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: Artist in Residence Programs

    As Richard mentioned, the variety is huge. You'll be designing it around your needs and the benefits to the participants.

    My AIR at Zion National Park was for a month. That is not uncommon for that type. Zion's was run by the Park's Interpretive folks, and AIRs wore volunteer shirts and hats when they were out and about (20 hr/week suggested, and asked to be logged). We also gave one public talk and one talk at a local college. One piece was required within 6 months of the end of the residence. Room (understatement of the year) provided and a small stipend. Hundreds of people looked thru my various cameras over the month.

    The goals of some programs is just to supply a space and opportunity for an artist to work. Some are probably more directed. An AIR at a Bay Area photo center ended up not as productive in new work as I had hoped, but an incredible experience in helping to install shows, and such.

    One would need to talk to the organization's insurance people to see about coverage -- and to find out one's responsibilities in that direction (requiring valid health insurance by participants, etc). Zion required the artist to have a vehicle, no long-term guests, no pets. As an AIR at Zion, I was officially signed in as a volunteer, and was covered for accidents and medical issues while a volunteer. Even got a radio which I never carried -- so the one emergency I had to report had to be through flagging down one of the shuttle buses and have them radio it in.

    My room to myself (5.5x14 neg scanned and inverted):
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails GrottoHouseZion.jpg  
    Last edited by Vaughn; 10-Sep-2020 at 18:13.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #5
    Pieter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Re: Artist in Residence Programs

    Some programs require the artist to share the work done during the residency through an exhibition or studio visits. Some also require the artist to give talks or workshops to the public.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Forest Grove, Ore.

    Re: Artist in Residence Programs

    Thanks for the responses and links to this question. I think that an artist in residence program would be really neat for our community, and the information provided will help me make a proposal.

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