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Castles, Trains and Holograms

Strange Residencies for Artists.


Strange Residencies for Artists


Illustration by Berke Yazicioglu

Illustration by Berke Yazicioglu

Dear artists, particularly you School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduating seniors and Master of Fine Arts students, do not fear. There are always artist residencies. So sundry are they, in fact, that they range in location from a distillery to a laundromat. Residencies at forest cabins or international art centers, coveted as they may be, are common. The following less orthodox programs, however, according to the details on their websites, are not to be overlooked:

Artist-in-Residence Program at Badlands National Park

“Interpret the living landscape through motion and emotion using contemporary approaches and techniques.” That is to say, live in the park’s headquarters in South Dakota and channel this harsh, wind-swept environment through your practice.

For: all artists, from photographers to writers to composers
Length: 4-6 weeks
Benefits: an apartment, “a government vehicle” and bicycles
Stipend: reimbursement for food or materials up to $300

Holocenter: Center for the Holographic Arts Artist in Residence Program

Use the Holocenter’s pulse laser at its studio at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, as part of two residencies for artists who want to incorporate holography into their practice. Past artists have created holographic photographs, video and sculptures at the center’s facility. One residency is an introductory workshop, the other a longer program for experienced artists.

For: all artists
Length: 5 days for the introductory workshop, one week for the residency
Benefits: access to the facility, holographic film and chemistry for the workshop but, strangely, not for the residency
Stipend: none

Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle

Make work in the comfort of a 17th-Century Polish castle in Warsaw. The residency, provided by the Centre for Contemporary Art, offers two summer residencies inside the castle walls and five others in the adjacent Laboratory building. The Centre encourages visiting artists to “realize their work in the public spaces of Warsaw or in one of numerous independent partner galleries.”

For: all artists
Length: 2 or 3 months
Benefits: live/work space, connections to local arts organizations
Stipend: a grant of 3,000 zloty per month, a 1,600-zloty travel reimbursement and a project budget of 5,000 zloty (one Polish zloty=32 US cents)

Artist In Residence At The Glenfiddich Distillery

This boozy residency in the Scottish countryside is housed in renovated tax collector’s housing that happened to sit on the distillery’s estate. Artists’ work is meant to be both influenced by Glenfiddich (its family history or processes at distillery, or even some of the same materials like copper) and to benefit the corporation by “enhancing the credibility of Glenfiddich amongst high-end art aficionados and drinkers of single-malt Scotch … and create positive messages about Glenfiddich in its major markets.”

For: all artists (although most residents have been successful mid-career artists)
Length: 3 months in summer
Benefits: an “all-inclusive” apartment with studio, access to distillery facilities and workshop, opportunity to exhibit in an on-site gallery and performance space.
Stipend: £4,200 stipend, reimbursement of travel costs, material allowance of up to £5,800 (1 British pound=$1.68)

The Laundromat Project: Create Change Public Artist Residency

Designed to build “a corps of artists inspired and equipped to work alongside everyday folks in creative endeavors right where they live,” this residency is as specific in its application requirements as the facility in which artists make their work is specialized. Introverts need not apply, as artists must be “comfortable engaging their neighbors.”

For: artists of color with a demonstrated record of developing community-based public art projects, who are comfortable engaging their neighbors in participatory, socially-engaged work and who live in New York City’s Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, or Hunts Point/Longwood neighborhoods.
Length: 5 months in summer
Benefits: Access to a network of peers, activists, arts professionals, curators, funders and change agents and preference for ongoing professional opportunities, such as speaking engagements press coverage, commissions.
Stipend: $5,000 honorarium and up to $1,500 in production funds

Amtrak Residency Program

Take an overnight ride on an Amtrak train from one city to another writing whatever you like with little distraction. But there is a catch: Amtrak owns the rights to all work that writers produce during the residency.

For: residents of the contiguous U.S. with “strong writing skills and extensive social media connections. No professional writing experience is required.”
Length: 2-5 days
Benefits: one round-trip of the writer’s choice of up to $900 in value.
Stipend: none

Trainwreck: A Red76 Residency and Book

This residency does not yet exist. Trainwreck started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to found this residency in direct response to the terms of Amtrak’s writer’s residency. It reached its goal, but the residency is not yet available. Red76 creates “publics through the creation of ad-hoc educational structures and discursive media forms,” and apparently, through writers residencies, as well. This residency would have “no strings attached,” including where and when writers travel, anywhere in the country, and the residents retain all rights to the work produced during the residency. The program will allow for a group of up to eight writers traveling in renovated vintage sleeper cars and will begin “in early spring.”

For: anyone
Length: open
Benefits: as yet unknown
Stipend: none


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