Always wanted to travel, but not sure how to do it? If you’re an artistic type, traveling around the world or the U.S. can be as easy as applying for artist residencies.
What’s an Artist Residency?
Artist residencies allow various types of artists to stay in a room or home while they work on their craft. Some residencies are open only to writers or visual artists, while others are open to any kind of artist. The main requirement for most residencies is you have to donate a piece of art at the end, and teach a class or hold an art show during your stay.
Artist residencies can cost money, but, often, it’s just an application fee. Some artist residencies offer a stipend—anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars—to help you pay for supplies and food while you enjoy your creative stay away from home. Artist residencies can last a couple of weeks or months.
When you apply for an artist residency online, you have to include your resume and photos of your art. If you’re a writer, they’ll want samples of your writing.
Some residencies are juried, meaning a group of people vote on which artists are chosen. Some allow you to choose when you can come, while others have set weeks of the year that they’re open to traveling artists.
Artist Residencies Worth Checking Out
If a chance to travel somewhere and work on your art is appealing to you, here are some great residencies you should consider applying to.
They’ll not only offer you a chance to focus on your art, but also might help you launch your career as a professional artist.
Each residency has its own requirements. Some are looking for novices who want a better start, while others want those who’ve already made a name for themselves.
Chinati (Marfa, Texas)
Want a chance to spend two months in a small town in West Texas? You’ll be virtually alone with all the time you need to work on your creative projects. The Chinati Foundation started its artist in residence program in 1989 and has hosted over 125 artists from all over the world.
There’s a $40 application fee and the Foundation hosts five residents each year. Each artist also receives a $1,000 stipend for the two-month stay to help pay for travel expenses and materials.
You’ll participate in an exhibition near the end of your residency, which gives you a chance to show off what you created during your stay.
Sacatar (Itaparica, Brazil)
If you make it into the Sacatar artist residency, you’ll visit beautiful Brazil. The program gives you a chance to connect with the indigenous African and European cultures of Bahia, while you enjoy breathtaking ocean views.
The Sacatar residency happens four times per year, and each lasts eight weeks. Up to 25 artists are hosted. With a broad view on creativity, the Sacatar Art Fellowship hosts artists from all over the world and doesn’t limit applicants by age.
With such a diverse culture, this residency boasts excitement rather than solitude. While you create works of art in Brazil, you’ll receive covered airfare, room and board, and a private studio. There isn’t a stipend.
Oxbow (Saugatuck, Mich.)
Enjoy some time in a Michigan beach town surrounded by rolling sand dunes and the waves of Lake Michigan. The Oxbow School of Art has a hiking trail, and Saugatuck offers wonderful shopping and culture.
The Oxbow artist residency offers summer and fall terms. Summer residents stay in cabins, while fall residents stay in dormitories.
Artists can apply for stipends, but they aren’t automatically given, so you’ll have to bring all your supplies with you. However, there isn’t an application fee, and you get free room and board.
Fogo Island Arts (Newfoundland, Canada)
Fogo Island is the largest of the islands offshore of Newfoundland. It offers breathtaking views and is the perfect getaway for painters and photographers alike. The residency is open to artists of all kinds, though.
The residencies at Fogo Island range from one to three months. Application periods open in the spring of each year prior to the residency. They also require that you apply for a visa to stay in Canada and prefer that artists have a valid driver’s license and health insurance.
Some travel expenses are paid, but you’ll have to cover any overages. Aside from that, there are no fees the artist has to pay to participate.
Mudhouse Residency (Agios Ioannis, Crete)
If you’ve been longing for a Greek adventure, the Mudhouse Residency might be right for you. Experience the vast forests and beautiful beaches of the largest of the Greek Islands. You’ll find ample hiking, plenty of cultural and archeological sites to explore, and enjoy time among the natives of Crete.
The Mudhouse Residency isn’t free ($2,300 with 35 percent required when you apply) and doesn’t offer a stipend. Your stay includes studio and living space, and food.
Rauschenberg Residency (Captiva Island, Fla.)
Spend some time in the unique Rauschenberg residence and create art in your preferred medium (even dance). An inspiring 8,000-square-foot studio awaits creators who are ready to come up with their next big idea.
The Rauschenberg Residency is open to about 70 artists annually, with about seven, five- or six-week residencies. There isn’t an application process because this one is by invitation only!