There are a range of different residencies with some artists moving from one to another throughout their life, also known as altering modernity or nomads. The different types of artist residencies are aimed at different stages of artistic careers, some for established artists and others for emerging artists.
Types of residencies:
- Non-funded residencies – for a mix of affluent amateurs and people who have a lot of experience. Res Artis website offers lots of opportunities.
- Part-funded – free accommodation/studio space but no travel (although the travel costs can be funded by art organisations so research is vital.)
- Fully funded – very competitive. high standard and high application numbers.
During COVID there were online artists’ residencies but they were incredibly hard to control and translate, in-person residencies give a sense of time and place.
Most artist residencies keep in touch after and follow your artistic career afterward – a very rewarding process. Some residencies even allow your family to come which is great for single parents or parents struggling with child care – even though children can be distracting. Some residencies are project-based, some offer technical support, residencies respond to a theme. There are a lot of exhibition opportunities after you take part in an artist residency.
Artist collectives are a good idea as they offer conversation opportunities and discourse, artist talks, lectures, crits. It is much easier to get funding for collectives vs as individuals. Collective studio spaces give you support, both physical and psychological support, motivation. Collective exhibitions are more likely than individual exhibitions.
Location is very important within the art world with different places offering different opportunities with different places suiting people for a range of reasons.
After university, a key problem is accessing facilities, so an artist studio is a good idea. Budget is also key as materials can be expensive.
Artist residency advice/experiences:
Although I learned a lot about artist residencies in my lecture, I wanted to find more information so came across this video on YouTube for more information. It is about an artist residency in Beijing and the experiences of artists within that residency.
In the video, the creator had a friend who had been running an artist residency and was going to be running an exhibition from this residency. An interesting part of this residency was that it was in a fairly remote location and it was a small residency with a maximum of 20 artists. The video showed clips of the artists in the residency at work with large-scale paintings which I found very captivating, even if I don’t ever get the chance to take part in an artist residency I would like the chance to attend a residency exhibition.
The exhibition involves connecting the artists with some collectors to give them the chance to sell their work which is a good idea, especially with large-scale works as transporting them back to the artist’s home would be rather difficult. The artists were very busy creating work which highlighted to me how you have to be prepared and have high motivation. This video showed how a range of people from different backgrounds, at different ages and stages of life are brought together in residencies.
First resident experience – Tom travelled a lot and moved into different industries, didn’t have a physical space to create work. The residency gave him the time and space to concentrate and be really productive. He tried to avoid social media and his phone so he could completely focus and take advantage of the space to just do art in order to relaunch his art career after a long period of not doing art at all. He struggled to make a living in art and so was making a living in other sectors which is a sad reality for a lot of creative people.
Second resident’s experience, Karen – she was from America and had graduated from art school a long time ago. She had a lot of opportunities arise in her life and got caught up with them including being involved in an art magazine which she did for around nine years. The residency is her opportunity to relaunch her art career after over 20 years of not painting. She wanted to put herself first for once and focus on her passion for art.
Third resident’s experience, Max – originally from London but works in the US worked as an artist for a long time, quite successful. Over five galleries over the world represent him. He’s a curator, museum manager and had been involved in a range of projects over the world. Teaching art. Took this opportunity to relax and discover China’s local art scene to give him inspiration.
Hearing people’s different reasonings for doing the residency was really interesting for me as it showed that even the most successful people in the art world sometimes need a break and people who don’t have much success are resilient in their passion for art and want to push their artistic career. A key observation is that they all wanted the time and space to just focus on art without any outside distractions which they couldn’t do without the residency.
An alternative of artist residencies is renting an artist studio near your home town but sometimes moving away from the place you live works wonders for inspiration. When asked what makes his residency stand out, Steven said they offer a unique experience for the artists to network with local galleries, collectors, and museums so that they could build up connections and contacts which can be referred back to even after the residency is over. A networking opportunity. However, it is not guaranteed that the artists will sell their work but it is a good possibility.
Information learned from video:
- Some people do an artist residency every year in the summer
- An artist residency is an opportunity for artists to work outside of their studio in a new environment where they can focus on creating art, reflecting and researching.
- It is an escape from your reality
- Lots of different artist residencies out there – some are collaborative and others are independent. ‘
- Some collaborative residencies involve doing art and mailing it to a person from another country and vice versa until a whole project is built up and then the different members of the collaborations meet in a designated place for residency for one month in the summer each year in which they can focus on the body of work they created and develop it even further together.
- Residencies differ in length – sometimes a month or two, sometimes six months or even a year.
- Studio residencies are located in many cities and countries meaning you don’t always have to travel a huge distance – you can sometimes commute
- You are able to meet a range of new people including mentors, art collectors, curators
- You get a lot of crit opportunities during residencies
- Online residencies have started to become more popular due to covid and they have had good reception so will be sticking around
- Applying for a residency – think about what you are looking for – travel/local, alone/with family, collaboration/working individually, funding/able to pay. The things you need to apply for a residency are typically a letter of motivation (kind of a cover letter saying what project you want to work on), project proposal in which you break down all elements of your project (the residency will know if you have any specific needs from this and will know what to expect), artist CV, artist biography, artist statement and portfolio (possibly letters of recommendation)
- expenses of residencies vary depending on the type of residency. Sometimes you can get grants or funding which you apply to from different places – have to give a detailed list of materials, travel expenses. In most studio based residencies you have to pay to use the studios and be a part of the program.
- some artists look for residencies that give them access to specific equipment including but not limited to ceramics, print and glass
- Some residencies give you a brief or require you to make art about a heritage site or the place the residency is in so it is good to take that into account and read the fine print
- Benefits of a residency – you have time to focus on you and your passion. Time is valuable as an artist. It is a good CV builder. You make a lot of connections. Press opportunities, exhibition opportunities. Artist talk opportunities
When looking up Residencies that I could apply to for when I’ve finished my degree, I came across the Residencies Opportunities Page on Arts Hub which includes a range of Residencies in the UK and other countries with the chance to win residencies in some cases through competitions or exhibitions which I felt was interesting. I came across a lot of interesting opportunities but some of them had fees and this is something I need to take into account when applying.
I found more details about the opportunity on Curator Space, finding out that it is an opportunity for women artists based in the East Midlands with two residency spaces up for grabs which is based in Derby – not too far from where I live at the moment. The deadline for submissions is the 31st May which gives me a lot of time to apply once my work is submitted for marking.
Online residency opportunities:
- Deadline – June 30th 2022
- Location – National/online
- Artform – All arts
- Residency fee for a one month residency is 270 euros (£227) and two months is 450 euros (£378.35).
- What you get from the residency – regular meetings/activities, usually 3 sessions per week. Weekly live meetings with artists for crits and reflections of progress. Advice about social media presence and artist websites. Discussions with previous residency members. Online exhibition at the end of residency. Being presented on their blog. Become a permanent member of their international artist network.
Unfortunately I don’t have the money right now to join this residency but I found researching into an online residency was interesting and a good option if I don’t have the time to travel or dedicate myself to a residency full time. I feel that an online residency would be limiting in terms of space as you would have to find your own studio space or work from home but you will have access to people who can give you advice, crit your work and even influence your work with their own, an option which you most likely wouldn’t have without the residency.
Art Quest Residency Opportunity:
When I was looking for opportunities and exhibitions, I came across Art Quest which had some interesting science based projects and some different artist residencies which was insightful and something to consider for when I’m finished with University.
I came across this residency which is available for an arts practitioner or a collaborative group for a 6 month residency in South East London. I find the project quite interesting as you get to work with families and children to create a narrative about their life and as I am interested in working with communities I feel that this would be a great opportunity for me.
More information about the residency – https://taco.org.uk/CYP-STUDIO-RESIDENCY
Unfortunately, I don’t have the right specifications for this residency as I haven’t co produced any cultural projects, delivered workshops or released any publications. However, I still feel that researching into this residency has been beneficial in the sense of allowing me to know just how different artist residencies can be and the different options out there. I am hoping there will be a residency like this again in the future as it really interests me.
Res Artis Residency Website – https://resartis.org/
An interesting part of the Res Artis website is that it includes residencies in all parts of the world which makes it a great source for if you decide to travel for a residency. This is something I would be interested in but I need to consider my finances – even if funding is available, I’d still like to make sure that I am comfortable financially just in case. I also think that I would find going to a different country on my own quite scary but it would be an amazing opportunity so I’d have to work over the fear. I feel that residencies in other countries would open me up to a lot more valuable connections and I will have the experience of living in a brand new area and learning about cultures which I would find very exciting.
The website takes into account a lot of factors including:
- Location – region, country and city
- Disciplines – ceramics, glass, printmaking, sculpture, visual art
- Artistic Facilities – library, metal work tools, exhibition space, woodworking tools
- Practical Facilities – car, cleaning, internet, kitchen, private areas, shared spaces, places for family
- Studio type and size – private, shared, live studio
- Duration of residency – 1-3 weeks, 1-12+ months, 1-1+ years
- Organisation type – artist run, foundation, government, hotel/guest house, museum, gallery, not for profit
- Residency fees – yes or no
- Setting – rural or urban
- Accommodation type – private or shared, apartment or house or cabin or room
- Working languages
- Companions allowed – children, partners
- Wheelchair accessibility – yes or no
I decided to do a search for residencies in the UK as I don’t want to travel out of the UK just yet. There are 13 available in the UK which is a fair amount but they are spread out quite far which surprised me.
I selected Newcastle and London on the list and no residency fees to see what results I would get so I looked into the residencies to see if I would like them.
Residency 1 – Unit 1 Gallery Workshop, London
- 3 months access to studio spaces with natural and professional lighting
- Working above the gallery space
- Networking opportunities with artists, curators, collectors and public
- Guidance from gallery directors
- End of residency solo exhibition
- Open to artists of all ages and backgrounds
- Cannot provide housing for the resident currently
- Application cost is £35
Criteria for selection:
- contemporary practitioners in fine art ‘
- must be able to travel to London for the duration of the residency
- open to collaboration
- create relationships with gallery visitors
- Allows artists to activate the museums collections through their work
- Residents carry out research and create innovative unique work
- Only accepts applicants in response to an open call – define an area of the collection for themes/mediums they want the resident to explore
- Duration of residency – over 6 months
- Number of studios – 3
- Shared studio
- No accommodation offered
- Provide residents with funds – £12,000
- Expenses paid by artist – travel, housing, food, supplies
- Residents expected to do a workshop and public talk
- Artist talks and networking events are arranged for residents
- They offer funded residencies throughout the year
- Promoting role of artists in the sustainable development of towns/cities
- 1 month residency
- 1 private artist studio
- No accommodation offered
- Networking artistic facilities
- Open call
Out of all three residencies, I feel that the first one would be suited towards me more than the other two. However, commuting to London everyday would be very expensive, even getting accommodation in London would be too expensive and so costs are definitely something which I’ll have to take into account before applying for residencies.
As soon as I’ve finished with University, I am going to find some residencies taking place at the end of this year or the start of next year which I can apply to in order to develop my CV and gain experience, as well as making connections in the art world. I feel that waiting until the end of this year/the start of next year will give me some time to get a part time job and make sure that I am financially able to do a residency as even the ones with no fees have other costs that need to be taken into account such as materials, living costs and travel. It is my ambition to do at least one artist residency in my life, hopefully more if I get the chance as it is an incredible opportunity.