I had started writing some blog posts while I was on my art residency in Spain. I ended up only publishing one of the many I had planned. I was too engrossed in the moment, whether making new work, talking with new friends, eating good tapas or quietly meandering. This series of posts will cover my time out there. There are a lot of photos and experiences to cover, so I had to split it up into easily digestible amounts. You can read the earlier posts on my first week in Cádiz, Spain and on texture and pattern inspiration. This one will focus on what a residency is.
While I was out in Spain, I kept getting questions from my friends here in the States about why I was out there in the first place. It seems that the concept of an art residency isn't much known outside of artists, and even then, not all artists know about them. Many people just thought I was going to school out there.
Art residencies are meant as time and space for an artist to create and think about their work. Residencies are application-based, so you have to submit a portfolio or images and write a statement and bio. They usually provide housing, a studio and support for your work or a specific project. You may or may not end the residency with an art show or specific project, it depends on the program. Residencies operate worldwide and vary in their amenities. Some have kilns and printmaking equipment, others are much more simple. It just depends on what you are looking for. Residency costs vary from being all expenses paid to subsidized costs to very expensive. You have to do your research when finding one.
Last February/March, I had a small list of residencies in mind to apply to. I was mostly interested in a couple in Barcelona, as well as one in Joshua Tree National Park and another in the Caribbean. During that time of the year, I am usually working on Valentine's Day orders, taxes and planning, so I missed the deadlines on all of these. I found one in Cádiz, Spain and was instantly mesmerized by the location after looking up photos online. I had to go to this one and this one only. Cádiz is on a narrow strip of land, almost like an island. It looks out on the open Atlantic and resides south of Portugal.
I felt like the happiest person on earth when I was accepted to the Linea de Costa residency. It was the first residency I applied to. I received an email three weeks later stating "we find your proposal very interesting for Linea de Costa's goals." They later told me that the program is very competitive and receives many applicants. This, of course, made me feel honored and thankful to be one of the selected. The image above of my installation, We Have Overcomplicated Things, was one of the artworks I applied with. The program director really loved this one.
One aspect of a residency is how many artists you will be there with. I have heard of some residencies hosting a single artist at a time, but I believe most are small to larger groups. Linea de Costa hosts 3 artists at a time with myself, Amy Podmore a professor of art at Williams College in Massachusetts and Juyoung Lee, a South Korean artist, there for the month of November. Both artists turned out to be amazing people. They were creative, fun and super inspiring to be around. I felt very lucky to have been there with these two.
The location was really something else. I looked out on this view everyday, though sometimes it was overcast and stormy. It made me feel like I was working on a boat. I can't tell you how much having the sea this close makes me happy. The apartment I was set up in was very nice, but just did not compare with this view. For more on the studio space and apartment see my first post in this series.
If you're interested in an art residency, you can look them up on the following sites:
For some great articles on finding, preparing for and funding your residency:
One of the biggest things I took away from this residency was letting go of old habits and stale ideas. There's nothing like a change of location to reinvigorate your senses. If you have any questions about residencies, feel free to ask me in the comments below.
Stay tuned for the next post in this series!