Friday, October 31, 2014

Artist Residencies

One year ago, I returned from The Arctic Circle residency. This adventure repositioned my approaches to my professional practice as an artist. When asked what do I do for a living - I now tell people "I am an artist, sculptor primarily." No longer do I identify myself as "just an artist," nor do I declare that I am a teacher then an artist. This was a major shift in my perception of identify. I felt that I had made substantial leaps in my career and learned so much about myself and my work.

An artist residency is place where artists - of any media- and writers can go to produce work for an extended period of time- a week or even up to three months. Some residencies charge for fees and some do not. This trip to the Arctic Circle lasted about 3 weeks. To read about the trip's highlights, I have the whole experience posted HERE.

While I was on this residency, I meet some incredibly talented people - musicians, poets, performers, artists- from around the world. Their career levels varied  to having years in the profession to just graduating with a BFA. From these people, I learned how to build a sustainable career, found new opportunities, and opened conversations to professional practices. 

Photo by Tom Snelgrove
I felt very lucky to have been accepted into The Arctic Circle Residency. Being accepted felt that someone other than me believed in my work and wanted me to succeed. I am also pleased to be included in a small group exhibit at the Noyes Museum next year which will feature the individual and collaborative works of some of the participating artists from this residency.

This January, I will be in Vermont for the month on another residency to the Vermont Studio Center. I received a Merit Scholarship, which means the cost will be offset by a work exchange award and artist’s grant. In other words, I will be working in the kitchen for 10 hours a week. I promise to post a photo of me in a hair net. I plan on bringing the 4 cases of Arctic Trash collected from first residency with me. 

If you are interested in a residency, please check out these links:

Before you apply, remember that there is a tremendous amount of research you need to do to find the right program for you; plus there is a bit of work in the crafting the application essay.  Don't be discouraged if you are not accepted the first time - consider reapplying or working harder at finding the right residency for you. Most importantly, match your work style to the right residency. 

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