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previously posted on 08/23/12

This is just a bit of an update to my last post. I wanted to give you a list of a few sites that are helpful if you are wanting to investigate and apply for artists‘ residencies. First I should mention that all residencies are not the same. There are residencies that will pay you to be the resident artist while others will not and there will be a cost associated with your meals and accommodations at others. Some are for the new artist, emerging artist and those in the later stages of their career. Some have a theme under which all artists are expected to produce work and others are open ended. Some will provide some sort of exhibition exposure and others may have an expectation that you produce and leave a work to the organization hosting the residency. In my case, I will be leaving greeting cards that The Friends of Cypress Hills Park Inc. will use as a fundraiser for various improvements in the park. I will mention more about that in a future blog.

So you can see a good resource in investigating your options is helpful. I would also suggest asking for a list of past artists who have taken a residency with the group you are considering. A professional artists’ association that I am a member of http://www.carfac.sk.ca recommends this great site http://www.resartis.org/en/ Res Artis says, “We are an association of over 400 centers, organisations, and individuals in over 50 countries. Each of our members is dedicated to offering artists, curators, and all manner of creative people the essential time and place away from the pressures and habits of every-day life, an experience framed within a unique geographic and cultural context.”  On the site you can search the listed residencies by country, medium you work in, expense paid by organization, type of organization, and many other criteria.
Res Artis describes a residency as, “Residency centres exist to invite artists, academicians, curators, and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment. They provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. They also allow individuals to explore his/her practice within another community; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing life in a new location. Art residencies emphasize the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into another culture.”
 
I have been involved this summer with two residencies, each with its own financial and administrative model and structure. This has given me an opportunity to compare and contrast a few different types of residency.  As mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, in Cypress Hills my wage and materials for classes were subsidized through a grant administered by a non-profit group, The Friends of Cypress.  My selection of classes I planned to teach, fees charged and time frames offered were  all decided in collaboration with the lead artist and head interpreter of the park. Class costs were able to be kept low for public visiting the park and I had more time to focus on my own painting as I didn’t have the financial concerns of being an independent artist / small business owner for those two weeks. This enabled me to build on a body of work in a new direction that I want to use in applying for a future solo showing. At this residency my accommodations were also included free of charge. 

“Kitty Play” photo by N.Jacquin This photo was taken during my workshop entitled “Kitty Play”. A park interpreter and I tag team taught this class. She covered cougar behaviour and safety while I taught how to sculpt a cougar with air drying clay.

 
In Moose Mountain I functioned like I normally would in the running of my own business. Advertising, class planning, and pricing were all decided by me.  I needed to weigh costs associated with traveling to the residency and cost of materials against what I thought I could charge for the classes.  I taught for only 4 days at this residency but my schedule was much more intense. The park helped greatly with advertising my classes both on the provincial parks web site and through local media. 

“The Artist’s Cabin at Moose Mountain Artists’ Colony” photo by N. Jacquin

“Outdoor Watercolour Class in front of the Chalet at Moose Mountain Provincial Park.” photo by N.Jacquin

Both residencies offered me a free work space/ studio / gallery. The price perclass to participants did not seem to affect the numbers attending. Although my income generated from my time spent in Moose Mountain was higher per day, I could not afford to have the same focus in producing my own artwork as I had in Cypress Hills. The time at Cypress Hills is definitely a gift of time that I can not normally manage.  I am looking forward to my mid Sept. stay there where I hope to complete another 4 – 6 more of my paintings on copper.
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