Since the Industrial Revolution onset a period of big business which has culminated in this current period of neo-liberalism, surviving as an artist has been a mental and physical challenge. This is especially difficult when sects of society tell those with aspiring artistic dreams to ‘get a real job’. We may be turning a corner, however, as in these uncertain times it is more important than ever for artists to have the power to portray inner and communal confusion. But if the public understand now the necessity to allow artists to have an unrestricted mental space in order to truly express themselves, what about the physical space that is required?
Thankfully, residencies are littered across the world and are becoming more accommodating for true artistry to commence. It is in these spaces that artists can allow the worry of normal everyday life to subside and truly commit themselves to the artistic process for weeks, months, and sometimes up to a year. In this article, Singulart explores some of the best art residencies in America.
The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild
This residency has attracted many big names, much like the homonymous festival of 1969 – even musicians such as Bob Dylan have spent time at this revered hideaway. Visual artists that have been welcomed by the Byrdcliffe include Philip Guston and Eva Hesse, most certainly inspired by the vastness and charm of the 250 acres that surrounds them. Byrdcliffe accommodate for a vast range of needs and backgrounds, whether it be length of stay or preferred art form – all they ask is that those who do apply showcase artistic excellence and a commitment to their craft.
Eastern Frontier Society, Norton Island Residency
There’s varying degrees of isolation involved with these residencies. If you’re in search of a place so far from anything else that its not even on the mainland, then the Norton Island Residency is for you. Situated just off the coast of Maine, this residency allows for deeply introspective thought through its remote setting. As one testimony put it: “The island is your silent partner in creating: enough company to keep from going crazy, but no interruptions in work or inspiration.” Norton Island invites artists during the summer months, and honestly, we can’t think of a more unperturbed way to spend our time in the sun.
The Invisible Dog residency in New York City is the perfect opportunity for anyone dreaming of the bright lights of the Big Apple. Invisible Dog even recognize this too, as they give preference to people who have spent little to no time in this concrete jungle. The only other requirement is that applicants must have presented work in their country of origin. A residency that is without any pressure to produce, Invisible Dog simply want to welcome visitors to engage in New York City’s mysticism and grandeur, in a way that a need to create simply comes as second nature.
18th Street Arts Center
If you’re more attracted to the west coast, then 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, California could be suited to you. It’s mission is simple: “Provoke public dialogue through contemporary art making”, and when you’re meeting people from multiple social and ethnic backgrounds, as is the case in The Golden State, it’s hard not to share these stories and their impact on your perspective. There are plenty of residency-types that you are sure to fit the criteria of at least one, allowing you to hone your craft amongst the melting pot of Cali.
Dorland Mountain Arts Colony
If it’s the complete sense of serenity of a vast landscape that you’re looking for, as opposed to the hustle and bustle of a major city, then the residency at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony is perfect for you. Allow yourself to become lost within your own creative urges within this environment that offers a reflecting pond, a small lake with a rowboat, and hiking trails that encompass the property. This secluded property will have you search within, as opposed to seeking outwards, in order to find inspiration.