Since the Industrial Revolution onset a period of big business culminating 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 Germany; home to many urban creative hubs and introspective getaways.
Akademie Schloss Solitude
Situated in a Rococo-style palace that was constructed in 1764-69 on the outskirts of Stuttgart, the aptly named Akademie Schloss Solitude residency is the perfect exploration for those looking to immerse themselves within the German countryside. For some, the creative process is dependent on the ability to withdraw from any outside distractions. This residency acts as an escape for those wanting to be surrounded by uninhabited fields, away from the pandemonium of urban life. Included in the residency is a live-work space, a monthly stipend of €1,150, and travel expenses covered. International residents have the perk of medical insurance being included, while the expenses for transporting materials to and from Stuttgart is taken care of by the program.
DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the city has been the home of many artists due to its low rents and general low cost of living. The DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program has reinforced this notion that Berlin is a major creative hub by establishing itself as one of the most renowned art residencies in the world. Due to the popularity of this residency, a jury nominates visual artists to invite for the program, as opposed to the usual application process. For those fortunate enough to attain a residency at DAAD, it is guaranteed to propel your career as an artist.
Bethanien has proved to be a pivotal stepping stone for many emerging artists and acts on the same principles of its fellow creative spaces within Berlin. Enabling an artistic lifestyle like only the German capital can, with grants that cover materials and rent, this is ideal for those wanting to move to Berlin but the DAAD program is proving to be beyond their reach at this moment in time. Your time honing your craft at Bethanien culminates in the presentation of a final project in the Künstlerhaus Bethanien galleries.
If it isn’t the indie metropolis of Berlin that you’re looking for, and in fact, more of a secluded setting that you are looking for, the Bauhaus Residence in Dessau acts as a suitable alternative. Those questioning the credentials of this German hideaway have to look no further than the fact that it has hosted esteemed artists such as Walter Gropius and Wassily Kandinsky. A work and living space is available in the Muche/Schlemmer House, along with a healthy monthly allowance of €1,200. This residency finishes with the artist showcasing their work in the Gropius House.
Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral
If your application for Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral is successful, then consider yourself very lucky, as this residency is located in the idyllic setting of its three-story Italian Renaissance villa situated in the historical spa town of Bad Ems. With two three-month and four nine-month residential fellowships on offer to international visual artists, this residency also holds the quirk of changing its theme or style every year, so be sure to apply if you see a theme that is suited to you!