Notable Artist Residencies in the USA

A Look at American Artist Colonies

Creative people such as artists, writers, dancers, composers, etc. need time away from the daily grind in order to think and create new artworks. The artist residency is such a place.

Artists residencies may be located in rural areas, deep in the woods, or may be located in the heart of vibrant cities. What they do have in common, is that they provide live/work spaces for artists to focus on their work for a short period of a couple weeks to even lengthier one-year residencies.

And just like in the arts, variety is the key here. Some residencies focus on painting, while others focus on theater or digital arts. Here is a brief sampling of some of the artist's residencies available in the United States. Click on the individual profile for detailed information about the residency.

Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Artists at work at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Image courtesy ARAC

Anderson Ranch Arts Center has a focus on ceramics as its founder invented American raku. The Colorado residency was established in 1968 and also accepts photographers, sculptors, and woodworkers.

Artpace

Artpace
Artpace in San Antonio. Image courtesy Artpace.

Artspace in downtown San Antonio, and founded in 1995, invites guest curators to choose several artists for this specialized artist-in-residency.

Atlantic Center for the Arts

Atlantic Center for the Arts in FL.
Atlantic Center for the Arts in FL has an artist residency and facilities for weddings. Image courtesy ACA.

Atlantic Center for the Arts near Daytona Beach in Florida is an interdisciplinary artists' community where master artists work alongside emerging artists in a nurturing environment for the creation of the arts.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

Old abandoned warehouses and factories make ideal art studios. So thought a group of artists when they established the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in 1985 in the Bemis Bag Warehouse in Omaha, Nebraska. The studio is equipped for woodworking, ceramics, painting, and sculpture.

Centrum Artist in Residence

Centrum artist residency
Centrum 2014 Emerging Artist in Residence Reilly Sinanan – photo by Roz Powell. Image courtesy Centrum.

Centrum Artist in Residence is located in scenic Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Washington. Both individual and collaborative projects are encouraged.

The Djerassi Resident Artists Program

The Djerassi Resident Artists Program, located near San Francisco, was established in 1979. Typically during a residency session, there will be 3 writers, 1 choreographer, 1 composer, 2 visual artists, and 1 media artist in attendance.

Headlands Center for the Arts

Headlands Center for the Arts in CA.
Headlands Center for the Arts in CA. Image courtesy Headlands.

Headlands Center for the Arts is located outside of San Francisco in a former military building in the Marin Headlands. It is a site for artists to develop new ideas.

Kala Art Institute

Kala Art Institute was founded in 1975 and is located in Berkeley, California. It only provides studio space and is geared for artists who work in digital media, printmaking, photography, book arts, or video production.

The MacDowell Colony

MacDowell artist residency
A visual artist at work in Heinz Studio at MacDowell. Photo credit: Victoria Sambunaris.

The MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire was established in 1907 and is the first artist colony in the United States. It is famous for its history of renowned artists in residence.

The Millay Colony for the Arts

The Millay Colony for the Arts, located in the rural environment of Austerlitz, NY, was established in 1973. It was originally the home of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.

The Omi International Artists Residency

Art Omi artist residency
Art Omi artist residency. Image courtesy Art Omi.

The Omi International Artists Residency was established in 1992 and is located in upstate NY. The residency takes place for only three weeks during the month of July. A distinguished guest art critic or curator leads group discussions and critiques for the artists in residence.

The Penland School of Crafts

The Penland School of Crafts, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, was established in the 1920s. Known for its long-term 3 year-long residencies, the school focuses on the art of crafts.

The Ragdale Foundation

The Ragdale Foundation, located in Lake Forest, IL, was established in 1976. During a residency session, there will be 8 writers, 4 artists and 1 composer attending.

The Roswell Artist in Residence Program

The Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, located in Roswell, New Mexico was established in 1967 and provides the "Gift of Time" to its resident artists who stay there from 6 months to 1 year to create.

Sculpture Space

Sculpture Space is located in downtown Utica and was established in 1976. The studio is fully equipped for sculptors. Annually, 20 artists are selected to be artists in residence.

Vermont Studio Center

Vermont Studio Center
Vermont Studio Center. Image courtesy VSC.

Vermont Studio Center is located in Johnson, Vermont in the Green Mountains and was established in 1984, with a focus on painting. Fifty artists and writers per month are selected for the 2-week to 3-month long artist residencies.

Yaddo

Yaddo artist residency
Yaddo artist residency in New York state. Image courtesy Yaddo.

Yaddo is renowned as its resident artists have won prestigious awards such as Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur Fellowships, National Book Awards, and even a Nobel Prize. Each year, approximately 200 artists and other creative types are selected for a 2 weeks to 2 months residency in the beautiful wooded area of Saratoga Springs, NY.