7 Artist Residencies to Reconnect with Nature

Artwork Archive | June 29, 2016

Residency programs are an essential part of most artists’ careers.

They provide the uninterrupted time needed to focus on your studio practice, far from all of life’s usual distractions. When looking for your perfect residency, it’s important to think about what you want to get out of your time away. Residencies come in all shapes and sizes, and each one provides different opportunities and adventures for artists.

And while residencies do provide career advancement, connections to other artists, and critical feedback, they also provide the opportunity to find new inspiration—most often through a new or beautiful environment.

We found seven residency opportunities that offer stunning landscapes for cultivating new ideas by immersing yourself in nature.

National Parks Arts Foundation

The National Park Arts Foundation started their Artist-in-Residence program in 2006 to provide opportunities to artists to live and work in National parks to create a body of work. Programs are specifically tailored to the artist’s project and the selected park. Residencies are one month and can accommodate artists from multiple disciplines such as sculpture, ceramics, dance, theatre, textiles, writers, new media, printmaking, and film.

WHO: Visual artists in sculpture, ceramics, dance, theatre, performing arts, music, literature, new media, animation, printmaking, film-making, ethnographic art.

WHERE: 2016 Residencies include: Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania), Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida), Chaco Culture National Historic Park (New Mexico), Aztec Ruins National Monument (New Mexico), Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (Big Island, HI), Haleakala National Park (Maui, HI), First State National Historical Park (Delaware), Pecos National Historical Park (New Mexico). And coming soon: Big Bend National Park (Texas) and Death Valley National Park (California).

LENGTH: One month

TIMELINE: Application deadlines vary.  Click here for details.

COST/FUNDING: Housing covered and eligible for a $1000 stipend. Artist pays travel, supplies, and food.  

Bernheim Artist in Residence Program

At once a haven for nature-lovers and artists alike, the Bernheim Arboretum and research center is founded on the mission of “strengthening the bond between people and nature by finding new ways to connect nature with people’s lives.” Situated within a 14,000-acre property with over 8,000 species of plants and 40 miles of hiking trails, this larger-than-Manhattan preserve welcomes artists from all backgrounds for one to three months for artistic exploration.

Residents get a fully equipped cabin, with a log-burning stove (and AC and heat), in a stunning wooded setting.

WHO:  All mediums encouraged to apply: visual artists, sculpture, installation,  performing arts, painting, sound, video, textile, new media, animation.

WHERE: Louisville, Kentucky

LENGTH: Two to four months

TIMELINE: January application deadline for the following summer.

COST/FUNDING: Travel, supplies, and food paid by for artist. Housing covered. $2,500.00 grant available.

Offshore Residency

For artists who have their sea feet, the Offshore Residency offers a week-long traveling residency program to bring experienced artists and sailors together for an expedition at sea. The Offshore Residency is designed more to provide a change in perspective rather than an on-site studio. Perhaps you will find yourself inspired by the sea and among the likes of other artists who have based their work off their relationship with the ocean, like Herman Melville and Hokusai. 2016 is the inaugural year for Offshore Residency and an accompanying exhibition will be held at Regina Rex/Harbor Gallery the following year.

WHO:  All mediums encouraged to apply: visual artists, sculpture, installation,  performing arts, painting, sound, video, textile, new media, animation

WHERE: Docking begins and ends in South Brooksville, Maine.  

LENGTH: One week

TIMELINE: January application deadline for the following summer.

COST/FUNDING: Travel and supplies paid by the artist. Food and lodging covered by the organization.

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts

For those artists dedicated to a materials-based practice such as printmaking, book arts, ceramics, fiber, graphics, iron, glass or wood, Haystack offers unparalleled facilities in a breathtaking setting. With 24-hour access to studios, Haystack creates a creative community that fosters development and honors tradition. During the two-week open residency sessions, participants explore the potential of craft, push material experimentation, and foster critical dialogue.

WHO: Ceramics, fiber, graphics, iron, jewelry, wood.

WHERE: Deer Isle, Maine

LENGTH: Two weeks

TIMELINE: March deadline for the following summer.

COST/FUNDING: Travel and supplies paid by the artist. Food and lodging paid by the organization.

Art Farm

Art farm is a 60-acre working farm in Nebraska filled with unending fields of corn and 15 acres of prairie that can be used for installations, sculpture and performance. There are ten studios available to residents, with facilities ranging from metalworking, woodworking, letterpress, ceramics, and what they call “earth moving.” If you are looking for a middle- America, a little rough around the edges, experience to fuel your inspiration, look no further than Art Farm.

WHO: Ceramics, fiber, graphics, iron, woodworking, printmaking, sculpture, painting, drawing.

WHERE: Marquette, Nebraska

LENGTH: Two weeks- five months between June 1 and November 1

TIMELINE: March application deadline for the following summer.

COST/FUNDING: Travel and supplies paid by the artist. Lodging provided. 12 hours of work exchange expected each week.

Djerassi's misson is to support and enhance the creativity of artists by providing uninterrupted time for work in a beautiful setting.


The Djerassi Resident Artists Program is situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one hour south of San Francisco. The program offers gorgeous architecture, the time and space to interact with peers, and critical dialogue for growing your own individual practice, in a pristine landscape. Best of all, the program is offered at no cost to artists, should you be accepted.  

WHO: Visual arts, media arts/new genres, literature, choreography, and music composition.

WHERE: Woodside, California

LENGTH: Four weeks

TIMELINE: Application must be postmarked March 15 for the following year.

COST/FUNDING: Travel and supplies paid by the artist. Food and lodging paid by the organization.

The Wassaic Project

The Wassaic Project is a multi-disciplinary arts organization supporting artists, performers, and writers in Upstate New York. Artists create a body of work and participate in conversations, open-studios, and artist talks. While there is a resident fee of a subsidized 900/month, there are fellowships available and ample access to fully decked out facilities including a woodshop, silkscreening studio, and tons of exhibition opportunities. To top it off, they also have a visiting curators and artists series in addition to your housing and studio space.

WHO: Emerging and professional contemporary artists, writers and creatives.

LENGTH: One - six months

TIMELINE: Summer and Winter residencies available, check here for deadlines.

COST/FUNDING: Travel and supplies paid by the artist. $900 subsidized fee.

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