The Residency Green Paper states that: The first artists’ residencies were developed in the late 1800′s…(and were) not about retreat from the industry and fierceness of the city, but rather about advancing a different way of life. Residencies have nurtured the creative development of artists like Marcel Duchamp, Alice Walker, and Leonard Bernstein… Surely no one would argue against the benefit of that time to those artists (and many more) and that their work has added tremendous value to our society as a whole. It is a great community service that they provide.
Fast forward to 2010 when there are over 400 residencies in the US alone. Like the towns, cities, and woods that they exist in and the people who run their programs and sit on their boards – they are all different. Many residencies do not offer retreat but instead require some type of a more public community outreach or work exchange. Looking out – community outreach can have a great impact on the locals who are involved and can also attract funding. Looking in – meaningful community service can have a tremendous impact on the direction of one’s work, on the direction one takes in their art career, and in the actions one takes in the communities that they settle in. The goal then is to make sure that community service and work requirements enhance the residency experience and that the AiRs take ownership of the good work that they do outside of their studio space. In other words – the goal is to provide experiences that are specific and meaningful to that individual. Read the rest of this entry »