What actually is….

an artist residency

An artist residency is/ or should be, a place away from the pressures and habits of every-day life, an experience framed within a unique geographic and cultural context.
Artists, curators, and all manner of creative people will, in this way, get the essential time to develop, intensify and deepen their work .
An artist residency  provides space, and resources for the encounter of different cultures and disciplines, it enhances the sharing of ideas free from censorship or restraint.

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An artist in residency is a wonderful possiblity of reflection and confrontation. It is a moment of stepping out of your own work and looking at it deeply from another persepective, from the perspective of a different environment, from the persepctive of different opinions and ways of seeing.

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It is a moment of collaboration, of insight in ways of thinking and working

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An artist residency takes us out of our personal and artistic safety, it forces confrontation with the own work and those of others. This might be difficult at times and might not be free from conflicts and frustrations but it is absolutely fertilizing and gives us distance to ourselves and the absence of safety guards might bring a totally new vision and also new securities.

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There are many different types of residencies, some can be called a different kind of creative tourism whereas others are very specific and technical for special artistic disciplines.
Most residencies are rather costly but there are residencies which offer a salary and may request   teaching, social engagement, publication and exhibition within the comunity financing the residency.

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Some residency programs are incorporated within larger institutions. Other organisations exist solely to support residential exchange programs. Residencies can be a part of museums, universities, galleries, studio spaces, theaters, artist-run spaces, municipalities, governmental offices, and even festivals. They can be seasonal, ongoing, or tied to a particular one-time event. They exist in urban spaces, rural villages, and deep in nature. Hundreds of such opportunities and organisations exist throughout the world.

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Some residencies are very technical and specific, for certain areas of interest, and provide highly qualifying staff to sustain research programmes. Others provide just a studio space and leave the room for any type of study and work.

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There are different web platforms which give information and help about residency programmes around the world.

Here some of the most efficient:

Res Artis  is probably the biggest of all the networks concerning the issue and gives information on residencies all over the world. It is representing the interests of over 300 organizations in about 50 different countries, Res Artis promotes centers, gives information and help to its members either how to develop an artist residency or how to apply for a residency. Deadlines and application forms can be downloaded and if you visit the site you will be surprised about the variety of possibilities.

TransArtists is a dutch platform cooperating with ResArtis and with the objective of  stimulating and strengthening artists’ mobility in the Netherlands and internationally. It combines and shares expertise and offers tools and services on artist-in-residence programs and related issues. Trans Artists also initiates research, collaborations and meetings about the AiR sector worldwide. On the web site you can find some of our latest projects, meetings and publications.

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The Alliance of Artist Comunities is another one, providing news about residencies mostly in the US, where the residencies are most common and give also a chance to comunities to gain strongly from the presence of artists. These platforms do also give advice and help the institution of artist residencies which can be a way to develop interest in art and confrontation in areas where nothing like this is existing.

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Artist residencies have a long history, artists (and not only) have always felt the need to leave their environment to see and feel the unknown, to put themselves in question, and to see what is going on somewhere else.

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….discover new territory to understand better the own, getting away from the everyday, losingthe known rules and having to find new ones, this is refreshing, it is fun, it is exciting……….and lots more!

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So if you have any chance, just do it and I am sure you will not regret!!!!

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