What is an art production residency?

The rise of a production support model for creators. Art production residencies, a new way forward.

Published: Feb 12, 2014
What is an art production residency?

Art production residencies, a new way forward.

By Nuria García (@VeoArte) Veo Arte en todas pArtes

Sometimes we realise that suddenly some initiatives and formulas start booming. This is the case of the formula to foster production and research by means of a residency.

Prizes and awards used to be the bottles of oxygen for the artists to keep breathing between sales of art pieces. Currently, art residencies are another option, very interesting, not only for making ends meet and getting a space for art production, but also for training.

There is an increasing number of residencies around the world, with varying terms. In most cases, they include the right to use a production space (workshop, studio), room and board during the time of the residency and sometimes they also include a funding line for purchasing the materials.

Very often, resident artists get involved in the life and activity of the venue hosting them, which, in turn prepares a report on their work or organises an exhibition to show the work produced during their stay.

The development and exchange of knowledge among resident artists is another appealing feature supported by the venue hosting the residents. Individual studies that isolate the resident artist are being replaced by coworking spaces which foster the exchange among resident artists.

International residencies are specially interesting, as they foster a cultural exchange and return to the spirit of the training trips.

For the venues which organise this type of actions, they are a good way to manage expenses, devoting them to training and artistic production. In addition, they result in a programming in relation with the activity of the resident artists.

On the internet it is very easy to find many resources on where to find these calls for art residencies. There are many sites, not only those of the institutions granting the residencies, but also general or specific sites which gather information on many calls. This is the case of the project Localizart by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, which features information on localisations all around Europe.

Now, I would like to metion some examples. One of the oldest residencies in Madrid is the House of Velázquez, one of the five french schools that the Ministry of Higher Education and Research has outside France. Since it was founded in 1928, this venue hosts both artists (just like Villa Médicis does in Rome) and researchers in the framework of the School of Hispanic and Iberian Studies (EHEHI).

This is a public scientific, cultural and professional entity aimed at developing creative activities and research projects related with arts, languages, literature and the societies of Iberian, Latin American or Mahgrib contries. In addition to fostering artistic and scientific exchange between France and these countries.

Another example I would like to mention, which has recently started to offer residencies is La Térmica. This venue defines itself as an incubator for talent and good ideas. It aims to become a cultural reference in Málaga as a creation and contemporary cultural production centre with civic spirit. One of its programmes is devoted to support the creative and professional development of creators by means of residencies. This programme is called “Creadores” and has been granted this year to Fernando Bayona González (Granada, Spain), Omar Victor Diop (Dakar, Senegal), Nekane Manrique Mezquita (Biscay, Spain), Florencia Rojas Rabellini (Berln, Germany), Dadi Dreucol (Valencia, Spain) and Miguel Gómez Losada (Córdoba, Spain).

A good example of a residency programme is Madrid Sweet Home, an initiative where residencies take place in private homes, which is run by hablarenarte: And FelipaManuela. Each host offers, in addition to accommodation in a guest room, the possibility to introduce the foreign resident into the cultural fabric of its environment. This programme covers only accommodation costs, therefore the guest resident must run with travel and living expenses during the two weeks period of the residency.

However, as we have already noticed, residencies are not only addressed to plastic artists, some are addressed to managers, researchers, dance...In the case of LABoral, it combines artistic and technology production residencies. The last residency to be presented at LABoral has been granted to Guillermo G. Peydró. He will produce a documentary about Gijón. We can learn more about him in Laura Cano’s post at LABlog.

How about you? What do you think of residency programmes? Have you ever enjoyed a residency? How was the experience? Tell us!

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  • Los Prados, 121
  • 33203 Gijón (Asturias)
  • Spain
  • Phone: +34 985 185 577
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