This spring, artists from around the world will have the opportunity to create in the Elm City through Artspace’s eighth annual Artist-in-Residence program.
Local nonprofit gallery Artspace launched its Artist-in-Residence program — an initiative designed to bring artists to the Elm City — in 2011 and is currently seeking applicants for its 2016–2017 cycle. One artist out of roughly 50 expected applicants will be selected by a committee comprised of Artspace staff and members of its Curatorial Advisory Board to serve as an artist-in-residence from August 2016 to July 2017. The artist chosen will receive free studio space in Artspace’s Orange Street building, complete with Wi-Fi, a kitchen and storage space. In October and November of 2017, the artist will have a solo show in Artspace’s project room.
“Whenever you add a new face to an artistic community, it really does lead to growth in creative production for everyone,” Artspace Gallery Director Sarah Fritchey said.
Fritchey explained that the gallery is looking for someone who will fully embrace New Haven and its history while contributing to Artspace’s community-minded culture. She added that applicants should have an interest in reviewing other artists’ work and contributing to contemporary conversations about art.
Artists-in-residence are expected to be employed and living in New Haven while they use the studio space, but Artspace will hire the artist and suggest possible housing options, Fritchey said. Former artists-in-residence, who have hailed from as far as Italy and Mexico, have held a range of Artspace jobs that included installing shows and taking charge of graphic design for the gallery’s new website, which is set to launch in April.
New Haven-based artist Colin Burke became Artspace’s first artist-in-residence in 2011 when he was approached by the gallery while working as a volunteer for one of Artspace’s open studio events.
Burke’s work involves various types of photography including cyanotypes — prints made on blue paper when exposed to the sun — and pin-hole cameras, created by punching a hole in a container that contains photo paper. He explained that he often leaves the pin-hole cameras in fields for up to a year at a time. The resulting images track the paths of the sun across the sky, creating artwork that Burke said is inspired by his interests in optics and physics.
“[Being an artist-in-residence] was a really good experience for me to be able to focus on my work in a dedicated space,” Burke said.
He added that the program provided a unique opportunity to be part of a “dynamic” art gallery. Burke said he occasionally felt isolated working alone in Artspace — he had previously worked in other New Haven locations where other artists worked in neighboring studios. But he added that he enjoyed the Artspace events he was able to interact with as a result of the program.
Eben Kling, Artspace’s 2015–2016 artist-in-residence, said that besides providing him with physical space, working with the gallery has helped him develop a stronger relationship with the artistic community and residents of New Haven. Kling works with mediums ranging from sculpture and animation to large scale installations.
“After moving back to the area, this residency has been a great platform to familiarize myself with a community that I hadn’t really been involved in for over 10 years,” Kling said in an email to the News.
Applications for the Artist-in-Residence program close on May 8.