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November 28, 2018

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On the edge of the Great Basin, PLAYA offers creative individuals the space, the solitude and the community to reflect and to engage their work through its residency program. PLAYA supports innovative thinking through work in the arts, literature, natural sciences and other fields of creative inquiry and encourages dialogue between disciplines to bring positive change to the environment and the world.

Playa has two Residency deadlines on the following dates: March 1 (for Fall sessions running August - December) and September 1, (for Spring sessions running January - June). For questions regarding these upcoming residencies or general information please email

Please look under the Apply menu on our website ( for NEW guidelines and how to apply online using Submittable.


Summer Lake, Oregon: United States

Located at the northeastern edge of the Great Basin in southeastern Oregon, PLAYA is at the base of Winter Ridge to the West, rising to 7,200 feet, and near Summer Lake to the east at an elevation of 4,200 feet. Summer Lake, 20 miles long and 10 miles wide, is a playa: a seasonal desert lake, shallow in the winter, drying to a mud-cracked flat in summer. At the north end of Summer Lake the state of Oregon owns and manages one of the finest desert wetlands in the state, a destination for birds and birders year around. The surrounding semi-arid terrain has diverse wildlife and varied geology. Thousands of years of human use of the Summer Lake basin has left a rich record of human habitation. Weather varies with wind, snow, rain, and sun. Lake County, with a population of 7,100 and over 8,000 square miles, is Oregon’s only county without a stoplight. Ranching, outdoor recreation, government land management, and a developing alternative energy industry are the primary economic base. PLAYA is located on Highway 31, two hours southeast of Bend, Oregon, one hour north of Lakeview, the county seat, and five hours northwest of Reno, Nevada. A commercial airport is in Redmond, 17 miles north of Bend.


  • Residency Length: 2, 4, and 8 (international only) week residencies
  • Average number of artists in residence at a time: 8-12
  • Number of artists accepted in most recent year: 170
  • Total applicant pool in most current year: n/a


  • Application type: Open application
  • Collaboration: May apply as a team
  • Geography: Open to US artists, Open to non-US artists
  • Application deadline: September 01, March 01
  • Application Ongoing: Yes
  • Additional deadline info:
    Residency applications are only accepted online via Submittable. All applications and supporting materials must be uploaded by the deadline. Vist to apply.

Past Residents & Quotes

Playa memories: napping on the deck, the cherry tree blossoms, solitude without loneliness, Paisley Caves, the birds, the lake, the mud on my feet, the moon, the bobcat and owl.
— Laura Pritchett

Facilities & Services

  • Housing: Private housing (individual apartment/cabin/house), Private bedroom in a shared housing facility
    The eight stand-alone cabins (two are loft live-work studios) each contain full kitchens and complete private bathrooms. Full access to the Commons, 3500 square feet of rooms available to all residents, with dedicated computer/internet.
  • Meals: Some meals are provided
    There is a twice weekly prepared communal dinner.
  • Computer/internet access: Computer and internet connection provided in common area (shared)
  • Accessibility: housing/grounds/studios are accessible
    PLAYA offers one fully accessible live/work studio (Wildcat) adjacent to the primary building, the Commons which is also accessible. Wildcat studio, a flexible live/work space with a wheelchair-accessible bath and kitchen, best accommodates visual artists or writers. The space is adjacent to PLAYA’s main kitchen and dining facilities, where communal dinners are served. Accessible shared studio spaces in the Commons also include a library of alumni works, a living room often used for readings and presentations, laundry facilities, additional restrooms/showers, outside patio and other studio/meeting rooms. We also have other live/work studios that accommodate a range of accessibility needs.
  • Studios/special equipment: Book Arts, Ceramics / Pottery, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture
  • Additional studio information: 
    Variety of studio and creative spaces for private use.
  • Other facilities and services: Playa’s 75–acre property includes a central gathering building (the Commons), six fully-equipped and spacious cabins, two fully-equipped live/work studios, three studios/research spaces each with sinks, a large open shed, and outdoor/field research areas. There is barrier-free access to some of the facilities. The Commons has a communal kitchen, dining room, fireplace room, two adjacent spaces for presentations, projects, or dance, Playa’s office, laundry facilities, and an outdoor terrace. As the central gathering space, the Commons offers Internet, a landline telephone, a developing library, communal recreation area, and space for food preparation and dining. The grounds, bordering the Summer Lake playa, include a large pond, wetlands, grass fields, walking paths, and an organic garden.

Residency Fees

Residencies include housing, work or studio space, and twice weekly group dinners at no cost, however donations are welcome. There is a $35 application fee for individuals ($70 for collaborative teams) to cover administrative costs.

Stipends / other support

Stipends occasionally available for workshops other community engagement activities.

Additional expectations / opportunities

Opportunities for working with the local community are encouraged, though not required. Please visit our website for more information.

Contact Information

47531 Highway 31
Summer Lake, Oregon 97640
United States