Penland’s Resident Artist Program, established in the 1960s, is one of the longest running residencies in the US. The program is designed for professional craft artists who are at a pivotal moment in their creative practice or career—the residency is an opportunity for them to pursue objectives that will have a lasting effect on their work and their lives. Depending on the nature of an applicant’s goals, we now offer two options for interested candidates.
- 1-year project based residency; artists submit a project proposal and may use the time to push technical and conceptual boundaries, to conduct research and development in a particular topic or process, or to explore an entirely new aspect of their work.
- 3-year career transition residency; artists submit objectives to advance their studio practice, to work out the practicalities of making a living, or to make a formative transition in their career path.
Residency Experience Summary
We encourage self-motivated, focused individuals working in traditional and nontraditional studio crafts to apply for a residency. No prior connection to the school is required to apply. Penland celebrates varied ideas, world views, and personal characteristics, and is committed to being an organization that welcomes and respects everyone regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, and socioeconomic status.
Applications are reviewed by a national committee of artist peers, curators, educators, and other arts professionals who are knowledgeable about material-based work and the craft field in general and/or understand what it takes to be successful in a self-directed residency. Panelists rotate frequently to bring a range of new perspectives to the application process, and creating a diverse group of residents is one of the stated goals of selection.
Applications are evaluated using the following criteria:
- We factor equity and diversity into all of our decision making.
- Portfolios are scored in these three areas: innovation, intention, and skill.
- Applications must present a clear, compelling proposal for a 1-year project or 3-year objectives that can be well supported, informed, and inspired by a residency at Penland.
- CVs are reviewed to determine if a candidate is actively engaged in professional artistic practices.
- The particular qualities of the available studios and a balance of media will also be a factor.
All media taught at Penland are considered appropriate for the Resident Artist Program: books, clay, drawing/painting, glass, letterpress, iron, metals, papermaking, photography, printmaking, textiles, wood. Most resident studios are not media specific; however, the particular qualities of the available studios and the balance of media represented by the current group of resident artists sometimes limits each year’s openings to a range of media.
The experience of living at Penland is shaped in many ways by its rural location, its mountainous terrain, and by the age and nature of the facility. A successful residency depends in part on expectations consistent with what Penland has to offer.
There is no cost to residents for housing, studio space, or utilities.
Artists are responsible for providing tools and equipment vital to their daily studio practices; resident artist studios are simply raw studio spaces.
Artists are responsible for travel expenses to and from Penland