International Public Art Residencies – Panel Session by Swissnex

Swissnex hosted a panel on international art residencies – focusing in particular on a new residency in the Swiss alps, the Verbier 3-D sculpture park residency.  The panel was led by Caitlin Strokosch, the Executive Director at Alliance of Artists Communities, which is based in Providence and has impressive resources for artists.  Panelists included artists who had created work for the sculpture park, as well as artists with general experience in international residencies.

One of the artists, Mary Sherman, began a conference for artists to share information on international art residencies, providing many connections.  It was interesting to hear that the American representation outside in international festivals used to be much higher than it currently is- giving the sense that there is a demand for american artist representation internationally.

Specifically on the Verbier residency- artists would build their pieces in huge tents, and every day the tents would open up for the locals to check out.  Artists would also have workshops kids would attend.  The town of Verbier is a ski resort town, so in the summer months the population shrinks to about two thousand.

It was cool to hear about the experiences at residencies all around the world.  Some social like the Verbier one, some isolated.  The most exciting ones though were those without fees, that included housing, a stipend, and funding for materials. What a great way to travel.  Some residencies are competitive, some have few applications.  The general advice was that if there is a good fit, just apply.