We Simplify The Technical!

Randy Traynor has completed two Artist in Residence programs. He gives real insight on how to find the programs, what to do to apply to make your chances better of getting in, and what to watch out for before you apply. Very inspiring show!

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Episode 150

How to Find and Apply for Artist In Residence Programs

with Randy Traynor

What IS an Artist-In-Residence Program?

  • A retreat to soak in a new environment.

    Spanning from 2 weeks to a month or more. 

    Some programs are flexible, while others have set dates and lengths of time.

  • A sanctuary to help you focus on your art.

    National Parks and US Forest Service


    Countless other environments – just look!

  • A way to invite artists of all types to live in the moment.

    Available for artists in any medium – photography, painting, poetry and other writings, dance…

Costs Involved

  • Time off work, away from family and friends.
  • Travel expenses.
  • Rental vehicle.
  • Food – some have per diem food allowances, some you need to provide your own.
  • Guides and equipment for hiking, kayaking, camping, etc. is provided. (If you’re going through Nat’l Park or US Forest Services)
  • Lodging is provided – you usually have your own room in a shared house.  

“You will get to places where tourists can’t.  Places you can only go with a Ranger, deep into the wilderness.”

What Do They Get Out of It?

  • Read the contract thoroughly.  
  • Most require you to give a presentation (or two, depending on the length of your stay) while you’re there.
  • You may be required to help out with small tasks (with Rangers) while you learn and play/create.
  • They will require a number of prints/paintings/writings (You pay for printing and framing) that will be displayed on a rotating basis throughout Welcome and Visitors Centers or museums.
  • They can also use your images on their website and social media (a great boost for YOU!)

Do Your Research

  • Google – “Artist in Residence Programs” and find places that interest you.
  • Make sure it’s a good fit and that you’ll get something out of it.
  • Go over the logistics.
    How will you get there?
    What will you do once you’re there?
    Will it be easy to get food and gas?
    Will there be cell service?


  • They will require samples of your work via both social media and a website portfolio.
  • There is also an ESSAY: 
      What do you want out of this experience?
      How will this benefit you and your career path?
  • You will get rejected.  Some programs have 25,000 applicants for 10 openings.
  • Don’t get discouraged.  Tweak your essay and keep applying.
  • Talk to previous artists who have been accepted for this program. 
  • Look into alternate sources of funding:  grants, gofundme, kickstarter…

“Be prepared for the time of your life.”

Finding Randy




Mentioned on the Show

CaFÉ – CallForEntry.org

Episode #11 Kickstarter for a Photo Project with Gareth Rockliffe


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