*Accepted applicants who would like to take full advantage of Chautauqua Institution’s 9 week calendar now have that opportunity. For the first time, we are offering the option of renting studios the week before (June 18 – 25, 2022) and two weeks after (August 13 – 26, 2022) the residency program for a nominal fee to ensure an extensive total 9 week season at Chautauqua Institution.
The Chautauqua School of Art residency program is a centerpiece of the Chautauqua Visual Arts (CVA). Founded in 1909, the School is an incubator of inclusive and expansive programming in the visual arts composed of workshops and one-on-one time with mentors covering all media. The curriculum intentionally breaks apart the traditional methods that silo disciplines from each other and instead embraces a full range of studio and pragmatic studies including professional development for artists, the art of pedagogy, writing in the 21st century, archiving and the relevance of art history today. Our program is inclusive, which is reflected not only by our team who teach at Chautauqua Visual Arts but also conveyed by the knowledge they share.
The Chautauqua School of Art residency program is centered on working with thought leaders in small and intimate group settings which emphasize one-on-one conversation. Artists in our program will interact with lead faculty mentors who are in residence over the course of the residency and visiting artists that come for short stints throughout the seven weeks.
Because our mentors wear multiple hats as they engage in multiple disciplines, this residency program is open to all—without any media or educational restrictions. If you are creative, curious, hard-working, and generous, we are interested in having you. We welcome experimentation and research coupled with group participation toward self-reflection.
Facilities at the School of Art include a fully-equipped ceramic facility, fully-equipped printmaking studio, digital media studio, drawing room, outdoor sculpture facility with welding equipment, and plenty of outdoor space to make work, experiment and host pop-up events. We have Technicians on-site to assist, too. To see more details about our studios and facilities, please check out our Facilities page.
In addition to working with exceptional artists, critics, curators and the like, a residency at Chautauqua Institution offers access to all of its incredible programming, including lectures, events, and more. Once we start a relationship with a participant of our program, we continue the support with programs that keep alumni connected and provide resources beyond their time with us. Check out our Alumni and Resources pages to see more.
CVA offers the opportunity for the kind of sustained and focused time for research, experimentation, engagement, intergenerational interaction with different fields in the arts, art writing and performance that is not available in academic settings, but the program is not designed for everyone. Those who need continual instruction or those who cannot work in a community setting may find the requirement for self-motivation and the enthusiastic nature of the program difficult to adjust to. But for those artists who think about their work 24/7 and are hungry to engage with exceptionally serious artists, collectively gather in a generous community, and a public who is eager to learn from and be inspired by artists, Chautauqua in the summer is an invaluable experience.
Working with Lead Faculty
Each artist-in-residence is required to work with at least two lead faculty of their choice, 3-4 hours a week, in group sessions. The mentors teach and share out of their own practices and each session is limited to 20 artists-in-residence. Artists can work with as many or as few as two faculty mentors for the entire season.
Artists will also have the option to sign up for one-on-one studio visits with any of our lead faculty. As our program emphasizes community, we ask participants to be a part of group conversations, lectures, pop-up talks and meetings. This is a rare and unique opportunity to share and develop your work with thought-leaders and change-makers of today.
Check out our Lead Faculty page to read more about who they are.
Each artist will receive a partitioned studio space with 24-hour access to their studios and all facilities at the School of Art. Studio spaces are, on average, between 50 and 100 square feet and come with tables, chairs and wall space. The studios are cubicles that are open, with walls that separate each individual studio. We also have ample outdoor spaces to build, perform and experiment.
Our residency program centers on the artist rather than the production of artwork of any completion. Each season we start with an Artists-in-Residence exhibition in one of our CVA Galleries, with work that was completed before the residency, so there are no expectations to complete an artwork by the end of the residency program.
Check out the Exhibitions page to see past School of Art exhibitions.
Please find more information on our program by pressing the tab button to the left of each topic. Happy reading!
What are the dates of the program?
June 26–August 12, 2022. The program starts on Sunday, June 26 at 10 a.m. and we require you to arrive either Friday, June 24 or Saturday, June 25 to be sure you’re somewhat settled before we start. In addition, for the first time, we will offer advanced use of our studios the week before (starting June 18) for only $100 in addition to free housing. There will be an option on the application if you wish to take advantage of this. You may also stay two more weeks with the option of discounted housing (unfortunately, we cannot provide housing for free after August 12) and $100 per week for studios through August 27.
Am I eligible to apply to the Chautauqua School of Art (SOA) residency program?
If you are 21 years of age or older, you are eligible to apply. No college experience necessary. If you are a SOA alumnus from 2019 to present, please wait 3 years to apply again. If you are creative and want to spend 7 weeks with us, apply!
What are the application requirements to apply?
See our application requirements and jurying process here.
Are collaborative teams eligible to apply and attend?
Yes, however, we ask each collaborator to apply separately and each person indicates on the application you are applying as one member of your team, naming the others on each of your applications. In addition, collaborators are expected to share a room together and fees are charged per individual in the collective (not one fee for the team).
What are the requirements to complete the residency program?
We require you to work with at least 2 mentors 3 hours each per week through 7 weeks, open studios, all of the visiting artist lectures and encourage you to attend many events Chautauqua Institution offers throughout the season. We also require group meetings as necessary, and just being present!
How is this program different from other residency programs?
We offer a unique experience to work with thought leaders in the visual arts as well as collaborative experiences with many art forms such as theater, dance and opera. We do not divide in any way: anyone who deems themselves creative can apply to our program. We are interested in working with artists who want to integrate further in society, sustain their creative lives and contribute to our community. We believe in the empowerment of artists and our mission is to make space for them to experiment, learn and absorb as many resources as we can share.
What kind of housing is available during the residency?
We offer dorm-like housing at Bellinger Hall where rooms are shared with other residents. You can request preferences. In addition, we offer suggestions of off-site housing for families. Unfortunately, we cannot cover the additional costs for any housing other than housing at Bellinger Hall. We welcome families to visit.
What kind of food will be served during the residency?
We have cafeteria-style food offered at Bellinger Hall for participants of all schools. Dietary requests are received and we try the best we can to meet them.
What kind of studios and facilities are available at Chautauqua?
You can see our facilities on our website here. Our studios are open and open to the public to visit. If you don’t see something you need in our facilities, please inquire and we will assist in trying to accommodate your request.
Are the grounds available to use?
We welcome participants to use the grounds of the Quad which are vast. Participants may also seek permission to use other grounds at Chautauqua Institution for pop-up events. We also welcome collaborative experiences with Theater, Dance, Music and Opera and their facilities.
Why is there a gate and a gate pass required to enter?
Because there are many programs, performances and lectures that occur everyday at Chautauqua, there is a fee to enter on the grounds. However, the CSOA residency program includes a gate pass worth over $5,000 for the summer.
I just want to make work in isolation. Can I do that at Chautauqua?
If you want to be completely isolated, this residency isn’t for you. We recommend artists who are community minded, open and want to share to apply.
Will I have any time to actually work in my studio?
Oh, yes! You have 24-hour access to your studios and facilities. In addition to all of the events, performances, sessions with mentors, one-on-one visits, you will have ample time in this intense 7-week residency.
Can I bring my family to Chautauqua?
Yes! However, your family will have to purchase gate passes to attend any programs.
What happens after I attend the Chautauqua School of Art residency program?
We continue to stay in touch as much as possible and give as many opportunities as we can to our alumni including returning to the CVA to learn to teach (especially for those who haven’t had such opportunities) or work with us in our galleries as we are an incubator for growth and learning; share their work on our website, exhibition opportunities, events, share Alumni news, make connections and more. We believe in long relationships with our alumni and welcome them back to visit.
I have some questions that are not being answered here. May I talk with someone with my specific questions?
Of course! We welcome your questions! Please write to Chip McCall, our CVA Assistant Director at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. If your inquiries are not answered, we would be happy to arrange for a time to talk with you on the phone. Please provide your telephone number when you email us. Thank you!
The CVA Lecture Series
We have lectures on Sunday evenings at 5 p.m. EST each week of the summer season with various thought leaders in the visual arts to discuss the most relevant cultural topics in the arts today. These lectures include our annual Leon and Gloria Plevin Family Museum Director Lecture and our annual Alumni Lecture. Each lecture is free and open to the public, everyone is welcome.
Through the seven-week session, we offer community classes including ceramics, printmaking, encaustics, weaving, drawing, painting, landscape painting, figure drawing and more. We also host guest speakers to conduct one-day workshops that are challenging and engaging.
Participating artists will receive contemporary, nuanced, reality-based, peer-to-peer professional development workshops from Sharon Louden, Sydelle Sonkin and Herb Siegel Artistic Director, and guest speakers while at Chautauqua the first, middle and last weeks of the season. Past guest speakers include Ruby Lerner, Melissa Potter, Jen Dalton, Brett Wallace, Edwige Charlot, Christina Wong Yap, Sascha Gianella and more. This type of Professional Development includes adopting basic tools, however, the overall emphasis is community building and pragmatic approaches to sustaining a creative life.
CVA encourages collaborations between different fields, schools, artists and disciplines. We encourage collaborative projects and experimentation. We have also developed partnerships with schools and museums to bring a diverse and talented population of students and emerging artists to the Chautauqua School of Art.
Pop-ups, impromptu gatherings, performances — experimentation in all forms is welcomed and strongly encouraged. Participants who attend the residency are encouraged to push boundaries and use resources at Chautauqua to discover more about themselves and their work. In 2019, we had our first Drag Show, mixers with members of the Chautauqua Theater and Opera companies, and gatherings with community members through our visual arts affinity group. In 2020, participants created their own newsletter, gathered virtually independently of the program and met with those who lived in their region. in 2021, Raheleh Filsoofi, one of our Lead Faculty members organized a community dinner with ceramic plates and bowls handmade by participants of our residency program and food collected and made by them as well. Check out our events page and our Instagram to see some of the past participants and gatherings.
We offer dorm-like housing at Bellinger Hall where rooms are shared with other artists-in-residence. You can request preferences. Bellinger Hall is located on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution and is a short walking distance from the School of Art’s studios and facilities. Each room comes with a bed, desk and closet for each artist-in-residence.
In addition, we welcome families to visit and can offer suggestions of off-site housing for families. Unfortunately, we cannot cover the additional costs for any housing other than housing at Bellinger Hall at this time.
Tuition and Other Fees
The costs for these benefits and programming for 2022 are broken down this way:
- Tuition $2,500 (includes one-on-one sessions with lead faculty, visiting artists and staff; all lead faculty sessions; professional development and more)
- Gate Pass $270 (heavily discounted!)
- Registration Fee and gym access (including a pool, walking distance from the School of Art): $110
- Room $750 (shared room in Bellinger Hall)
- Meals $1,400* (cafeteria-style meals)
*Note: this is an estimate of the cost of meals.
**Please also note that accepted students/participants in the program will have to submit a deposit for their lodging as well as a separate deposit of $250 to ensure their commitment through the entire program.
FUNDING IS AVAILABLE. For information about funding, please see the Scholarships & Funding tab below on this page. Thank you!
Scholarships & Funding
Funding from CVA comes in the form of full or partial scholarships that are sourced from individual donors and institutional partnerships. Each person who receives funding must comply with work assistance and tasks such as basic chores, assisting mentors and staff, studio maintenance and other duties up to 10 hours per week at an assigned job. Participants who accept financial assistance and do not satisfactorily fulfill obligations will be dismissed from the program with no refund. All participants who receive full financial assistance are required to contribute to the full 10 hours/week.
We also require all participants who receive financial aid from an organization, school or various institutions, to share the pedagogy they have learned and their experience at CVA at the institution which contributed to their visit.
In 2019, for the first time in the history of the CVA, we awarded 36 out of 38 participants full scholarships, and in 2020, all 38 individuals received full funding. We welcome donors and partners to contribute to our need to fund participants, especially those who would not necessarily have the opportunity to join us. You can see our current list of partnerships here. If you are interested in more information or want to be a part of our Partnerships program, please contact the CVA Artistic Director Sharon Louden at email@example.com or Chip McCall, the CVA Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest!
What They’re Saying About Us
Click here to read about Chautauqua Visual Arts in the news.
Arriving to Chautauqua
Chautauqua Institution is located in the southwestern corner of New York State.
If you choose to fly to Chautauqua, the closest airports are the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (70 miles northeast) and Erie International Airport (40 miles west). Getting to Chautauqua by train is also another option. There are Amtrak Train Stations in both Buffalo, NY (77 miles northeast) and Erie, PA (38 miles west).
From both train stations and airports, you will still need to travel the rest of the way to Chautauqua by car or bus. Bus service includes Coach USA (Buffalo to Jamestown 716-665-3076), and Chautauqua Area Rural Transit (Chautauqua County; 1-800-556-8553 in Dunkirk).
Chautauqua Institution’s address is:
1 Ames Ave
For questions or information on housing and transportation, please reach out to: Sarah Malinoski-Umberger. Manager, Chautauqua Schools of Performing and Visual Arts. (716) 357-6233
Getting Around Chautauqua
Chautauqua is primarily a pedestrian community with very narrow streets. The Institution provides regularly scheduled complimentary shuttle bus and tram service in the Main Lot and on the grounds during the season. The School of Art can offer a golf cart for occasional transportation around the grounds and for large items or artwork that need to be transported at any point. Many people enjoy biking around the grounds and we can provide a limited number of communal bikes for our artists to enjoy.
Transportation for outside of the grounds of the Institution is limited. If you have a car, you are more than welcome to bring it and we will provide you with a complimentary parking pass. We can provide transportation on occasion if you need to do some shopping outside of the grounds. Items may also be shipped to Chautauqua*. Paper is available for purchase for any printmaking needs.
Art Supply Stores within vicinity of Chautauqua:
- Home Depot (14 mi)
- Michaels (13 mi)
- JOANN Fabric & Crafts (13 mi)
- Cala Lily Yarn Shop (11 mi)
- Walmart (13 mi)
*Mailing address is different than Chautauqua Institution’s address
We offer a meal plan with various dietary options for our artists-in-residence at Bellinger Hall with cafeteria-style dining. In addition, there are other restaurants located on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution. You can also get freshly cooked meals, fruits, vegetables, bread and other farm fresh items at the Bestor Fresh Market (Tuesdays, 9AM to 1PM) and the Farmer’s Market on Massey (Mondays – Saturdays, 7AM to 11AM).
We have a Communal Fridge available in the Great Room (in the Art Quad) for our artists-in-residence to share. The Great Room is also stocked with complimentary snacks, coffee and tea.
- Chautauqua School of Art Library – Located on the lower level of the School of Art Office
- The Smith Memorial Library – Chautauqua Institution’s Library
- Plaza Market – Convenience store
- Post Office – Full-service post office
- Chautauqua Bookstore – Books, gifts, apparel
- Women’s Market – Thrifted goods hosted by the Chautauqua Women’s Club
- CHQ Tech Squad – Hardware repair, software support
- Chautauqua Bike Rent – Bicycle rentals and equipment sales
- Elmo Day Spa – Full service day spa
- Chautauqua Health & Fitness Center – Gym and indoor swimming pool
- Outdoor pleasures – Swimming, kayaking, boating