Our six-week residency program is centered on working with faculty mentors and visiting artists in intimate group settings and studio visits. As our faculty engage in multiple disciplines, this program is open to all artists—without any media or educational restrictions. If you are creative, curious, hard-working, generous, and 21+ years of age, we are interested in having you. We welcome experimentation and research coupled with group participation toward self-reflection.
This program centers on the artist rather than the production of artwork of any completion. Each season, we begin with an artists-in-residence exhibition in one of the 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.
We pride on creating opportunities for artists and believe in the empowerment of artists. Our mission is to make space for them to experiment, learn, and absorb as many resources as we can share. Artists-in-residence will have the option to participate during events such as Open Studio Day and Art in the Park. We also encourage artists to take advantage of the open outdoor spaces at the School of Art to host events and performances. And 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.
Although we offer the opportunity for sustained and focused time for research, experimentation, engagement, intergenerational interaction with different fields in the arts, and offer art writing and performance typically not available in traditional academic settings—this program is not designed for everyone.
Those who need continual instruction, or those who cannot work in a community setting, may find the enthusiastic nature of the program difficult to adjust to. But for artists who think about their work 24/7, are hungry to engage with exceptionally serious artists and collectively gather in a generous community—the summer at Chautauqua is an invaluable experience.
Working with Faculty & Visiting Artists
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 and visiting artists.
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 contemporary thought-leaders. In addition to working with exceptional artists, critics, curators, and the like, our residency offers access to Chautauqua Institution’s incredible programming, including lectures, events, and more.
See our Faculty & Visiting Artists.
See our Lectures & Events.
Each artist-in-residence has 24/7 access to all communal facilities at the School of Art. These facilities include: a ceramic center, printmaking studio, silkscreen shop, drawing studio, digital media studio, woodshop, outdoor sculpture pad, and plenty of outdoor space to make or perform. We also have a small library of contemporary art books located in the School of Art office.
Monitors and technicians are on-site during scheduled hours for the ceramic center, printmaking studio, and digital media studio. Separate from the residency program, CVA offers public enrichment classes that take place in these facilities.These classes are a part of CHQ Institution’s Special Studies programming. If the class roster is not full, artists-in-residence can sign-up for the class. Class fees will be waived, however, there may be a materials fee.
See our Facilities.
See our Special Studies classes.
Each artist will receive 24/7 access to their own studio space that is between 50 to 100 square feet on average. The studios are a convenient distance from living quarters at Bellinger Hall.
The studio spaces are partitioned and have an open floor plan. Each one comes with a table, chair, fan, and plenty of wall space. Windows encase each studio building, so they all receive an ample amount of sunlight. Each studio building is equipped with fluorescent lights.
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?
Please check back in winter of 2023 for information on the 2024 residency program.
Am I eligible to apply to the Chautauqua School of Art residency program?
If you are 21 years of age or older, you are eligible to apply. No college experience necessary. If you are a CVA alumnus from 2020–22, please wait three years to apply again. If you are creative and want to spend six 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. Each person must indicate on the application that they are applying as one member of the team, naming the others on each application. 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 two mentors 3–4 hours weekly throughout the program, attend as many CVA lectures as you can, sign up for studio visits, attend group meetings as necessary, and be 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.
Are the grounds available for use?
We welcome participants to use the grounds of the Art Quad, which are vast. Artists may also seek permission to use other grounds at Chautauqua Institution for pop-up events.
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 Institution, there is a fee to enter on the grounds. However, our residency program includes the cost of this gate pass in the tuition.
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?
Yes! You have 24/7 access to your studio and our facilities.
Can I bring my family to Chautauqua?
Yes! However, your family will have to purchase gate passes to attend any CHQ Institution programming.
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-term 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 us at email@example.com with your questions.
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
Please check back in winter of 2023 for tuition and fees for the 2024 residency 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Chip McCall, the CVA Manager at email@example.com. Thank you for your interest!
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.