In thinking about starting an artist residency, I'm reviewing the experiences I've personally had at two residencies: Cill Rialaig in southwestern Ireland and the Centre Pompadour in northern France. I also took an Intro to Hospitality course at Mesa College last semester, and the professor allowed me to write most of my papers on artist residencies and similar "resorts." I learned A LOT.
What needs to be considered when planning a residency? First is to make sure it is financially viable. Every residency has to have funding, whether it is for-profit or non-profit. The rent/mortgage must be paid. Employees, insurance, infrastructure, taxes, PR... artists may not want to think about these things, but residencies are a type of hotel, and hotels don't run themselves for free.
Each residency is unique in the way time and space are configured. How and where do residents meet each other and the hosts? How do artists interact with the physical space, the land, the weather, the surrounding area? What will make the Desert Dairy unique from other residencies, especially the existing residency in Joshua Tree?
In coming posts I'll think about these questions. For the next year we'll be scheduling mini-residencies and workshops, asking artists and others to come and use the space to help us figure out how to best serve our guests, and about how to heal the land. We will ask for time and a bit of labor in exchange for using our property. Are you interested in helping out, when the weather cools off a bit? Let us know.
Anna does most of the writing. Ted does most of the photos. But sometimes we switch. We are repairing a distressed property in 29 Palms, California, and eventually hope to run an artist residency there.