Whether you decide to take an online photography class or you sign up for a course at a bricks and mortar educational institution, residencies can provide an added dimension to your photography work. They offer you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in your craft within a supportive and robust environment. You’ll be able to hone your photography skills under the watchful tutelage of your teacher, network with fellow photographers and devote extensive time to perfecting your technique. The following residencies are scattered across the United States, but they each offer you something out of the ordinary. In order to take your skills to the next level, consider enrolling in one during the summer of 2016.
School of Visual Arts
Located in the heart of New York City, School of Visual Arts is slated to offer two intensive residency sessions for summer 2016: June 2 – July 2 and July 7 – August 7. With access to facilities such as digital imaging centers, studio lighting systems, color printing facilities and an array of studio equipment six days a week — as well as a distinguished faculty — students focus primarily on advancing the content of their work through lectures, gallery visits, group critiques, museum trips and one-on-one analysis.
The 18th Street Arts Center
Located just blocks from the beach in vibrant and bustling Santa Monica, California, The 18th Street Arts Center offers several different options for residencies that allow you to craft a unique experience while taking your own life circumstances into account. With their Visiting Artist Residency Program and Mid-Term Artist residency, for example, you can design a summer program that expands your photographic talents in increments of one to three months and one to three years respectively. A third program — their Long-Term Artistry Residency — is by invitation only. If you are chosen for a residency, expect to delve deeply into your creativity stores by exploring issues such as beauty, social consciousness, diversity and community.
Situated on five acres next to a stunning 50-acre prairie in Lake Forest, Illinois, Ragdale welcomes an array of different artists types and experience levels within their 18 and 25 day residences. In addition to a private room and studio space, photographers can also tap into other resources such as feedback from their fellow artists, cultural resources from Milwaukee and Chicago — which are within easy traveling distance — and uninterrupted time in which to create. The Ragdale Curatorial Board juries applications on an annual basis.
Though vastly different in nature, the three residencies highlighted above serve to jumpstart your creative juices. They also alert you to the possibilities that exist for you to expand your photographic talents in 2016. One important note that applies to any residency that you might be interested in is to apply early. Many residencies are booked up months, or even years, in advance or feature committees that meet only infrequently to assess the suitability of applicants.