The Fleur and Charles Bresler Artist Residency
In honor of VisArts patrons, Fleur and Charles Bresler, VisArts invites applications and proposals from local, national, and international artists for a four month residency at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland. This residency provides a unique opportunity for a dynamic individual artist or collaborative artist team to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment. Studio space is provided free of charge. Artists receive a monthly stipend of $500. The residency encourages interaction, dialogue and exploration both within the VisArts artist community and the larger Rockville community as well. The residency offers the gift of time and space to three artists and/or collaborative artist teams each year to experiment and realize new work. Each year the current Bresler Resident Artists present their work in a solo project exhibitions at VisArts.
VisArts is an independent non-profit art center located in the heart of Rockville Town Square, a thriving gathering place for the local community. VisArts presents exhibitions of contemporary emerging and established artists in four galleries, an Emerging Curator Program, a Studio Artist Program, and an Art Education Program making it an active and important presence in the greater metropolitan arts community. Rockville offers easy access to public transit to Washington, D.C. via the Red Line Metro, an excellent bus system, bike trails, and parking.
The Bresler Residency does not provide housing for artists. Please contact VisArts directly for resources regarding housing during the residency period.
Current Call Overview
The current call is for artists or collaborative artist teams whose primary practice is sound, new media and/or photography centering on environmental, social, racial, and economic justice. Artists must be prepared to use online platforms in place of face to face community gatherings due to pandemic safety concerns. Please be sure to include ideas for online engagement in your project description.
With civil unrest rocking the nation, a pandemic that has killed over 140,000, over 40 million unemployed, and progressing climate change, there is a desperate need for active re-imaginings of the future and immediate engagement with the invisibilities of the present. The precarities and inequities rooted in our systems have been exposed. To face these challenges and offer expressions of hope, solidarity, and mutual aid what can we do as artists and arts organizations? How do we focus our efforts and work together for a sustainable anti-racist future that enlists creativity as an essential civic tool while staying safe and healthy? What can we do now and over the long haul within and between communities to make change?
VisArts is committed to responding to these questions by continuing to explore the potential of art to transform individuals and communities, engage radical imaginations, build safe and equitable spaces for artists and audiences, and cultivate trust, empathy, creativity, and diversity. VisArts is located on Gibbs Street in the center of Rockville, Maryland. Gibbs Street is named in honor of William Gibbs, Jr. whose advocacy of equal pay for African-American teachers in Montgomery County led to a precedent setting case with Thurgood Marshall as one of the lead attorneys.
2022 Bresler Resident Artists will engage with the VisArts Social Justice Curatorial Fellow/Visual Activist who will write a contextual essay for the solo project exhibitions, visit studios, and engage with artists throughout their residencies.
The Bresler Resident Artist is encouraged to initiate community outreach with the VisArts and greater Rockville communities. Rockville is a progressive, diverse city in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It ranks nationally and state-wide as a leader in environmental sustainability and green power use. Rockville is recognized for its high quality of life, excellent schools, numerous public parks, well-educated, and culturally diverse population. Artists are encouraged to engage with local resources including: Gibbs Street and history of William B. Gibbs, Jr., Rockville African-American history and heritage, City of Rockville, Beall-Dawson House and Museum, Montgomery College Visual and Performing Arts Departments, Montgomery College and local schools, Montgomery County Public Library, Potomac River/Rock Creek watershed, Rock Creek National Par, historic sites, organizations and groups in the DMV, support for virtual/on line experiences for a wide array of audiences ages and cultural orientations within Rockville’s very diverse community.
Call for Applications opens: August 31, 2021
Deadline: November 19, 2021
Available Residency Dates:
January 14 - May 13, 2022
May 16 – September 16, 2022
September 19 , 2022 - January 13, 2023
2022 Bresler Resident Artist Exhibition: January 2023 – March 2023
Each year the Bresler Residency will focus on artists whose primary residency practice will involve the following:
- 2022 - Sound, video, new media, photography apply with projects centered on environmental, social, racial, and economic justice.
Terms of Residency: The Bresler Resident Artist is expected to meet the following during the residency period:
- Covid-19 related safety measures will be updated with the most current protocol as needed. Currently all artists in studios at VisArts are required to wear masks unless they are alone in their studios with the door closed. The galleries on the same floor as the studios are open by appointment with a maximum of six visitors at a time who maintain at least a distance of six meters from on another. Artists may invite guests to their studios but gallery director must be notified of date and time. All guests must wear masks and social distance. The bathrooms and hallways are cleaned regularly. Artists must take care to wipe down surfaces in their studios and door handles and to wash their hands regularly.
- Work in the studio at VisArts for a minimum of 28 hours/week.
- Attend bi-weekly gatherings of the VisArts Studio Artists (possibilities include pot-luck lunches/crit sessions/studio visits by visiting artists, critics, and curators. A schedule will be provided.)
- Welcome the public during exhibition opening receptions or at scheduled Open Studio events.
- Attend artist talks and gallery opening receptions.
- Present an artist talk, workshop, screening, and/or other mutually agreed upon public event that engages the VisArts and greater Rockville communities and resources.
- Participate in an Annual Bresler Resident Artist Exhibition of work created independently or collaboratively during the residency.
- Qualified applicants are professional individual artists or collaborative artist teams over the age of 18; the program is not designed for undergraduate students or commercial artists.
- Artists working in all media are welcome to apply, but VisArts cannot support the use of hazardous materials that require specific ventilation requirements.
- The studio may be used only for art-making activities.
- The Bresler Resident Artist will be provided with a 169 square foot studio, free of charge, for a period of four months. Each studio is equipped with a sink, Wi-Fi connection and abundant natural light. Studio access is 24/7 except during special VisArts events (advance notice will be given). The artist must provide his/her own studio furniture.
- The Bresler Resident Artist is responsible for maintaining the studio in a safe and reasonably tidy manner, and will not make alterations to the space without permission. The artist must leave the studio in the state in which it was found and remove all belongings at the end of the residency.
- The Bresler Resident Artist is responsible for acquisition, insurance, and care of his/her materials and equipment. Artists who wish to have kilns and other equipment that create additional electrical use must obtain permission for each piece of equipment that they wish to use in their studios.
Application and Selection Process
Required materials include:
- Images: Submit 7 images of work produced during the last three years. Work samples can be a combination of high resolution jpgs, pdfs, and time-based media (*up to 10 minutes total). *For collaborative teams, 7 images of collaborative work are required as well as a statement of the collaborative nature of the work. *Two minutes of video, film, sound or performance documentation = one work. Artists may choose to include links to Vimeo or You Tube public accounts for time-based work samples.
- Image Requirements: You may submit up to 7 images. They must be in .jpg, .tiff, .png, pdf or .gif file format. Minimum image resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Maximum file size 5MB per image. Files must be labeled in the following way: last name_title of artwork_1.ext, last name_title of artwork_2.ext, etc. The file number corresponds with the number on the list of works. (Ex. Jane Doe_Untitled_1.jpg)
- List of Works Form- Numbered list of artworks with the following information: artist name, title of artwork, year, dimensions, a description of artwork is optional.
- Brief Artist Bio (100 words max.)
- Artist Statement (100 words max.)
- Contact info for two references
- Residency proposal: Describe your project, goals for the residency, and how you might engage with the community or use community resources. You may include a drawing or representative images to help describe your specific proposal. (250 words max.) The project must be centered around environmental, social, racial, economic justice.
- Please indicate preferred residency dates (first and second choice):
January 14 - May 13, 2022
May 16 – September 16, 2022
September 19 , 2022 - January 13, 2023
All applications will be reviewed by a panel of artists and arts professionals.
Located in the heart of Rockville, Maryland, VisArts is a hub for the visual arts that engages nearly 30,000 visitors annually through gallery exhibitions, education programs, a studio artist program, and events. Founded in 1987, VisArts is committed to a mission of transforming individuals and communities through the visual arts.
VisArts Emerging Curator Program 2022
Application Deadline: November 1, 2021, midnight
VisArts invites applications from emerging curators to work with an experienced mentoring curator to develop and present an exhibition.
The VisArts Emerging Curator Program offers a unique opportunity for an emerging curator or artist with an interest in exhibition making or curating to work with an experienced mentoring curator to develop and present an exhibition and to assist in the presentation of the mentor’s exhibition. In an effort to develop expanded education programming/enhanced visitor experiences, the 2022 Emerging Curator and the Mentoring Curator will also focus on developing tools to support public programming that promotes social interaction, creative exchange and audience engagement.
VisArts will provide the Emerging Curator with budget of $10,000 to cover exhibition costs and curatorial fee. Additional funding and staff support for printing, promotions, and execution of exhibition programming is available. The program is one year and will begin in January 2022.
International applicants must be eligible to work in the United States, VisArts is unable to provide or assist with visas.
The selection panel includes the VisArts’ Curator, Artist Advisory Council, Gallery Committee and 2022 Mentoring Curator.
The 2022 Mentoring Curator is Sofía Gallisá Muriente.
ia Gallisá Muriente is a visual artist working through multiple approaches to documentation, deepening the subjectivity of historical narratives and examining formal and informal archives, popular imaginaries and visual culture. She studied Film & TV Production and Latin American Studies at New York University and has participated in experimental pedagogical platforms led by artists, like Anhoek School and Beta-Local’s La Práctica, substituting graduate studies with a process of learning and unlearning with others. She has been a resident artist of Museo La Ene (Argentina), Alice Yard (Trinidad & Tobago), Solar (Tenerife), and Catapult, as well as a fellow of the Flaherty Seminar and the Smithsonian Institute. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Art in America, Terremoto, and Hyperallergic, and earned her grants from TEOR/éTica and NALAC. She has exhibited in the Whitney Biennial, the Queens Museum, ifa Galerie in Berlin, MALBA in Argentina and CCA Glasgow, and Puerto Rican galleries like Km 0.2, El Lobi, Diagonal and Embajada. From 2014 to 2020, she was Co-director of the artist-run, non-profit organization Beta-Local, dedicated to fostering knowledge exchange and transdisciplinary practices in Puerto Rico. She is currently a fellow of the Puerto Rican Arts Initiative and the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC.
During the yearlong program, the Curatorial team (Mentor Curator and Emerging Curator) will:
- Conduct curatorial research;
- Develop a cohesive and compelling exhibition proposal;
- Develop writing skills for catalogs and other printed and online materials;
- Develop budgets for executing exhibitions and exhibition programming;
- Communicate with artists and lending institutions - developing contracts and loan information;
- Research and develop a plan for incorporating technology upgrades to gallery programming through website enhancements, use of tablets and apps, and production of video and audio materials;
- Design and implement educational exhibition programming and outreach activities that engage artists, curators and public audience of all ages;
- Develop sponsorship/fundraising initiatives to support the exhibition programming (if needed);
- Oversee exhibition design and installation; and,
- Develop marketing and public relations materials - press releases, website presence, social networking and print media supporting the exhibition.
The VisArts Emerging Curator Program provides emerging curators with practical, hands-on experience at a community arts organization. It is designed to support diverse exhibitions presenting a broad spectrum of ideas and curatorial approaches. In addition, it enhances the VisArts exhibition experience by developing educational opportunities, public programming and opportunities for community engagement through expanded use of interactive interpretive media in its gallery program.
Applicants do not need to have a fully realized curatorial proposal, though we are interested in getting a sense of your interests, tastes, and sensibilities. The formal proposal will be developed with the support and guidance of the mentoring curator and the VisArts Gallery Department.
To apply online, create an account below and complete the form.
Applicants must supply the following:
1. Application form
3. Evidence of past curatorial projects:
- Up to 10 still images
- Up to 5 minutes of Video and Audio Tracks (We accept: URL addresses,Soundclouds, or Playable DVDs posted to VisArts.)
- List of images with artist name, title, year, medium, and descriptive information
- Supporting PDF documents
4. A statement that addresses the following:
- What makes presenting an exhibition in a non-profit community arts center with the guidance of a mentor an ideal opportunity?
- What do you hope to achieve with this exhibition and mentoring program?
- What do you consider your curatorial intentions or interests in regards to exhibition making?
- How do you envision enriching the audience experience?
- How would you engage the community?
- What sorts of programming and content delivery would you like to see paired with exhibitions?
Application deadline: November 1, 2021
Finalists Notified: November 11, 2021
Finalist Interviews: November 17 - 19, 2021
Emerging Curator Notified: November 24, 2021
Length of Program: January 2022 – January 2023 (Detailed Schedule TBD)
Emerging Curator Exhibition: November 9, 2022 - January 8, 2023
Mentoring Curator Exhibition: September 2 - October 23, 2022
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: MUTUAL AID
F.E.A.S.T. at VisArts 2021
Application Deadline: October 1, 2021
Throughout the pandemic individuals have participated in supporting their community through actions spanning from helping a neighbor to creating a new free grocery delivery service. Artists and makers have dedicated their creative efforts for projects like the Auntie Sewing Squad, B'more Community Fridge, and the Wherewithal Grants distributed by WPA. The outpouring of altruism and empathy many felt during the past year has helped to protect individuals and communities in the midst of disaster. While we have each been permanently changed as a result of covid-19, the feeling of urgency is beginning to fade, as it often does after a crisis.
As a result we ask:
What if mutual aid organizations are the ones setting the precedent for a model of support?
How can we continue to nurture the treasured generosity we have seen since March of 2020?
How can we sustain mutual aid practices into our new future?
F.E.A.S.T. 2021 encourages artists, thinkers, and organizations to expand their everyday practice and create project proposals that address the theme of MUTUAL AID. Imaginative, sustainable, and provocative projects that explore mutual aid are welcome! F.E.A.S.T. 2021 advocates for proposals that join art with social, cultural, political, economic, historic, and environmental dynamics.
Project proposals offer opportunities for creative interaction within or between our communities. Great ideas specific to one community may also inspire action in another.
- Restore active relationships with a wider community!
- Cultivate many-sided experiences!
- Join diverse partners for inclusive investigations!
- Continue the generation of empathy and engagement!
Proposals are evaluated for artistic innovation, community impact, feasibility, proposal clarity, and content.
F.E.A.S.T. at VisArts (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics) is a bridge between artists and the community. F.E.A.S.T. is designed to use community-driven financial support to democratically fund projects that use art and creative thinking to impact the community. Participants will listen to & review a series of project proposals and converse with the artists and thinkers behind each idea. Attendees cast a vote for their favorite proposal, and by the end of the event, the artist who garners the most votes is awarded a grant comprised of the event donations. This year we will be hosting a virtual F.E.A.S.T. over Zoom. Tickets by donation, $15 minimum, 100% of donations go to fund the micro grant of up to $2000.
F.E.A.S.T. at VisArts is based on F.E.A.S.T. in Brooklyn’s (www.feastinbklyn.org) model for sustaining artist projects directly through community participation.
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How to Submit a Proposal
You and your collaborators do not have to live in Rockville to submit a proposal. Great survival vision in one place may fit perfectly in another place. Please consider the site you envision for your proposal. Projects that blend mutual aid with practical, poetic, utopian, or idealist ideas will help frame, visualize, and shape ideas about survival.
Projects that may receive funding represent a diverse cross section of contemporary artistic, social, design and scientific practices. Performances, community events, visual, sonic, tactile, olfactory discoveries, documents, parades, paths, maps, participatory actions, poetic data analysis, interviews, stories, games, architecture, walks, teach-ins, platforms, songs, games, gardens, clothing… No project or medium is incongruous with F.E.A.S.T. We encourage artists, thinkers and organizations to move outside their everyday practice and produce work that encourages situations where interaction and participation are essential.
Application content must include answers to all of the following questions:
1. Title: What is your project’s name?
2. Summary: Describe your project in 250 words or less. Include statements on:
· What will the F.E.A.S.T. funds be used for?
· How will this project be implemented?
· How does the project address the theme of MUTUAL AID?
· Who is the community you are addressing? What is the community significance of your project?
3. One sentence each:
- F.E.A.S.T. Funding Request: How much will you need to do this (up to $2000) and how will you be spending the micro-grant?
- Project Budget: If your project costs are greater than what you have requested, please briefly state how you will be able to implement your project.
- Timeframe: How long is this project going to take?
- Location: Where will this take place?
4. Image(s): Attach up to five images to represent your project (300 dpi, no larger than 2 MB) and any relevant URLs. Please include a description of the image.
Proposals are evaluated on these terms:
- Artistic Innovation
- Community Impact
- Proposal clarity and content
Only complete proposals will be reviewed.
Only finalists will be invited to the F.E.A.S.T. This year’s event will be entirely virtual.
Applicants will be notified in October, 2021 if they are finalists.
Artists who submit proposals must be present virtually at the October 24, 2021 F.E.A.S.T. to be eligible to appear on the ballot. This event will take place from 1:00 - 3:30 PM.
Should you win a F.E.A.S.T. grant, you must attend the next F.E.A.S.T. at VisArts (2022) to discuss the progress of your project.
Questions or advice: Feel free to contact email@example.com