Currently the Bresler Residency cannot provide housing for artists. Please contact VisArts directly for resources regarding housing during the residency period.
The Fleur and Charles Bresler Artist Residency
In honor of patrons Fleur and Charles Bresler, VisArts invites applications and proposals from local, national, and international artists for a four-month residency at our studios in Rockville, Maryland.
· The Bresler Residency provides three dynamic individual artists or collaborative artist teams the gift of time, space, and financial support, along with a unique opportunity to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work, or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment.
· The Bresler Residency encourages interaction, dialogue, experimentation, and exploration with the VisArts artist community and the local community.
· Bresler Residents present their work in solo exhibitions at VisArts.
· VisArts provides studio space free of charge.
· VisArts provides a $500 monthly stipend.
· The Bresler Residency can’t provide artist housing. Please contact Frank McCauley at firstname.lastname@example.org for Bresler Residency housing resources.
VisArts is nonprofit arts center in Rockville, Maryland. We’re the largest visual arts organization in the area and an active, significant presence in the greater metropolitan arts community.
Our contemporary art galleries, artist studios, and 355 POD Space Gallery are located in Rockville Town Square, a thriving gathering place for the local community. VisArts presents exhibitions of contemporary emerging and mid-career artists in our five galleries, along with related programs and events. We also offer Emerging Curator and Studio Artist Programs along with art classes and VisAbility Art Lab, a supported studio for adult emerging artists with disabilities.
Rockville offers easy access to Washington, DC via the Metro’s Red Line, an excellent bus system, and bike trails. Rockville Town Square features a variety of restaurants, bars, shops, a Cambria hotel, and a nearby movie theater.
2023-2024 Bresler Residency Call
The current call is open for artists or collaborative artist teams working across all media and will focus on those whose work centers on environmental, social, racial, and economic justice.
While VisArts is mostly back to pre-Covid operations, we follow CDC, regional, and local guidelines and if there are new pandemics or additional Covid surges, artists must be prepared for online community gatherings in place of face-to-face meetings. Accordingly, we ask that you include ideas for online engagement in your project description.
With recent and ongoing civil unrest, a pandemic that has killed more than six million individuals and caused mass disruptions in employment, and progressing climate change, there’s 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 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. Our main space is on Gibbs Street, named in honor of William Gibbs, Jr., whose advocacy for equal pay for Montgomery County’s African American teachers led to a precedent-setting case for which Associate Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was a lead attorney.
Bresler Residents are encouraged to initiate in person and/or online outreach with the VisArts and greater Rockville communities. Rockville is a progressive, diverse city in the DC metropolitan area. It ranks nationally and statewide as a leader in environmental sustainability and use of green power. Rockville is recognized for its high quality of life, excellent schools, numerous public parks, and well-educated population.
Bresler Residents are also encouraged to engage a variety of audiences, ages, and cultural orientations within the Rockville community, in person and/or online, by accessing and interacting with local resources, including the history of William B. Gibbs, Jr.; the history and heritage of African Americans in Rockville; the City of Rockville; the Beall-Dawson House and Museum; Montgomery College Visual and Performing Arts Departments; Montgomery College and other local schools; the Montgomery County Public Library; the Potomac River/Rock Creek watershed; Rock Creek National Park; historic sites, organizations, and groups in the DC metropolitan area.
September 2023 – January 2024 Bresler Residency + Montgomery College Collaborative Artist-in-Residence (AiR) Partnership
VisArts is proud to announce a new partnership with Montgomery College's Collaborative AiR for our September 2023 – January 2024 Bresler Residency.
During the September 2023-January 2024 Bresler Residency, the selected artist or artist team will, in addition to fulfilling the terms of the Bresler Residency:
- Be embedded in the Rockville and Germantown Montgomery College Art Departments
- Receive an additional $3,000 stipend
- 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 can’t support the use of hazardous materials that require specific ventilation requirements.
Montgomery College is an academic institution committed to promoting equal opportunity and fostering diversity among its students, faculty, and staff.
- September 6, 2022
- November 20, 2022
- January 18 - May 12, 2023
- May 17 - September 15, 2023
- September 20, 2023 - January 12, 2024 (Bresler Residency + Montgomery College Collaborative AiR)
- January - March 2024
Bresler Residency + Montgomery College Collaborative AiR Program Terms
The Montgomery College Collaborative AiR is a three-week program in which a professional artist is embedded in the Rockville and Germantown Art Departments, providing a unique opportunity for students to work directly with contemporary artists other than faculty. Students have the authentic experience of creating artwork for public installation, as part of collaboration with peers, faculty, and the artist, working toward a common goal of a gallery installation or social practice project.
The College has an enrollment of about 60,000 credit and noncredit students and is noted for being one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse community colleges in the nation, with enrolled students from more than 170 countries. The Art Departments encourage proposals that cultivate collaborative work between artists and foundation-level students, expanding their experience with contemporary art concepts.
The program is supported by the Arts Institute at Montgomery College
What We’re Looking For
- We’re seeking individuals or groups with a wide range of artistic practices outside the traditional studio arts foundation curriculum. Proposals should offer a mutually supportive creative learning environment between students, classes, and the artist.
Who May Apply
- Professional artists or artists groups in all visual arts disciplines interested in working with students are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to applicants whose work and proposal expand on the working range of foundation-level teaching.
- A stipend of $3,000 will be available for the three-week AIR, which includes transportation, installation of work, and compensation of time.
- Student materials for any proposed collaboration with students will be supported through a separate budget up to $1,000 and will be determined based on the size and scope of the work.
- Non-residential housing and travel not provided.
Candidates should submit a proposal for collaborative processes and programming that provides foundation-level students with direct hands-on experience in the arts that’s guided by the artist. Programming may include an exhibition of the artist’s work, workshops, talks, field trips and/or any other areas of student art engagement.
The artist will guide students through a direct, hands-on collaborative project in which the students have creative input. The project will culminate with an installation in the Sarah Silberman Gallery.
The artist will present their own creative work (through an artist talk, performance, lecture, and/or exhibition) in an event that is open to the MC community.
Proposals that incorporate a large number of voices/participants are encouraged. Note: most studio classes meet for two hours and 40 minutes, twice a week. MC offers studio classes in Design, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics, Sculpture, and Metals, as well Art History lecture classes, but AiR projects often transcend any perceived boundaries based on media.
Proposals may expand upon the working range of foundation-level teaching, explore interdisciplinary connections, and introduce contemporary art practices.
Depending on the specific project proposal, artists may (Option 1) meet with three classes for three weeks to work on a sustained project, or (Option 2) meet with many classes for a one-time workshop that’s repeated throughout the residency. Some artists choose a combination of Options 1 and 2 to involve as many students as possible.
Accepted artists will work together with the special projects coordinator to tailor the project to the unique needs of our students and the department. The AiR will write a three-week syllabus outlining the activities and outcomes for the project. The special projects coordinator and participating faculty work with the artist in this process.
Availability to Work with Students and Classes (Contact Hours)
- The selected artist/artist team will be expected to be available during scheduled class times over the three-week programming.
- You’ll be expected to make yourself available as much as possible during these scheduled time slots during the three-week program.
- Artist-student contact hours are a minimum of 15-20 hours a week for three weeks, but this may vary based on the specific proposal.
- The artist/artist team will be provided with a calendar of the Art Department’s scheduled classes and will consult with the Special Projects Coordinator in preparing a program that’s compatible with this schedule.
- Depending on the scope of the proposal, collaborative work may take place in, but is not necessarily limited to, the Sarah Silberman Art Gallery in the Paul Peck Art Building throughout the duration of the residency.
- Collaborative projects and installations are generally based on the Rockville Campus, but also include outreach to the Germantown Campus art classes for a portion of the residency.
General Bresler Residency Terms
- Bresler Residents are expected to fulfill the following terms during the Residency period:
- Follow Covid safety measures
- Covid safety measures will be updated in accordance with CDC, state, and local guidelines. Currently, artists must wear masks in VisArts’ facilities unless they are alone in their studio with the door closed.
- The Floor 2 galleries are open during regular operating hours. Artists may invite guests to their studios, but all guests must wear masks while in VisArts’ facilities.
- Work in the VisArts studio for a minimum of 28 hours/week.
- Attend monthly gatherings of VisArts Studio Artists, which may include as potluck lunches; crit sessions; and meetings with visiting artists, critics, and curators. We’ll provide a schedule.
- Welcome the public during opening receptions and at scheduled open studios.
- Attend artist talks and opening receptions.
- Present an artist talk, workshop, screening, and/or other mutually agreed-upon public event that engages the VisArts and Rockville communities.
- Participate in the annual Bresler Residency exhibition.
Bresler Resident Studios and Materials
- Bresler Residents 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, WiFi connection, and abundant natural light.
- Studio access is 24/7 except during special VisArts events (we’ll provide advanced notice).
- Residents must provide their own studio furniture.
- Bresler Residents are responsible for maintaining the studio in a safe, reasonably tidy manner and may 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.
- Bresler Resident studios may be used only for art-making activities.
- Bresler Residents are responsible for acquisition, insurance, and care of their materials and equipment.
- Artists who wish to have kilns and other equipment that require additional electrical use must obtain permission for each such piece of equipment.
Application Requirements for Bresler Residency
Applicant must submit:
- Individual artists must submit up to seven images of work produced during the last three years. Work samples may be a combination of high-resolution jpgs, pdfs, and time-based media (up to 10 minutes total).
- Two minutes of video, film, sound, or performance documentation equal one work. Artists may choose to include links to Vimeo or YouTube public accounts for time-based work samples.
- Collaborative teams must submit up to seven images of collaborative work along with a statement of the collaborative nature of the work.
- Images must be in .jpg, .tiff, .png, .pdf, or .gif file formats.
- Minimum image resolution: 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 should correspond with the number on the list of works. (Ex., Jane Doe_Untitled_1.jpg
- List of Works
- Provide a numbered list of artworks with the following information: artist name, title of artwork, year, dimensions. A description of artwork is optional.
- Artist Bio (maximum 100 words)
- Artist Statement (maximum 100 words)
- Contact information for two references
Bresler Residency Proposal
- Describe your project, goals for the Residency, and how you might engage with the community or use community resources.
- The project must be centered around environmental, social, racial, and/or economic justice.
- You may include a drawing or representative images to help describe your proposal (maximum 250 words).
Bresler Residency – Preferred Dates
Please indicate preferred residency dates (first and second choice):
- January 18 - May 12, 2023
- May 17 - September 15, 2023
- September 20, 2023 - January 12, 2024 (Bresler + Montgomery College Collaborative AiR)
Application Requirements for Bresler + Montgomery College Collaborative AiR Program
Applicants must submit all materials and information required for Bresler Residency application, plus:
- A detailed proposal for a three-week residency, including how this project will expand students’ scope and experience in the visual arts through student participation.
- Please include a detailed project title
- Past project summaries are listed at https://www.montgomerycollege.edu/academics/departments/art-rockville/opportunities-projects.html
- Please indicate what you would like to see as future plans for the collaborative artwork (ephemeral, donated, returned to students, property of the artist).
- A proposed list of materials and equipment necessary for the project. This should include any materials needed for student participation.
- You may provide a maximum of five supplemental support materials, such as drawings of proposed project.
- This may include a sketch of the proposed use of gallery space (downloadable here), samples of proposed materials, and/or copies of reviews, brochures and articles that would help the selection committee understand the intent and scope of the proposal.
- Eligible applications will be kept in an AIR directory for 5 years.
Questions about Montgomery College's Collaborative AiR? Email Amanda.Miller@montgomerycollege.edu
All Bresler Residency applications will be reviewed by a panel of artists and arts professionals.
VisArts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a hub for the visual arts that engages nearly 30,000 visitors annually through contemporary art exhibitions, a studio artist program, art classes (including the largest ceramics program in the region) and camps, VisAbility Art Lab (a supported studio for artists with disabilities), community art programs, the annual Rockville Arts Festival, and event space.
Founded in 1987, VisArts is committed to our mission of transforming individuals and communities through the visual arts.
VisArts is in Rockville Town Square, three blocks from the Rockville Metro station, at 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, Md. Our four galleries at 155 Gibbs Street are open Wednesday-Thursday/Saturday-Sunday, 12-4 p.m. and Friday, 12-8 p.m. Our 355 POD Space gallery, at 355 Hungerford Drive, is open 24/7. Exhibitions and gallery programs and events are free and open to the public.
Visit www.visartscenter.org or call 301.315.8200 for more information.
VisArts Emerging Curator Program 2023
Application Deadline: November 25, 2022, Midnight
VisArts invites applications from emerging curators to work with an experienced mentoring curator to develop and present an exhibition at VisArts in the Kaplan Gallery in the fall of 2023.
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. To develop expanded education programming and enhanced visitor experiences, the 2023 Emerging Curator and the 2023 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 $10,000 budget to cover exhibition costs and curatorial fees. 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 2023.
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 Galleries Director & Curator, Galleries Committee, Artist Advisory Council, and the 2023 Mentoring Curator.
VisArts is a nonprofit arts center in Rockville, Maryland. We’re the largest visual arts organization in the area and an active, significant presence in the greater metropolitan arts community. Our contemporary art galleries, artist studios, and 355 POD Space Gallery are located in Rockville Town Square, a thriving gathering place for the local community. VisArts presents exhibitions of contemporary art in our five galleries, along with related programs and events. We also offer Emerging Curator and Studio Artist Programs along with art classes and VisAbility Art Lab, our supported studio for adult emerging artists with disabilities.
2023 Mentoring Curator: Dr. Fahamu Pecou
Dr. Fahamu Pecou received his BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 1997 and his PhD from Emory University in 2018. Dr. Pecou exhibits his art worldwide and lectures and speaks at colleges and universities.
As an educator, Dr. Pecou has developed (ad)Vantage Point, a narrative-based arts curriculum focused on Black male youth. Dr. Pecou is also the founding director of the African Diaspora Art Museum of Atlanta (ADAMA).
Pecou's work is featured in noted private and public national and international collections, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Société Generale (Paris), the Nasher Museum at Duke University, The High Museum of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the Paul R. Jones Collection, ROC Nation, Clark Atlanta University Art Collection, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia.
In 2020, Pecou was one of six artists selected for Emory University's groundbreaking Arts & Social Justice Fellowship. Additionally, Pecou was the Georgia awardee for the 2020 South Arts Prize. In 2017, he was the subject of a retrospective exhibition, "Miroirs de l'Homme", in Paris, France. A recipient of the 2016 Joan Mitchell Foundation’s "Painters and Sculptors" Award, his work also appears in several films and television shows, including HBO's Between the World and Me, Blackish, and The Chi. Pecou's work has also been featured in numerous publications, including Atlanta Magazine, Hanif Abdurraqib's poetry collection, A Fortune for Your Disaster, and the award-winning collection of short stories by Rion Amilcar Scott, The World Doesn't Require You.
During the yearlong program, the curatorial team (mentoring 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
- Develop marketing and public relations materials in support of the exhibition, such as press releases, website + social media content, and print media
The VisArts Emerging Curator Program provides emerging curators with practical, hands-on experience at a community arts organization. It’s 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.
Applicants don’t need to have a fully realized curatorial proposal, but we’re interested in getting a sense of your interests, tastes, and sensibilities. The formal proposal will be developed with the support and guidance of the 2023 Mentoring Curator and the Galleries Department.
To apply online, create a Submittable account and complete the form.
1. Application form
3. Evidence of past curatorial projects:
- Up to 10 still images
- Up to five minutes of video and audio tracks
- 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 nonprofit 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 regard 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 25, 2022
- Finalists notified: November 30, 2022
- Finalist interviews: December 5-6, 2022
- Emerging Curator notified: December 9, 2022
- Program: January 2023 – January 2024 (detailed schedule TBD)
- Emerging Curator exhibition: November 15, 2023 - January 28, 2024
- Mentoring Curator exhibition: August 30 - October 29, 2023
VisArts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a hub for the visual arts that engages nearly 30,000 visitors annually.
Founded in 1987, VisArts is committed to our mission of transforming individuals and communities through the visual arts.
VisArts is located in Rockville Town Square, three blocks from the Rockville Metro station, at 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, Md. Our four galleries at 155 Gibbs Street are open Wednesday-Thursday/Saturday-Sunday, 12-4 p.m. and Friday, 12-8 p.m. Our 355 POD Space gallery, at 355 Hungerford Drive, is open 24/7. Exhibitions and gallery programs and events are free and open to the public.
Visit www.visartscenter.org or call 301.315.8200 for more information.