VisArts Call for Gallery Guide Applications, Fall 2019

(To see the application form, please create a Submittable account below).

For Fall 2019, VisArts is seeking volunteer gallery guides to lead tours and have casual conversations about the artwork in the galleries. Gallery guides will gain skills in public speaking, audience engagement, researching artwork, and interpreting and analyzing contemporary art. Additionally, gallery guides will be trained and have the opportunity to apply museum and art education strategies during gallery tours. Other benefits include opportunities to earn credit toward art classes at VisArts, meet gallery staff, and gain behind-the-scenes access to the galleries.

VisArts is a non-profit organization with the mission of transforming individuals through the visual arts. VisArts has seven artist studios, four art galleries, and additional art spaces and programs dedicated to contemporary art. Our exhibitions rotate every 6-8 weeks and are frequently reviewed in the Washington Post! Enjoy excellent contemporary art without having to go to Washington, DC!

We are located in Rockville Town Square, Rockville, MD, a short walk from the Rockville Metro Station on the Red Line. The galleries are open on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, and on Fridays from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM. This opportunity is open to all adults, ages 18+. 

Application Deadline: Sunday, July 28 at 11:59 PM

Gallery guide responsibilities include:

  • Volunteering for at least one two-hour shift per week
  • Attend three training sessions in August (see dates below)
  • Attend three monthly meetings between September and December
  • Lead tours of the galleries and artist studio spaces
  • Engage in casual conversations with visitors in the galleries about the artwork on view
  • Monitor the galleries
  • Independently research the rotating exhibitions and studio artists


  • Commit to at least one shift per week
  • Must be mature, reliable, responsible, friendly, personable and punctual
  • Good communication skills
  • Comfortable speaking in front of an audience
  • Prior experience with art or art history
  • If you do not have an art background, prior experience in public speaking
  • Familiarity with or a willingness to learn about contemporary art

Important Dates:

· July 28: Applications are due

· August 4, 10, and 11: In-person interviews on weekends

· August 11: Notice of acceptance

· August 18, 24, 25: Three weekend training sessions, 11 AM – 12:30 PM

· August 28 – December 22: Duration of the session

· Monthly Meetings will be based on majority gallery guide availability

To be considered, applicants will need to fill out an application form (to see the application form, please create a Submittable account below), and provide a resume, a cover letter explaining why this opportunity interests you and how you meet the requirements, and contact information for two professional references, each to be submitted with the form.

To complete the application form, click on the “GALLERY GUIDE APPLICATION” button, below.

For questions, e-mail


Upcoming Spring 2020 Application Dates

  • September 30: Applications open
  • November 10: Applications are due
  • January 4 – May 31: Duration of the session

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 at Rockville.  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. 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 will present their work in a three-person exhibition at VisArts. 

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: Rockville Library, Montgomery College Rockville campus and other local schools, historical sites, Rock Creek Park, the Potomac River watershed, and Rockville’s diverse community.

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
The current call is for artists or collaborative artist teams whose primary residency practice will be Drawing, Painting. *
Call for Applications for 2020 Residency opens: May 28, 2019
Deadline: October 13, 2019
Notification: November 18, 2019
Final Confirmation: November 25, 2019
Available Residency Dates:     January 13 - May 13, 2020
                                                 May 15 – September 11, 2020
                                                 September 13 , 2020 - January 10, 2021
2019 Bresler Resident Artist Exhibition: January 2021 – March 2021

*Each year the Bresler Residency will focus on visual artists whose primary residency practice will involve the following:  

  • 2016 - Painting, Drawing
  • 2017 – Social/Environmental/Community Engagement, Performance. Call for 2017  Deadline September 30, 2016.
  • 2018 - Sound, Video, New Media, Photography. Call for 2018 Residency applications opens May 27, 2018. 
  • 2019 - Sculpture, Installation. Call for 2019 Residency applications opens May 31, 2018. Please note that the studios are not equipped for heavy, loud construction. There is no dedicated ventilation.  However, there are some auxiliary studio classrooms that may be used for construction. 
  • 2020 - Painting, Drawing. Call for 2020 Residency applications opens May 28, 2019.

 Terms of Residency:
·      Qualified applicants are professional individual artists or collaborative artist teams over the age of 18; the program is not designed for 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.  
·      The Bresler Resident Artist will participate in the following during his/her residencies:

  • Work in the studio at VisArts for a minimum of 28 hours/week.
  • Attend monthly 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.

Application and Selection Process
Required materials include:
Application Materials:

  • Images:  Submit 10 images of work produced during the last three years. Work samples can be a combination of high resolution jpgs and time-based media (*up to 10 minutes total). *For collaborative teams, 10 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 10 images. They must be in .jpg, .tiff, .png, 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: first name last name-title of artwork-1.ext, first name last name-title of artwork-2.ext, etc. The file number corresponds with the number on the list of works. (Ex. John 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.
  • Resume/CV
  • Brief Artist Bio (100 words max.)
  • Artist Statement (100 words max.)
  • 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.)
  • Please indicate preferred residency dates (first and second choice):

                          _____ January 13 - May 13, 2020
                         _____ May 15 – September 11, 2020
                         _____ September 13, 2020 - January 10, 2021

  • $15  application fee

 All applications will be reviewed by a panel of artists and arts professionals.
 About VisArts
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.