Florida Artists-in-Residence Programs

August 23, 2013 | By Kimberley Gaultier

Although the advent of Art Basel Miami Beach over the last twelve years has made Florida the home to the world’s most important contemporary art fair, many art residency programs have thrived for over twenty years in the state welcoming established and emerging artists from around the world.  

Florida is home to a multitude of artist-in-residence programs open to a vast array of domains from ceramics to contemporary art. Such programs allow artists, but also curators, authors and performers from around the globe to temporarily join a host artistic institution. These residency programs offer a unique opportunity to develop an artistic career while becoming a part of the host community.  

Selection process and type of artists welcomed

While certain residency programs are open to the public for submissions (Cannonball, AIRIE), others select candidates by invitation only (Rauschenberg, Kennedy Family). And while some programs are designed for emerging artists, others host more established artists. As an example, the Atlantic Center for the Arts provides a unique opportunity for emerging artists to work directly with world-renowned established artists-in-residence such as Robert Morris, Nick Cave, Merce Cunningham, Willy Cardona, David Salle, or Peter Matthiessen or French artist Bernar Venet (1996). Most Floridian programs are open to foreign artists. No residency program resembles another as each has its own specialty and/or preferred discipline.

Utilitarian art or art for art

Founded in 1996, the residency at St. Pete Clay is dedicated to developing the artists' understanding of ceramics by hosting professional artists from around the country for lectures and demonstration.  Situated in what was once the Historic Seaboard Coastline Freight Depot, it is considered, today,  to be a premiere ceramic facility in the United States for emerging and established ceramic artists.

Environmental conservation and artistic disciplines 

On a whole different level, many of Florida’s residency programs focus on environmental conservation. At the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, it is expected that the artists’ work connects with and is inspired by the environment. They are encouraged to live on the Preserve and interact with its visitors. The AIRIE program in the Everglades National Park, where French artists Stéphanie Cardon and Alice Raymond were in-residence, respectively in 2007 and 2013, worked on similar principles. These nature-oriented residency programs are exclusive opportunities to fully seize what the state of Florida has to offer in terms of natural treasures.  

Downtown with Cannonball and Fountainhead

In contrast, for those seeking contemporary art residencies, Cannonball and Fountainhead are programs offered in a more urban setting, at the heart of the city of Miami. Cannonball develops innovative programs supporting today's artists. They are also very big on educational programs, such as panel discussions, artist talks and workshops, and roundtable debates. As for Fountainhead, the Residency provides artists with an environment conducive to the finding of new inspirations, the creation of new work, and an opportunity to meet the people that make Miami’s art community one-of-a-kind. 

Below you will find a (non-exhaustive) list of residencies in Florida:

AIRIE

Art Center South Florida

Atlantic Center for the Arts

Cannonball

Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO)

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast

Fountainhead Residency

Kennedy Family

Rauschenberg Residency

Reid Hall

St. Pete Clay

STUDIO-f at the University of Tampa

Studios of Key West

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