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2021 New Orleans Studio Program Open Call Guidelines 

Program Overview

The Joan Mitchell Center is a programmatic site of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, which celebrates the life of abstract artist Joan Mitchell by expanding awareness of her pioneering work and fulfilling her wish to support and provide opportunities for visual artists. After the Foundation launched an off-site pilot residency program in 2013, the Center was established in 2015 as a fully operating dynamic residency facility located in New Orleans’ Seventh Ward. It has since hosted nearly 260 local and national artists.

In the Fall of 2020, the Center introduced the Joan Mitchell Center New Orleans Studio Program to solely support New Orleans-based visual artists during a time when COVID-19 risks are limiting opportunities. Continuing through 2021, the program provides each artist-in-residence (AIR) with a private studio space, a stipend, weekday meals as well as virtual professional development workshops and studio visits with artists and art professionals from across the country. The program will support up to 36 New Orleans-based artists with residencies that are five months in length, during the spring/summer and fall/winter sessions.

Spring/Summer session: 18 artists, March 15, 2021 - July 30, 2021

Fall/Winter session: 18 artists, September 13, 2021 - February 11, 2022

Applicant Eligibility

In order to meet program eligibility for the Joan Mitchell Center New Orleans Studio Program Open Call, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Must identify as a visual artist and showcase a portfolio of work with a serious commitment to an artistic practice
  • Must currently live in New Orleans as the primary residence. The Joan Mitchell Center recognizes Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish to be included in the Greater New Orleans area
  • Must not be enrolled as a student in any degree-granting art program during the residency period
  • Must need a professional workspace to support a studio practice
  • Must be committed to be present and active for the duration of the residency cycle and participate in our virtual professional development and studio visit consultations
  • Must be able to participate in virtual programming provided by the Center during their residency and remain flexible and understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic may require modifications to the program model (including, but not limited to, a virtual model, if an on-site residency is no longer tenable)
  • Collaborating artists are encouraged to apply only if both artists are currently eligible

Program Participation and Residency Benefits

New Orleans Studio Program artists-in-residence (AIRs) will receive 24/7 access to their studio spaces, a weekly stipend of $150, and assistance from the Center’s studio assistants as well as:

  • Virtual professional development/consultation sessions one to two times a week, that provide opportunities for artists to be in conversation with each other, with visiting curators and arts professionals, and share their work with audiences
  • Virtual public engagement opportunities through the Center’s social media platforms
  • Boxed meal prepared by the Center’s Hospitality Associate available Monday through Friday (except holidays)

The Center’s all-virtual approach to professional development and programming will provide AIRs with opportunities to engage with consultants and practitioners locally and from across the United States. Furthermore, AIRs will have the opportunity to participate in online networking opportunities that can inform the development of a robust professional network.

The Center will offer five types of professional development: Virtual Studio Visits, AIR Exchanges, Virtual Open Studios, Virtual Professional Consultations, and Virtual Public Engagement. These sessions/visits will primarily take place on the digital service Zoom. For examples of this programming, see our FAQ’s.

Residency start and end dates will be confirmed with selected artists based on their stated session preference and studio availability. Note: Lodging will not be provided as part of the residency.

How to Apply

The residency application is available and must be completed through the online platform, Submittable. In summary, artists are asked to provide a headshot, biography, resume, artist statement, three (3) professional references, eight (8) work samples, and including work sample descriptions (aka metadata).

The Joan Mitchell Center held a virtual information session on October 26, 2020: a recording of the information session is available on our website here and on Vimeo.

Please review detailed application instructions below before beginning the application process. If you need clarification or have specific questions that pertain to your application not addressed below, please email program@joanmitchellcenter.org.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, December 1 at 4:59pm CST. (Please note the deadline has been extended due to the impact of Hurricane Zeta.) We are unable to accept late submissions. Only complete applications will be submitted for jury consideration.

Review Process and Timeline

The Joan Mitchell Center staff works to thoughtfully assemble a diverse group of jurors with a breadth of knowledge, perspectives, and experience in various areas of the art world. Primarily, the jury assessment will take into consideration the overall body of work and its representation of the artist’s vision, commitment, and dedication to a studio practice, and how this residency will advance an artist’s career.

The jury will meet in January and we anticipate informing artists of their residency award by mid-February 2021.

Application Instructions

Please submit the following in order to complete an online application:

  1. Biography: Please provide a brief written account of your professional experience. (150 words maximum)
  2. Resume/C.V.: Please provide a brief summary of your educational, vocational, and professional qualifications and experience.
  3. Process + Practice: Please answer a series of questions regarding your creative practice, past residencies, the relevance or impact of the residency from your perspective, as well as future goals. 
  4. Professional References: Please provide the name, email, phone number, title, and the nature of your relationship for three (3) separate references -- Please DO NOT submit letters of recommendation. They should serve as references on your behalf who can speak to your readiness for our program, dedication to your career as an artist, and ability to work in communities like residencies.
  5. Proof of Residence: In order to meet eligibility for the New Orleans Studio Program, you must currently reside in New Orleans. Selected artists will be asked to provide a copy of their driver's license, utility bill, proof of local employment, or a rental agreement to prove residence prior to confirming their participation. Note: Lodging is not provided as part of the residency.
  6. Work Samples: Please submit eight (8) examples of current work that best showcases your artistic vision. We suggest providing the highest resolution images you have to ensure that jurors can zoom in for detail.  Work samples will be viewed on laptop screens. We recognize that still imagery does not best reflect the artistic work of many installation artists; therefore,  we encourage video submissions from those artists. Of the eight work samples, up to two short videos, each under one minute in length can be accommodated. All files must be labeled with the artist's last name, followed by a first initial and number 1-8 (example: LastName_FirstInitial_Image1). After you upload each sample, there will be space to add the title, date, materials, dimensions, and a short description in a metadata field. Image submissions can include detail shots and various angles of a single piece.

Photo: Please upload a high-resolution headshot (to be used for promotion of selected artists).

All necessary materials have to be submitted by the application deadline, otherwise, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be eligible for jury review.

2021 New Orleans Studio Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I qualify if I have received a previous Artist-in-Residence award?

Unfortunately, if you have been a previous Joan Mitchell Center artist-in-residence, you are not eligible to apply for the 2021 application cycle.

When will I find out if I have been awarded a 2021 residency at the Joan Mitchell Center?

We anticipate informing artists of their residency award by mid-February 2021. If awarded a 2021 residency, we ask that you keep your residency award confidential between yourself, your partner(s), and/or your collaborator(s) until we publicly announce the entire group of 2021 New Orleans Studio Program Artists-in-Residence.

Can I pick the studio I want?

No, studio spaces are assigned based on each artists’ specific needs, including the scale and type of work being made, in relation to the final group of artists selected for each cycle (spring and fall). We are rarely able to accommodate room changes.

Can I invite guests to the studios for a visit?

Due to safety procedures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, no guests are currently allowed onto the property, with the exception of guests registered with the Center ahead of their arrival who are assisting with the move-in and move-out process. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, with prior approval from the Center’s Director.

Can I play music or videos in my studio?

Yes, at the same time it is important that all artists are aware of the artist community being formed and are respectful of and communicative with your fellow artists. The studios are not soundproof and noise should be kept to a reasonable level.

What items should I bring? What can I expect to find in my Studio?

You will need to bring all professional art materials and/or specialized equipment that are part of your studio practice. Each artist will be provided a private studio space equipped with a worktable, stool, shelves, ample natural and artificial lighting, and a comfortable chair. Our facilities are also equipped with a shared Digital Media Lab and tool inventory. If specific equipment is needed to facilitate a project, Joan Mitchell Center staff will assist you with coordinating resources and/or partnering with local organizations. Please make a note on your application of anything you anticipate needing while in residence.

What programming can I expect to participate in during the residency?

During your residency session at the Joan Mitchell Center, you are expected to participate in the Center’s virtual programs, and professional development opportunities, including:

AIR Exchange consists of peer-oriented monthly virtual gatherings for AIRs and JMC alumni artists to connect with one another to discuss work, creative process, ask for feedback, and anything else that can benefit from communal participation or input. You will present at least once over the course of your residency for up to fifteen (15) minutes and will discuss either works-in-progress underway while in residence or works completed during the residency. There will also be an opportunity for JMC alumni to share work.

Virtual Open Studios are virtual professional networking gatherings where AIRs present works-in-progress or finished pieces developed during their residency to a group of invited guests, that can include artists, administrators, curators, collectors, gallerists, alumni, and cultural practitioners. Each session will have guests representing different regions of the U.S., including sessions with a local/regional focus, a national focus, and a collaboration with other art organizations in the field for an AIR to AIR session. You will present up to three times over the course of your residency.

Professional Consultations are monthly opportunities for you to connect with arts, business, and legal specialists who provide guidance through one-on-one consultations or in group workshops.

Studio Visits are monthly opportunities to connect you with invited local and national curators, museum directors, gallerists, and presenting art professionals in a one-on-one focused conversation about your practice and work. While every studio visit serves a different purpose for both you and the visitor, the visits provide an uninterrupted opportunity for you to privately receive feedback, insight, guidance, or support from respected and experienced professionals in the field.

Virtual Public Engagement will spotlight you through a featured post on the Center’s social media channels with professional documentation of your work and studio. The post will include insights from you into your process and additional relevant information about your works.

Does the Center offer an ADA compliant environment?

Yes, the Center strives to be an inclusive and welcoming gathering place for artists and guests. With that in mind, we are continually working on accessibility at the Center for disabled artists. All Center buildings have ADA accessible entry and exit points as well as bathrooms. The staff is ready to work with each artist to ensure accessibility on our campus and in our program. There will be an opportunity to discuss in detail during the intake process, once an artist has been accepted into the program. 

The Center welcomes ADA trained service animals, but we would appreciate advance notice to determine if allergies exist within the cohort and how best to accommodate all, including any needs of the animal. While ADA trained service animals are welcome on campus, pets are not permitted and support animals may require further documentation and advance permission. In such a case please contact us.

Feel free to reach out to us with any further questions.

Is there an information session to learn more about the application process?

The Joan Mitchell Center held a virtual information session on October 26, 2020: a recording of the information session is available on our website here and on Vimeo.

If you need clarification or have specific questions that pertain to your application not addressed in the guidelines, please email program@joanmitchellcenter.org. Staff will send response emails to questions within 72 hours when time permits. Calls are discouraged.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.