As the art scene in and around Denver continues to grow — even amid the long-lasting COVID-19 pandemic — artists looking for a residency opportunity don’t need to look very far. There’s no shortage of local residencies for both professional and emerging artists, and several of them are looking now for new creatives to join their organizations. Whether you’re an artist on the hunt for your next opportunity or an art-lover wondering where you can catch the work of some of Colorado’s top talent, check out this list of 12 art residencies here in the Denver area.
Residencies Accepting Applicants Now
The Boulder Creative Collective
Where: 2208 Pearl St., Boulder
The Lowdown: Specifically geared toward creatives who specialize in fine art, the studio residency with the Boulder Creative Collective aims to boost the visibility of its artist’s works while also creating a tight community. The residency provides opportunities similar to those a fine art graduate program would offer — assisting artists as they build their body of work, connecting them to curators and industry professionals and helping them develop their web and social media presence.
The residency runs for one year beginning on March 1, 2021 at the collective’s new location on Pearl Street. Applications for 2021 close on January 15 at midnight.
To get a sense of who’s at work in the residency and what they’ve accomplished so far, you can read more about the nine artists who piloted the collective’s 2019/2020 program on the collective’s webpage.
Where: 3457 Ringsby Ct., Denver
The Lowdown: Artist activists with an interest in using their art to join global conversations may want to look into the TAXI Artist in Residence opportunity. Held on the TAXI site, a nine-building campus home to office spaces, apartments and condos, the Denver-based residency revolves around social involvement. TAXI artists incorporate the community into their work through classes, workshops and public works. In return, they benefit from some notable perks — residents have access to the entire TAXI campus, and they don’t pay TAXI any percentage of their proceeds.
The residency hosts individual artists for up to six weeks. Typically, all residencies include a private studio space and a two-bedroom apartment. This year, TAXI has slightly amended the program because of COVID-19. The program accepts applicants year-round and will be able to accommodate resident artists again later this year, with a preference for local artists who don’t require housing.
In the meantime, Denverites can show some support to the local org’s current resident artist, Caleb Hahne, by checking out his work on Instagram.
Boulder County Artist-In-Residence Program
Where: Caribou Ranch, 144 County Road 126, Nederland
The Lowdown: Set in the rustic backcountry of Boulder County, this artist residency offers immediate access to natural inspiration, with forests, waterfalls and wildlife all on-site. A stay in the wilderness means no Wi-Fi, but artists will have access to electricity, outlets and two coolers that replace a traditional refrigerator.
In this shorter residency, artists will stay at Caribou Ranch’s DeLonde Barn for a period of three to four days during July, August or September. The application process is open now and closes on February 1.
You can visit the residency’s webpage to learn more about the residency’s 2020 artists, locals Paul DeHaven, Sara Rockinger and Gretchen Troop.
PlatteForum Artist Residency
Where: 2400 Curtis St., Suite 100, Denver
The Lowdown: A competitive opportunity, the PlatteForum art residency takes only one artist at a time, sometimes sifting through more than 100 annual applicants to find its pick. But the tough competition is well worth the outcome — former PlatteForum residents have gone on to participate in Colorado’s popular street mural festivals and show their work in renowned Denver locales like RedLine Contemporary Art Center and the Denver Art Museum. In addition to running the residency, PlatteForum also hires teaching artists to work with its ArtLab teen interns.
PlatteForum has hosted resident artists from the local scene and from across the world, encouraging artists of any genre, discipline or experience level — from graduate students to professionals — to apply. The residency runs for six to eight weeks and provides the artist with guest housing, room to work in the 4,000+ square-foot facility and a weekly stipend of $250. Applications for 2021-2022 residencies open on January 24 and will stay open through March 13.
PlatteForum also invites artists to apply to another current opportunity, the Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program. The organization has partnered with the New York Foundation for the Arts to put on this program for immigrant artists of all disciplines. The program offers mentorship from established artists, access to arts organizations and increased exposure for artists’ work — while also creating a community of local artists who share similar experiences. The program will accept applications through January 19. It will run from February 2021 into the summer.
Curious who’s up next in PlatteForum’s lineup of future residents? The nonprofit says that its newest artist, local photographer Narkita Gold, will start her residency the week of January 11. Later on, Jonna McKone, a documentary filmmaker from Baltimore, and Steven Frost, a multimedia artist from Boulder, will also create through the PlatteForum program.
Other Residency Opportunities
Artists looking for a new gig in Denver can also keep an eye on these opportunities:
Opera Colorado Artist in Residence Program: Each season, Opera Colorado accepts a handful of performers to participate in an eight-month residency. Artists have access to coaching and will join the opera in the organization’s performances and in appearances at schools and community centers.
Denver Botanic Gardens Residency Programs: Every year, the Denver Botanic Gardens offers a residency for artists who have completed a certificate in botanic illustration. The organization is unsure if the residency will operate in 2021 but in the meantime, it is launching a second opportunity, the Land Line residency, for artists from all disciplines. The residency will afford multiple opportunities for artists to showcase their work, with remote and shorter-term residency options available.
40 West Arts District Artist in Residence: The 40 West Arts District nonprofit in Lakewood offers a yearlong residency for emerging artists from the local scene. The residency is heavy on community involvement, with resident artists hosting free community classes and open studio hours. Currently, the program supports one resident artist with a live/work space and another artist with a studio space in the 40 West Gallery at 1560 Teller Street in Lakewood.
Denver Art Museum Creative in Residence: This four-month residency invites local artists to find inspiration via the museum’s collections and exhibitions. Then, residents create a project to be experienced by visitors and the wider community. In 2020, its resident artist Michael Sperandeo paid special attention to creating a project that uniquely combined interactivity and pandemic safety.
Breckenridge Creative Arts Artist-in-Residence: Breckenridge invites both visiting and local artists to apply for a residency in the Breckenridge Arts District. Visiting artists will stay in the area anywhere from one to two months while local artists can apply for a four to eight week studio residency. While the BCA has not yet posted when it will accept applications for 2022, in previous years, applications have been due at the end of July.
RedLine Contemporary Art Center Artist-In-Residency Program: Nonprofit RedLine offers a regular two-year residency for a group of emerging artists, offering space in its unique open studio and access to mentorship and the arts community. Given the fact that the center’s newest talent just moved into their studios in November 2020, now is the perfect time to check out the roster and find out who the Denver art community will be seeing great work from over the next two years.
The Create Award: Run by Art Gym Denver, the Create Award is open to any artist who has studied a creative discipline and graduated within the past two years. During the residency, artists receive a six-month membership at Art Gym Denver. In previous years, the residency has run from mid-October through mid-March.
Children’s Museum of Denver Artist-in-Residence: The Children’s Museum hosts local professionals who work in a wide variety of mediums — from sculptors to painters to textile artists — for its residency program. The residency runs for two to three months and during that time, artists create a project to be featured in the museum.