faqs and important information about the RAIR Program
Because ours is a twelve month residency and our artists arrive at different times throughout the year, our annual application deadline date varies from year to year.
For over forty years the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program has provided talented artists a long-term opportunity to free themselves from the entanglements of their jobs, careers and other responsibilities, to focus on their creative imaginations. Roswell is remotely located, away from the trends and noise of our cultural capitals and provides the artist an opportunity to look inwardly, over an entire year, at the sources of their vision and the reach of their talent. The Roswell Residency is not project based nor is it directed by the issues of any moment in the world of art ideas. The Program is solely dedicated to the development of the individual artist. Production of artwork is seen as a byproduct of creative introspection, not as an end in itself. Nor is there any effort on the part of the Program to enforce interaction among the artists through predetermined activities or requirements. The goal of the Program is to be as free of institutional rigmarole as humanly possible. As a consequence, the usual apparatus of prestige, status and reputation are ignored. While the artists that receive the RAiR Fellowship enjoy a reasonable standard of living, most will have to make personal sacrifices to participate. The RAiR Program appreciates that the time, distance and isolation can come at a cost. Those artists who do immerse themselves, undertake a long process of personal discovery and it is hoped, a stronger connection to the sources of their personal vision.
For artists who are interested in working within the local community or surrounding areas, there are opportunities to do so.
Artists considering applying to the RAiR Program should think carefully about what is actually involved in a year-long residency. Please do not apply if -
1) You will have a number of exhibitions opening during the period of your residency. Roswell is a long way from most places. Transportation to and from Roswell can be costly and time consuming. Organizing exhibitions and shipping work can be difficult and expensive from Roswell. Extended absences from the studio breaks up the creative process and undermines the rationale for the residency.
2) You find the idea of the residency a flattering notion. The purpose of the residency is to provide time to immerse yourself in the creative process and not just to add another line to your resume. Artists should actually need studio time to focus on their work. Otherwise you might be supplanting an artist just as deserving, who could use the residency year productively.
3) Your spouse or partner is not committed to the residency. The residency is located on the outskirts of a town of 50,000 people. There are few employment opportunities. A year can be a long time in some career areas. While the Roswell area has some decent schools, no special or 'outstanding' private schooling is available in this part of rural New Mexico. In addition there can be considerable challenges returning to one's per-residency life.
4) You have unusual heath issues or heavy debt. Our goal is to support the artists' creative process over a period of time. We can not, however, solve all of the artists' life problems.
5) You are uncomfortable living alone or often find yourself at odds with your neighbors or colleagues. The residency is small. As few as five other artists might share the residency with you at one time. For some artists, but not all, this is an ideal situation.
6) If you have no means transportation. While the residency itself is essentially self contained, the facility is three miles from the nearest retailers. In the past some residents have managed with only a bicycle but keep in mind that this is the American West and conditions vary considerably. A drivers license and an automobile are generally considered essential to everyday living. Additionally, numerous destinations of interest can only be accessed by car.
7) You can not live without your dog for a whole year.
Q: Should we apply as a couple, a team or as two individuals ?
A: If your work and your significant other's are related or overlap then apply as a team; one packet, one application fee. If that application is selected, you would both get credit for the residency but your stipend is still only $900. ($800 + $100)
If both of your work is as good as one another, (ok, I get how that might be a tough one but what else can I say?) then you can submit your work in an A and B mode. You submit one packet with two applications inside. If you are both REALLY good and obviously so, then you might save $25 by submitting one packet. The down side is that if the jury hates one of your work, the other might lose out by association. Or you can apply as individuals and if one of your work appeals to the jury then you both can be here. Usually, we find a studio for the spouse. (if available) and you still get $900.
If in the extremely unlikely event that you are both selected independently of one another, you will receive two residencies, scheduled as you see fit; back to back, concurrently or down the road and each of you would receive your own stipend of $800.
Q: We have children, are there schools near the residency?
A: Yes, but no fancy type schools. Just the old-fashioned public schools and a few pre-schools. There are a few church type schools.
Q: Can I bring my cat?
A: Yes, but you may want to keep it indoors as we have coyotes around. Sorry there is no way you are going to able to bring your dog.
Q: What kinds of organic foods are available in your area?
A: Almost none. Local grocery stores carry some organic produce.
Q: Is there internet access?
A: Yes, we provide wireless internet on the residency but it's sketchy and prone to be slow or to drop signals. Those of you dependent on high speed connections may need to subscribe to the local cable company for your own dedicated service.
Q: Should I bring my furniture?
A: As a general rule, no. The houses are fully furnished. They are also small enough not to have a lot of extra room for your sofa or whatever. You should bring as much of your own studio equipment as you can; within reason. If you have a favorite coffee maker or waffle iron, fine, bring them. You should definitely bring your own towels, blankets, sheets and pillows.
The application process is simple. You will need up to 20 digital images of your work (each 1.5 meg, max), the names of four visual arts professionals that can vouch for you and your work and a short statement regarding your reasons for seeking the residency.