Donald B. Anderson
The Artist-in-Residence Program was conceived by businessman and artist Donald B. Anderson in 1967. His vision was to enhance the cultural environment of Roswell and southeastern New Mexico by bringing artists of national importance to live and work in the tranquility of the high plains. Mr. Anderson approached the Roswell Museum and Art Center with an offer of a unique partnership which would result in establishing one of the most outstanding residency programs in the country.
With Mr. Anderson's patronage, the Roswell Museum and Art Center assumed administrative responsibility for the fledgling program designed to provide studio artists with a "Gift of Time" to focus on their work with an absolute minimum of distraction. Over the next 25 years the Program developed into a fully operational facility accommodating five artists year round and providing them ample living spaces, studios, and monthly stipends for a period of twelve months.
“I suppose it might have been in the early 1960s that I first had the idea.”
In early 2007 the Program opened a whole new facility some four miles east of the original Berrendo Road complex. Equipped to serve six artists with a new shop, print and media studios, the new location, surrounded by alfalfa farms and 40 acres of undisturbed land, will serve artists well into the 21st Century.
The "Gift of Time" was uniquely conceived as a family program. All living facilities are separate, fully furnished three-bedroom houses. Artists accompanied by family dependents receive appropriately larger stipend benefits. Where a spouse is also an artist, provision for additional studio space may be possible with adequate advance notice. The diverse backgrounds and aesthetic interests of the residents inevitably lead to exciting and unexpected exchanges, and to lasting friendships.
Recognized nationally for its generous provisions, the "Gift of Time" is offered without obligation; there is no requirement to teach, lecture, donate work, or exhibit, though exhibitions are offered by the RMAC to resident artists. The "Gift of Time" is an opportunity for artists to explore ideas in depth, to take risks, and even to fail. While many artists do produce large bodies of work under the grant, the creative growth of the individual artist is the most significant product of the residency experience.
Artists are selected by invited independent jurors assembled about twelve months in advance of openings. Awards are based entirely upon the outstanding quality of the artist's work and their "statement of intent." Eligibility is limited to professional artists working in drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and other fine art media. Grants are not made in the disciplines of performance art or production crafts.
To date over 200 artists have participated in the program, coming from the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Past participants include such noted and diverse artists as Stuart Arends, James McGarrell, Robert Colescott, Julia Couzens, Luis Jimenez, Max Cole, Kumi Yamashita, Rudy Pozzatti, Robert ParkHarrison, David Reed, Milton Resnick, Rodney Carswell and Alison Saar.