VisArts | Open Call for 2024-2025 Bresler Resident Artists and Montgomery College Collaborative AiR

By Editorial Team on September 25, 2023

Deadline: Wed, 08 November 2023

2022 Bresler Resident Artist Alison Kysia, “Take a Good Look in the Mirror,” 2021-Present (Work in Progress)

Currently the Bresler Residency can’t provide housing for artists.

The Fleur and Charles Bresler Artist Residency
In honor of patrons Fleur and Charles Bresler, VisArts invites applications and proposals from local, national, and international artists for a four-month residency at our studios in Rockville, Maryland.

  • The Bresler Residency provides three dynamic individual artists or collaborative artist teams the gift of time, space, and financial support, along with a unique opportunity to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work, or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment.
  • The Bresler Residency encourages interaction, dialogue, experimentation, and exploration with the VisArts artist community and the local community.
  • Bresler Residents present their work in solo exhibitions at VisArts.
  • VisArts provides studio space free of charge.
  • VisArts provides a $500 monthly stipend.
  • The Bresler Residency currently can’t provide artist housing. Please contact Frank McCauley at fmccaul[email protected] with any questions regarding accommodation.

2024-2025 Bresler Residency Call: MATERIAL/MATTER/S
Craft is a collaboration between artist and material, and this current call is open for artists or artist teams whose work explores the unique relationship between makers and the materials they work with. To truly understand a material one must spend time, experiment, and push the boundaries beyond what has been done before. We are seeking makers from across a broad spectrum of practices (metal, wood, paint, fiber, soil, clay, etc.) that celebrate the rich histories of their medium but transform their materials beyond these traditions, into work that is conceptual, experimental, and discusses topics that are relevant in today’s fast pace manufactured world.

VisArts follows CDC, regional, and local guidelines. If there are new pandemics or additional Covid surges, artists must be prepared for online community gatherings in place of face-to-face meetings. Accordingly, we ask that you include ideas for online engagement in your project description.

VisArts is committed to continuing to explore the potential of art to transform individuals and communities, engage radical imaginations, build safe and equitable spaces for artists and audiences, and cultivate trust, empathy, creativity, and diversity. Our main space is on Gibbs Street, named in honor of William Gibbs, Jr., whose advocacy for equal pay for Montgomery County’s African American teachers led to a precedent-setting case for which Associate Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was a lead attorney.

Bresler Residents are encouraged to initiate in person and/or online outreach with the VisArts and greater Rockville communities. Rockville is a progressive, diverse city in the DC metropolitan area. It ranks nationally and statewide as a leader in environmental sustainability and use of green power. Rockville is recognized for its high quality of life, excellent schools, numerous public parks, and well-educated population.

Bresler Residents are also encouraged to engage a variety of audiences, ages, and cultural orientations within the Rockville community, in person and/or online, by accessing and interacting with local resources, including the history of William B. Gibbs, Jr.; the history and heritage of African Americans in Rockville; the City of Rockville; the Beall-Dawson House and Museum; Montgomery College Visual and Performing Arts Departments; Montgomery College and other local schools; the Montgomery County Public Library; the Potomac River/Rock Creek watershed; Rock Creek National Park; historic sites, organizations, and groups in the DC metropolitan area.

September 2024 – January 2025 Bresler Residency + Montgomery College Collaborative Artist-in-Residence (AiR) Partnership

VisArts is proud to continue our partnership with Montgomery College’s Collaborative AiR for our September 2024 – January 2025 Bresler Residency.

During the September 2024 – January 2025 Bresler Residency, the selected artist or artist team will, in addition to fulfilling the terms of the Bresler Residency:

  • Be embedded in the Rockville and Germantown Montgomery College Art Departments
  • Receive an additional $3,000 stipend

Applicant Qualifications:
Qualified applicants are professional individual artists or collaborative artist teams over the age of 18; the program is not designed for undergraduate students or commercial artists.

Artists working in all media are welcome to apply, but VisArts can’t support the use of hazardous materials that require specific ventilation requirements.

Montgomery College is an academic institution committed to promoting equal opportunity and fostering diversity among its students, faculty, and staff.

Important Dates:
Call Opens: September 15, 2023
Deadline: November 8, 2023

Residency Dates:
January 19 – May 10, 2024
May 17 – September 13, 2024
September 23, 2024 – January 10, 2025 (Bresler Residency + Montgomery College Collaborative AiR)

Residency Exhibition:
January – March 2025

General Bresler Residency Terms

Bresler Residents are expected to fulfill the following terms during the Residency period:

  • Follow Covid safety measures: Covid safety measures will be updated in accordance with CDC, state, and local guidelines. Currently, artists must wear masks in VisArts’ facilities unless they are alone in their studio with the door closed.
  • The Floor 2 galleries are open during regular operating hours. Artists may invite guests to their studios, but all guests must wear masks while in VisArts’ facilities.
  • Work in the VisArts studio for a minimum of 28 hours/week.
  • Attend monthly gatherings of VisArts Studio Artists, which may include as potluck lunches; crit sessions; and meetings with visiting artists, critics, and curators. We’ll provide a schedule.
  • Welcome the public during opening receptions and at scheduled open studios.
  • Attend artist talks and opening receptions.
  • Present an artist talk, workshop, screening, and/or other mutually agreed-upon public event that engages the VisArts and Rockville communities.
  • Participate in the annual Bresler Residency exhibition.

Bresler Residency + Montgomery College Collaborative AiR Program Terms
The Montgomery College Collaborative AiR is a three-week program in which a professional artist is embedded in the Rockville and Germantown Art Departments, providing a unique opportunity for students to work directly with contemporary artists other than faculty. Students have the authentic experience of creating artwork for public installation, as part of collaboration with peers, faculty, and the artist, working toward a common goal of a gallery installation or social practice project.

The College has an enrollment of about 60,000 credit and noncredit students and is noted for being one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse community colleges in the nation, with enrolled students from more than 170 countries. The Art Departments encourage proposals that cultivate collaborative work between artists and foundation-level students, expanding their experience with contemporary art concepts.

The program is supported by the Arts Institute at Montgomery College

What We’re Looking For:
We’re seeking individuals or groups with a wide range of artistic practices outside the traditional studio arts foundation curriculum. Proposals should offer a mutually supportive creative learning environment between students, classes, and the artist.

Who May Apply:
Professional artists or artists groups in all visual arts disciplines interested in working with students are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to applicants whose work and proposal expand on the working range of foundation-level teaching.

Project Stipend:
A stipend of $3,000 will be available for the three-week AIR, which includes transportation, installation of work, and compensation of time.

Student materials for any proposed collaboration with students will be supported through a separate budget up to $1,000 and will be determined based on the size and scope of the work.
Housing and travel not provided.

Project Criteria:
Candidates should submit a proposal for collaborative processes and programming that provides foundation-level students with direct hands-on experience in the arts that’s guided by the artist. Programming may include an exhibition of the artist’s work, workshops, talks, field trips and/or any other areas of student art engagement.

The artist will guide students through a direct, hands-on collaborative project in which the students have creative input.

The project will culminate with an installation in the Sarah Silberman Gallery.

The artist will present their own creative work (through an artist talk, performance, lecture, and/or exhibition) in an event that is open to the MC community.

Proposals that incorporate a large number of voices/participants are encouraged. Note: most studio classes meet for two hours and 40 minutes, twice a week. MC offers studio classes in Design, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics, Sculpture, and Metals, as well Art History lecture classes, but AiR projects often transcend any perceived boundaries based on media.

Proposals may expand upon the working range of foundation-level teaching, explore interdisciplinary connections, and introduce contemporary art practices.

Depending on the specific project proposal, artists may (Option 1) meet with three classes for three weeks to work on a sustained project, or (Option 2) meet with many classes for a one-time workshop that’s repeated throughout the residency. Some artists choose a combination of Options 1 and 2 to involve as many students as possible.

Accepted artists will work together with the special projects coordinator to tailor the project to the unique needs of our students and the department. The AiR will write a three-week syllabus outlining the activities and outcomes for the project. The special projects coordinator and participating faculty work with the artist in this process.

Availability to Work with Students and Classes (Contact Hours)

The selected artist/artist team will be expected to be available during scheduled class times over the three-week programming.

You’ll be expected to make yourself available as much as possible during these scheduled time slots during the three-week program.

Artist-student contact hours are a minimum of 15-20 hours a week for three weeks, but this may vary based on the specific proposal.

The artist/artist team will be provided with a calendar of the Art Department’s scheduled classes and will consult with the Special Projects Coordinator in preparing a program that’s compatible with this schedule.

Depending on the scope of the proposal, collaborative work may take place in, but is not necessarily limited to, the Sarah Silberman Art Gallery in the Paul Peck Art Building throughout the duration of the residency.

Collaborative projects and installations are generally based on the Rockville Campus, but also include outreach to the Germantown Campus art classes for a portion of the residency.

Bresler Resident Studios and Materials:
Bresler Residents will be provided with a 169-square-foot studio, free of charge, for a period of four months.

Each studio is equipped with a sink, WiFi connection, and abundant natural light.
Studio access is 24/7 except during special VisArts events (we’ll provide advanced notice).

Residents must provide their own studio furniture.

Bresler Residents are responsible for maintaining the studio in a safe, reasonably tidy manner and may not make alterations to the space without permission.

The artist must leave the studio in the state in which it was found and remove all belongings at the end of the Residency.

Bresler Resident studios may be used only for art-making activities.

Bresler Residents are responsible for acquisition, insurance, and care of their materials and equipment.

Artists who wish to have kilns and other equipment that require additional electrical use must obtain permission for each such piece of equipment.

Application Requirements for Bresler Residency:
Applicant must submit:

  • ndividual artists must submit up to seven images of work produced during the last three years. Work samples may be a combination of high-resolution jpgs, pdfs, and time-based media (up to 10 minutes total).
  • Two minutes of video, film, sound, or performance documentation equal one work. Artists may choose to include links to Vimeo or YouTube public accounts for time-based work samples.
  • Collaborative teams must submit up to seven images of collaborative work along with a statement of the collaborative nature of the work.
  • Images must be in .jpg, .tiff, .png, .pdf, or .gif file formats.
  • Minimum image resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Maximum file size: 5MB per image.
  • Files must be labeled in the following way: last name_title of artwork_1.ext, last name_title of artwork_2.ext, etc. The file number should correspond with the number on the list of works. (Ex., Jane Doe_Untitled_1.jpg
  • List of Works:
    • Provide a numbered list of artworks with the following information: artist name, title of artwork, year, dimensions. A description of artwork is optional.
    • Resume/CV (If you are applying for the MC Collaborative-AiR, please highlight any previous residency experiences that engage community participation.)
  • Artist Bio (maximum 100 words)
  • Artist Statement (maximum 100 words)
  • Three References (If you are applying for the MC Collaborative AiR, it’s recommended to include at least one reference who can speak to your experience working with students or the community, including diverse audiences.)

Bresler Residency Proposal:
Describe your project, goals for the Residency, and how you might engage with the community or use community resources.

The project must be centered around environmental, social, racial, and/or economic justice.

You may include a drawing or representative images to help describe your proposal (maximum 250 words).

Bresler Residency – Preferred Dates:
Please indicate preferred residency dates (first and second choice):

January 19 – May 10, 2024
May 17 – September 13, 2024
September 23, 2024 – January 10, 2025 (Bresler Residency + Montgomery College Collaborative AiR)

Application Requirements for Bresler + Montgomery College Collaborative AiR Program:
Applicants must submit all materials and information required for Bresler Residency application, plus:

  • Proposal
    • A detailed proposal for a three-week residency, including how this project will expand students’ scope and experience in the visual arts through student participation.
  • Please include a detailed project title
  • Past project summaries are listed at https://www.montgomerycollege.edu/academics/departments/art-rockville/opportunities-projects.html
  • Please indicate what you would like to see as future plans for the collaborative artwork (ephemeral, donated, returned to students, property of the artist).
  • A proposed list of materials and equipment necessary for the project. This should include any materials needed for student participation.
  • You may provide a maximum of five supplemental support materials, such as drawings of proposed project.
    • This may include a sketch of the proposed use of gallery space (downloadable here), samples of proposed materials, and/or copies of reviews, brochures and articles that would help the selection committee understand the intent and scope of the proposal.

Eligible applications will be kept in an AIR directory for 5 years.

Questions about Montgomery College’s Collaborative AiR? Email [email protected]

All Bresler Residency applications will be reviewed by a panel of artists and arts professionals.

About VisArts
VisArts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our mission is to transform individuals and communities through the visual arts.

A hub for artistic exploration and social impact since 1987, VisArts brings people together through shared creative experiences, including:

  • Award-winning art classes, camps, and parties for children and adults
  • Critically acclaimed contemporary art exhibitions, programs + events
  • Studio Artist and Emerging Curator programs
  • VisAbility Art Lab and Accessible Arts Classes for artists with disabilities
  • Community art workshops
  • Art + Wellness programs
  • Volunteer and internship opportunities
  • The Rockville Arts Festival

These inspire new ideas, encourage self-expression, embrace diverse perspectives, and celebrate the visual arts as fundamental to a connected community.

VisArts is in Rockville Town Square, three blocks from the Rockville Metro station, at 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, Md. Our four galleries at 155 Gibbs Street are open Wednesday-Thursday/Saturday-Sunday, 12-4 p.m. and Friday, 12-8 p.m. Our 355 POD Space gallery, at 355 Hungerford Drive, is open 24/7. Exhibitions and gallery programs and events are free and open to the public.

Visit www.visartscenter.org or call 301.315.8200 for more information.