East City Art Features: The CHAW Gallery Residency

By Editorial Team on August 17, 2017
The residency workspace which eventually doubles as a gallery. Image courtesy CHAW.

Mission of the Residency program

The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) has successfully piloted a new community focused artist-residency program.  The program culminates into a solo exhibition opportunity for the resident artist. The CHAW Gallery Residency provides a supportive environment for experimentation while functioning as an artist incubator space that interacts with the community.

As an organization with a proven track record of building community through the arts, the residency immediately engages artist residents with members of the Capitol Hill community. Resident artists create work in CHAW’s gallery during regular hours culminating into an exhibition.Hannah Jacobson Blumenfeld,Co-Executive Director at CHAW elaborates that, “”The Gallery Residency is a fantastic way to advance our mission of building community through the arts.  The Residency aims to hold space for artists to grow, breathe, and create in an environment that welcomes experimentation and open interpretation of what it means to be in a gallery setting, as well as provide the opportunity for community members to engage and interact with the artistic process.  We hope to promote dialogue and lower the barrier to entry–for both artists and audience members–while raising the bar on community arts.  This unique blend of interaction and creative energy is exactly what has made CHAW such a special space in our community for the past 45 years–and we look forward to another 45 with programs like this one leading the way!”

Ellen Cornett, the CHAW Gallery Residency Manager, grew her body of work during a similar residency.  In September 2015, at the Brentwood Arts Exchange in Brentwood, MD, gallery director Phil Davis challenged her to create a large-scale drawing in public view which she describes as “a game-changer.” Says Cornett, “It was terrifying but also exciting. I got to do something I hadn’t done; take some risks in my work.  We want the community, artists and non-artists alike, to see and understand that artists don’t do a single thing—that they’re not stuck in a moment in time—they evolve, change, grow and create new work. Often an artist won’t know how to make something work or if it’s going to be successful but to move forward, she must be willing to crash and burn and fail epically.  The CHAW Residency will be a space that’s safe and supportive.  It’s a growth opportunity for the artist and also the community that gets to observe and interact with the artist.” 

Pink Cycle, CHAW Gallery Resident Show 2016 with Carolina Mayorga. Image courtesy CHAW.

Demystifying Artist Open Studios and the Artistic Process

On August 26, 2016, Carolina Mayorga inaugurated the pilot Resident Gallery Art program with Life of a Pink Fly, where she worked on a series of drawings in CHAW’s gallery during public open studio hours.  Mayorga drew a series of studies, all pink colored, resulting in a 10 x 12 foot mural of a pink fly. Mayorga’s work addressed social and political issues, beauty and perception with an emphasis on the topics of migration and immigration. Just as Mayorga’s residency allowed visitors to examine her artistic process which culminated into a final exhibition, so did Pam Roger’s Botanica Magnifca.  During Rogers’ residence at CHAW, she continued her time-honored process of using found plant materials to create both two and three dimensional works. The materials, both native and invasive, came from locally found species on Capitol Hill.  Her work culminated in a series of two and three dimensional works that adorned the gallery walls.

Botanica Magnifica, CHAW Gallery Resident Pam Rogers 2017. Image courtesy CHAW.

Application Process and Important Dates

May 24, 2017 – Announcement of Call for Entry
September 6, 2017 – Midnight deadline for all submissions
October 2-13, 2017 – Scheduled interviews with final three candidates
November 1, 2017 – Announcement of CHAW Gallery Resident Artist for 2018

  • Artists working in all media are welcome to apply, but CHAW cannot support the use of hazardous materials that require specific ventilation requirements.
  • The gallery may be used only for art-making activities and educational or public programming associated with them.
  • The Resident Artist is responsible for maintaining the gallery in a safe and reasonably tidy manner, and will not make alterations to the space without permission. The artist must leave the gallery in the state in which it was found and remove all belongings at the end of the residency.
  • The Resident Artist is responsible for acquisition, insurance, and care of his or her materials and equipment. Artists who wish to use equipment that creates additional electrical use must obtain permission for each piece of equipment that they wish to use.
Work Space of Gallery Resident Artist, Pam Rogers, 2017. Image courtesy CHAW.

The Resident Artist will participate in the following during his or her residencies:

  • Work in the studio at CHAW for a minimum of 10 hours/week.
  • Welcome the public during exhibition opening receptions.
  • Present an artist talk, workshop, screening or other mutually agreed upon public event.
  • Create documentation of the artist’s creative process during the course of the residency. This might take the form of blogging, video, journal, or social media, to be confirmed in conversation with the artist.
  • Donate one piece of art to the show sponsor.

CHAW will provide the following:

  • A $1000 stipend
  • Print and social media promotion
  • Opening reception for the public with refreshments
  • Refreshments, if appropriate, for workshop or other public event

For more information go to www.chaw.org/artist-residency

To apply directly go to client.smarterentry.com/chaw

The CHAW Gallery Residency is made possible by J. Wade Carey