Storm King, the sprawling sculpture park and open-air museum in Mountainville, New York, will host an artist residency program for the first time in its 55-year history. The institution is initiating a two-year partnership with the Shandaken Project, a residency program that’s been located in the Catskill Mountains since its founding in 2012. The Shandaken Project will move to the grounds of Storm King and welcome its first group of artists in residence this June.
“The partnership between the Shandaken Project and Storm King Art Center grew out of conversations I was already having with Nora Lawrence, a curator at Storm King,” Shandaken Founder and Director Nicholas Weist told Hyperallergic. “Serendipitously, Storm King was looking to expand the ways they supported artists, while the Shandaken Project wanted to strengthen and deepen our signature residency program.”
“I think, in terms of timing for this, our board went through a strategic planning process in 2012,” Storm King President John Stern explains. “One of the six parts of our mission statement is to value relationships with artists and encourage development of their ideas and practices. And you know, I think that applies in many ways. As part our strategic plan, we said we would research and assess the capability of an artist-in-residence program. So that got us looking at existing programs and thinking about what might make sense at Storm King.”
The Shandaken Project accepts roughly 15 residents a season (June–September), with three located on site at a time. Each resident receives a private studio and anywhere from two to six weeks to focus on his or her practice and process. This model will remain the same when the residency relocates to Storm King; “the most important parts of the Shandaken Project experience — total freedom in the studio and a sense of belonging to a community of peers — will be preserved in their entirety,” Weist explains. The house and studios will be located on Storm King’s 500-acre campus, but “at a remove from public areas.” And while the two organizations will be linked geographically, they will remain separate entities with separate staffs.
Accordingly, the crossover opportunities for artists in residence will be both formal and informal. Shandaken artists will have the chance to propose projects for Storm King’s Wanderings and Wonderings program, but beyond that, Stern says he sees the partnership as mostly providing a site and a space for artists to pursue their practices. “I think primarily it’s a benefit to the artists to be at our site and have the opportunity to walk through the grounds and the collection and the works informally. There’s specifically no expectation about these artists making work at Storm King. That’s not the point. It’s really to use the site and the experience there, which is remarkable, as a great place for them to think and retreat and contemplate,” he says.
Open applications to the Shandaken Project at Storm King begin today and continue through February 20. The selected 2015 residents will be announced in March.