SFAI Residency Program


Beginning in July of 2014, Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) will implement yearlong thematic programing that will address pertinent questions facing diverse local and global communities. By hosting residencies for creative practitioners, fostering partnerships with cultural and educational organizations, and integrating social entrepreneurship incubators and design/build workshops, SFAI aspires to transform Santa Fe into a hub for positive social change that reflects the greatest needs of our times.

SFAI conducts a bi-annual, competitive selection process for residencies is primarily based on the applicant’s ability to creatively and critically engage with the theme of the residency season for which they are applying. The selection focuses on the professional experience of the artist, the quality of their past work, and their potential to sustain productive residency at SFAI. The selection committee is comprised of successful artists, gallery owners, art instructors, writers, and other creative professionals from Santa Fe and the surrounding areas. SFAI supports more than 60 residents per year and offers a cohesive, theme-focused environment and provocative working conditions. Residents are housed in well-appointed rooms with private baths. Those with studio-based practices will be accommodated in large, semi-private studios. The overall physical layout of the residency space encourages daily interaction and fosters communication among residents.

Residency Theme 2014-2015

The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) implements yearlong thematic programing that addresses pertinent questions facing diverse regional and global communities. By hosting residencies for creative practitioners, fostering partnerships with regional cultural and educational organizations, and integrating social entrepreneurial and education initiatives, SFAI aspires to transform Santa Fe into a hub for positive social change that reflects the greatest needs of our times.

SFAI is pleased to announce Immigration/Migration as its next residency and programmatic theme.  From September 2015 through May of 2016, SFAI and its community partners will explore several questions:

Who immigrates and why? How does the journey of migrants contribute to who we are? What happens when diverse communities come together with local and global advocates, activists, and policy makers to explore alternative models, narratives, projects, and interventions relating to the complex terrain of immigration and migration? How can SFAI cultivate participatory discourse between invested local stakeholders and creative practitioners that examines complexities and inequities in current and historic immigration systems?

Please join SFAI as we focus on this impactful issue that transcends social, cultural, and economic boundaries. The current deadline for residency applications is January 6, 2015

Residency Length and Availability

SFAI provides residencies for creative practitioners from all over the world.  Applications are received online, on a rolling basis from July through December. The length of residencies varies from one month minimum to three continuous months, maximum. Residencies are not available during the months of January. Residency and program themes run from August through May.

Application Requirements

All applications must be uploaded here.

CV/Resume (up to 6000 words)

Residency Proposal (up to 3000 words)

Statement (up to 3000 words)

Short Narrative Bio

Two Letters of Reference

Visual Artists: 10 still images, or 5 minutes of video

Writers: 10 pages of prose or 10 poems (not to exceed 15 pages total)

SFAI will accept a composite of written and visual materials for creative practices that result in diverse forms of documentation

Residency Fees

Application Fee: $35, non-refundable

Residency Fee: $1,000.00 per month

Residency Application Deadlines

July 5 Annual theme announced

January 31 Application deadline. Residencies to be scheduled for August through May.


SFAI does not accept residency applications by email, regular mail, or fax.

Apply here.

Financial Aid

SFAI offers limited financial aid in the form of need-based scholarships made possible by the generosity of the Brindle Foundation, the McCune Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the Pollock Krasner Foundation. Application for and allocation of all scholarships will be awarded once the applicant has been accepted into residency. Need-based scholarships are decided at the discretion of the SFAI, based on tax returns and letters of financial necessity. With any further questions please contact the Nina Elder, Residency Program Manager, at

Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Residency

SFAI, in conjunction with the Witter Bynner Foundation, offers two poetry translator residencies per year.  The residencies are open to both published and emerging poetry translators.  A stipend to subsidize transportation and a modest living stipend are included in this one-month residency.

The annual application deadline for the Witter Bynner Fellowship is July 5. Artists must apply here. To find out more about this opportunity, please contact the Nina Elder, Residency Program Manager, at

Harpo Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship

Harpo Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship

The Harpo Foundation’s Emerging Artist Residency Fellowship at the Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) was established in 2013 to provide an annual opportunity to an emerging visual artist 25 years and older who needs time and space to explore ideas and start new projects.  Artist Fellows will receive a one-month residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, which includes a handsomely appointed room with private bath, a beautiful, well-lit studio space, and a $500 travel stipend. Founded in 1985, the Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) provides a unique opportunity for emerging artists to pursue creative projects without interruption. SFAI supports over 50 residents per year and offers a cohesive, arts-focused environment that creates the ideal working conditions for resident artists. Living and studio space is located within a nearly 17,000 square foot complex designed by renowned Mexican architect, Ricardo Legoretta. The unique SFAI environment allows residents to be as interactive or private as they wish. There are no requirements on the work produced during their time at SFAI. One Fellowship is awarded annually to emerging artists who demonstrate:

  • Strong artistic ability and promise
  • An evolving practice this is at a pivotal moment in its development

Application Process and Deadlines The 2015 application deadline is Friday, September 4, 2015. Artists must apply at To find out more about this opportunity, please contact Residency Program Manager Nina Elder at (505) 424-5050 or at the Santa Fe Art Institute.

Family Residency Initiative

The family residency initiative offers a one-month residency to parent artists. The SFAI recognizes the lack of residency opportunities for artists to be able to take advantage of residencies without having to leave their children behind. We are taking responsibility in doing our part to close that gap by offering an environment that supports both creative opportunities and the needs of artists with children. To find out more about this opportunity, please contact Residency Program Manager, Nina Elder, at

Rasmuson Foundation Artist in Residence (Alaskan Artists only)

The Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program will support eight-week residencies for Alaska artists at Lower 48 organizations, and welcome to Alaska organizations accomplished artists from Outside. Support to the host organizations cover artist travel and stipend, administrative fees, housing and meal costs, materials, and local transportation.

SFAI will make final selections from applicants who complete an online application through Rasmuson Foundation. Only artists who have previously received a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award are eligible to apply. See:

For more information, contact Program Officer Jayson Smart: (907) 297-2882; (877) 366-2700 toll-free in Alaska; or email


Emergency Relief Residences

SFAI’s Emergency Relief Residency program provides respite to artists effected by the horrors of political, social, or natural disasters. SFAI began the Emergency Relief Residency in 2001 for New York artists following the devastating events of 9/11. The hurricanes and flooding in the Gulf Coast region underscored our feeling of responsibility toward our US peers and colleagues.  In comprehending the loss of lives and the ways in which the work of a lifetime can be wiped out in an instant, SFAI reinstituted our Emergency Relief Residency Program to provide living space and studios to professional artists, writers, and crafts people of the Gulf Coast states, whose lives and livelihoods have been so deeply affected.

SFAI continually opens its doors to artists whose lives and creative work have been disrupted. SFAI has received support for this initiative through generous contributions from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation.


SFAI Facilities and Accommodations

Artists selected for a residency receive living and working space at the SFAI, which is centrally located within Santa Fe’s vibrant and diverse cultural community. The SFAI facility, a nearly 17,000 square foot complex designed by renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta includes gallery and exhibition spaces, sky lit studios, a growing contemporary art library, courtyards, laundry facilities, communal kitchen, and dining and living room areas. The unique SFAI environment allows residents to be as interactive or private as they wish. There are no requirements on the work produced during their time at SFAI.

All residents receive private living quarters with a private bath. Each room is equipped with an Ethernet connection, and there is wireless Internet throughout the building. Visual artists are provided with a semi-private studio space.  Writers are welcome to use the library for writing and reading, as well as their own private rooms equipped with desks. Depending upon availability, writers may also request studio space. Two outdoor courtyard spaces are also available. The communal kitchen is fully stocked with cooking supplies and utensils, and there is ample food storage.  The SFAI provides basic food-stuffs, such as bread, eggs and milk.

SFAI’s facility meets all ADA requirements with complete accessibility for wheelchairs to studio and living spaces. Two resident rooms are equipped with bathroom facilities for wheelchair access, and since SFAI’s complex is one level, there are no stairs or barriers. All signage is presented in large clear type (English and Spanish) and in Braille. A Residency Assistant is always available for residents on site.

SFAI has the additional benefit of being located on the College of Santa Fe campus. Residents have access to extensive library services and a fully equipped gym. Campus security is also available 24 hours a day.  For those residents with a U.S. driver’s license, there are three vehicles available for local use. SFAI is walking distance to bus stops, several grocery stores and other businesses. We also have several bicycles available for daily use.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe was the first city in the US to be designated as a member of the creative-cities network by UNESCO. SFAI resident artists have access to some of the most diverse arts and cultural activities in the US.  Santa Fe is particularly rich with cultural activities available, such as museums, galleries, historic landmarks, unique geography, and outdoor activities.  Santa Fe is known for its patronage of contemporary art and literature and a thriving gallery scene.  Virtually every weekend of the year artists in residence can attend museum or gallery openings showcasing Santa Fe’s considerable support for the traditional arts and visionary contemporary art.