Residency Programs

Visiting Artist Ahmad Zakii Anwar 2015 sponsored by Baik Art + Susan Baik

18th Street Arts Center values art making as an essential component of a vibrant, just, and healthy society. Its mission is “to provoke public dialogue through contemporary art making.” Founded in 1988, 18th Street Arts Center has fostered and supported the work of many of Los Angeles’ most engaging artists, and has built bridges to artist communities around the globe.

18th Street Arts Center’s residency programs help build and strengthen the creative community by working with local, national and international artists and curators. There are five types of residencies, including local organizations in residence, where arts organizations have their offices and activities on our campus; local artists in residence, where LA-based artist occupy either live/work or day work studios for 1 year or more; a visiting artist program that hosts international and national artists and curators from between 1 to 3 months; a curator in residence, who has studio space for one calendar year to conduct research and foster community engagement through ancillary programs, such as symposia, lectures, and artist talks; and the Artist Lab Residency program, structured as both a residency and an exhibition for an LA-based artist (by invitation).

18th Street Arts Center’s visiting artist residency program has hosted more than 400 artists from dozens of countries around the world since it first began in 1992. Their presence at the Center has enlivened the multicultural dialogue of Los Angeles. Over the past seventeen years, more than 6000 diverse visual and performing artists have participated in programs at 18th Street Arts Center ranging from group and individual exhibitions to special events and presentations.

Residency Program: Frequently Asked Questions

18th Street Arts Center’s Visiting Artist Residency Program hosts artists from across the United States and from around the world. There are four live/work artist studios at the center where artists are in residence from 1 to 3 months at a time (sometimes longer). This program hosts artists of all disciplines as well as art curators, writers, and musicians. It includes invited artists as well as artists selected through an application process.

Mid-term residencies are open to local artists who wish to rent either live/work or day studios at the center for terms of 1-3 years. These studios are subsidized in part by 18th Street Arts Center, in an effort to provide artists with affordable rental properties within Santa Monica. The program is open to artists of all disciplines, as well as small, artist-run initiatives. Participants are selected through an application process on the basis of availability.

18th Street Arts Center’s Long-term Residency Program encompasses two types of residents including individual artists and art organizations. These “anchor tenants” help to define the character and scope of the organization through programmatic partnerships and community-building. Many of these residents have been with the organization since it was founded in 1988. This program is by invitation only.

To apply for the Visiting Artist Residency Program, please submit the following materials via email: Apply Here.

  • Letter of interest
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Work samples (digital files, pdfs, and website links are appropriate)
  • Statement about funding support (one paragraph, identifying any funding bodies that artist is approaching to support the residency, or statement of fiscal responsibility by the artist)
  • Additional materials may also be considered including an artist statement, press materials, letters of recommendation, and pdfs of catalogs or publications.

18th Street Arts Center presents solo exhibitions with Los Angeles’ most compelling emerging and mid-career artists in our Artist Lab, and showcases emerging LA artists and international visiting artists in our Atrium Gallery, as well as hosting artist talks, open studios, performances, and workshops. Sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on events and exhibitions.

The Visiting Artist Residency Program accepts applications from working, professional artists who demonstrate a deep commitment to their practices. The program is open to artists of all generations, nationalities, and disciplines. Applicants are required to cover studio rental costs themselves. Although we primarily support visual artists, 18th Street Arts Center will consider applications from performing artists, writers, and filmmakers as well.

18th Street Arts Center’s Visiting Artist Residency Program is open to artists from all nations.

18th Street Arts Center works with a variety of national and international partners to fund invited visiting artists. These include private foundations supporting the arts, as well as government entities such as foreign consulates, national and state organizations. Visiting artists selected on the basis of applications are self-funded, often through direct grants made to artists by government or nonprofit funders they have approached. If funding is not identified through partner organizations, artists may also pay the basic costs of the residency themselves.

Travel costs and stipends for invited artists are provided by the foundation or government agency funding their residency. Self-funded artists do not receive travel support or a stipend from 18th Street Arts Center.

Residencies generally last between 1 and 3 months.

On average, 18th Street Arts Center plays host to 16 to 20 visiting artists per year.

Generally, the studios are booked 1 year to 18 months in advance of an artist’s arrival. However, opportunities may arise within a period of months if there is a sudden vacancy. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed quarterly.

Invited artists are frequently nominated for the program by the entity funding their residency. These nominations as well as applications submitted through the open call on our website are reviewed by the Director of Residency Programs.

Each resident artist is provided with a fully furnished live/work studio apartment at our center, with cable TV, wifi, bikes, kitchen, and private bath. We are located blocks away from the beach in sunny Santa Monica, and in midst of the exciting, vigorous Los Angeles arts community. Each studio is differently configured, and spacious enough to hold events such as presentations of artwork and open studios. Residents are given access to office, computer, and audio/visual equipment as needed, as well as meeting space. Artists are prominently represented on our website and event postings and in our annual print catalogue.

No, 18th Street Arts Center does not provide visas, however we will provide international artists with an official letter of invitation that may be used to obtain a visa or other necessary documents.

A link to an archive of our previous visiting artists in residence can be found here: Artists Archive.

The Mid-term Artist Residency program accepts applications from working, professional artists who demonstrate a deep commitment to their practice. The program is open to artists of all disciplines, as well as small, artist-run initiatives. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

When there is an opening, 18th Street Arts Center posts the listing on our website, as well as sending out a call for applications through diverse media outlets. To submit an application, please submit the following materials via email: Apply Here.

  • Letter of interest
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Work samples (digital files, pdfs, and website links are appropriate)
  • Statement of fiscal responsibility

Additional materials may also be considered including an artist statement, press materials, letters of recommendation, and pdfs of catalogs or publications.

All of the studio spaces are different in size and layout. Price is based upon square footage. 18th Street Arts Center offers subsidized rents with prices at ranging between $1.00 and $2.00 square feet – which is well below market value for comparable studio space in the area. Most of our studios range from 400 to 1,000 square feet.

18th Street Arts Center rents both live/work and day studios.

Mid-term Artist Residency studios open up every 2 to 3 years. Long-term Artist Residency studios do not generally become available.

The Director of Residency Programs reviews applications when they are received. However, until a studio space is open, the selection committee will not evaluate applications for consideration. Studios open up on average every 2 to 3 years. Potential candidates for the Mid-term Artist Residency are invited for an in-person interview with the selection committee and 18th Street Arts Center staff as a prerequisite to occupancy.

Both artists and organizations in residence currently occupy the Long-term Artist Residency program. Information about the current local residents and the current resident organizations is available on our website.

For its Mid-term and Long-term Artist Residency programs, 18th Street Arts Center seeks to work with artists whose practices relate to our organization’s mission statement, which is to “provoke public dialog through contemporary art making.” Artists and organizations are prioritized who can help broaden our reach within diverse communities and who can potentially partner in upcoming programming initiatives.