Windgate Wood Arts Residency Program
Research – Exploration – Collaboration
The Windgate Wood Arts Residency Program (widely known as the International Turning Exchange, or ITE) is a collegial experience in which the resident Fellows explore new work through research, exploration, and collaboration. The Center for Art in Wood awards prestigious fellowships for the annual residency program, selecting from an international pool of applicants. Fellowships consist of five artists, a visual documentarian, a scholar/educator/writer, and a student artist. Fellows work either solely in wood or in other materials in meaningful combination with wood. Applicants must exhibit proficiency in woodworking techniques in order to be eligible. The residency concludes in an exhibition at the Center for Art in Wood comprising work made by Fellows before and during the program.
NOTE: The Center is an ADA compliant facility and the Center will make effort to provide specific and appropriate accommodations for fellows, as is needed, to ensure their full participation in the program.
About the Residency
Established in 1995, the Windgate Wood Arts Residency Program has received generous endowment funds from the Windgate Foundation. . During the nine-week program, the fellows are brought to Philadelphia to work together at the North Philadelphia location of NextFab (1800 N. American Street), a network of membership-based makerspaces. The residency runs from early June through early August each year. For the complete list of Fellows, click here.
The program is designed as a collegial experience and encourages an open exchange of creative and technical innovations. Residents are able to pursue both individual and collaborative work that is explorative and experimental. The visual documentarian will document the residents’ experience using the medium of their choice. As with the other residents, exploration and experimentation are encouraged and the visual documentarian is free to pursue artistic as well as documentary projects. The scholar/educator joins the group for one-week mid-residency to explore personal research, engage in open discussions; and conduct interviews with the residents about their backgrounds and experimentation during the residency. The intention for this exchange is to stimulate scholarly dialog amongst the residents as well as provide the basis for a written reflection.
Residents receive a $400 weekly stipend; reimbursed round-trip transportation to Philadelphia; housing, supplies, and travel in the region. A modest allowance for special materials is also awarded. Residents are often successful at obtaining donations or sponsorships to support their expenses and it is encouraged (not a criteria for selection to the program). Residents also participate in several Center-sponsored educational events. The events vary from Open Studio Day – when the public visits the NextFab shop mid-residency for demonstrations and to see the developing ideas and work; an annual hands-on weekend with local and international artists at Echo Lake (Bucks County, PA), and regional trips to visit artists, collectors, and museums. The Windgate residency concludes with the presentation of the artists’ work in a multi-disciplinary exhibition that features each fellow’s experience and growth by including objects produced before and during the program. Three-dimensional work is accompanied by photos and essays documenting the residency experience. Residents will have opportunities to share their professional and personal Windgate experiences with the public Gallery Talks following the exhibition’s opening.
Artists and makers working either solely in wood or wood in combination with other materials utilizing multiple techniques are encouraged to apply. Applicants must demonstrate artistic innovation, technical know-how, and professional experience. Proposals for the residency should articulate how the Windgate International Residency experience will facilitate new avenues of research, exploration, and experimentation, as well as approaches and concepts to be explored while on the residency. Residents may focus on objectives concerning their individual work or work in collaboration with other fellows.
The Student Artist fellowship is open to anyone who is currently a BFA, MFA, undergraduate, graduate, or one year out from an undergraduate or graduate program, or equivalent formal education. A reference letter from a professor or instructor is required, in addition to a statement from an instructor or department chair attesting to the applicant’s proficiency and experience with tools and machinery.
The Visual Documentarian fellowship candidate will outline their personal artistic history and work and state how they propose to document all the participants throughout the residency. This encompasses all activities both in and out of the studio. Candidates are encouraged to propose documentary methods that expand and challenge conventional approaches to documentation and demonstrate creative use of the documentary medium, whether in digital or film photography, video, drawing and sketching, digital illustration, or other formats.
The Scholar/Researcher lives on-site for one week at the midpoint of the residency, while work is well underway in the studio. Applicants for this position should declare their academic interests, explain how direct access to the other residents will enhance their professional activities, and demonstrate a profound desire to attend the residency. The applicant agrees to provide a written summary or works to reflect their Windgate Residency experience as part of the final exhibition. The statement will also be included in Center publications and/or online platforms and should be made available for other publications by the Scholar fellow.