Monson Arts is a new artists’ residency and art center in Monson, Maine featuring month-long residencies throughout the year, shorter intensive workshops, and educational partnerships with local secondary schools.
Since it was founded in 1822, the community has had an economy based on natural resources. In the late 19th through the early 20th centuries, slate quarries supported a thriving industry. Moosehead Manufacturing produced wood furniture from 1945 until its closure in 2007. The region also has a rich arts tradition— ranging from Henry David Thoreau, who wrote about the area in The Maine Woods to photographer Berenice Abbott who lived in nearby Blanchard, to traditional makers such as the North Woods Canoe Company in Atkinson.
In the spring of 2017, Maine’s Libra Foundation began investing in the development of an arts program for Monson as a way to spur economic and creative growth in the region. The foundation has purchased and renovated over 20 buildings in the community to be used for residences and studios. Stuart Kestenbaum, former director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Maine’s poet laureate, is advising the foundation on the development of the programs.
One applicant is selected through a juried process to attend the Monson Arts Residency. The residency includes meals and housing.
The program is open to visual artists and writers. All artists are given a studio which is a large empty classroom in a former school. In that same building, there is a clay studio with as kiln that offers classes to the public.
The program hosts 5 visual artists and 5 writers at a time. Each resident is given a private studio in one of Monson Arts’ newly renovated buildings in town. Access is also provided to a common wood shop and metal shop for fabrication needs
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Location, Residency Length
Monson Arts offers 8 month-long residencies annually, as well as one two-week residency for artists and writers.
Monson is located at the edge of Maine’s North Woods – a 3.5 million acres of forest bordering Canada. It is the last town on the Appalachian Trail before the beginning of the 100-Mile Wilderness that leads to Mount Katahdin.
Open to MECA degree-holding alumni.
Non graduated alums, SALT graduates, Post Baccalaureate graduates, Continuing Studies faculty and students are ineligible to apply.
Disciplines: Visual artists and writers.
Studio and Special Equipment
Basic studio space with access to basic wood shop and metal shop.
Residents will be provided a private room with a shared bath.
Residents will be provided meals during their month-long stay.
Spouses, partners, and children are not allowed at this residency.
Access to the internet will be available at the residency.
Other Facilities and Services
Many art materials are not generally accessible in the area, so it is best to bring the supplies that you will need.
There is no fee to attend this residency. Residents will be awarded a $1,000 stipend.
Deadlines, Review Process
Applications for the 2019 Monson Arts Residency are now closed.
Residencies will be determined based on the quality of work submitted, evidence that the applicant’s career will benefit from the residency, that the nature and scope of proposed projects fit within the space and time limitations of the residency and that the applicant is able to work independently and responsibly.
Application Instructions & Requirements
Before applying, please review all the information on application requirements and instructions.
- Go to the MECA Submittable page
- Create a Submittable account to start your application
- Select the Monson Arts Application
- Complete your application via Submittable
Please note: If you do not receive a thank you confirmation and an email message after submitting your application, your application has not successfully uploaded. Contact the alumni office with any questions. email@example.com or 207.699.5018
Prepare the following information in advance of submitting your application. Incomplete applications will not be considered for review.
- One-page statement of purpose explaining why you want to attend this residency
- Biographies for each artist
- Resume / CV for each artist
- Image descriptions that correspond to your images which include title, medium, size and year of completion.
- Work Samples (10 samples for individual applicants, 20 samples for teams)
- For artists submitting images: 10 digital images of your work are required. All images should be formatted as jpegs with a minimum width of 800 pixels and a maximum of 1024 pixels per side, saved at a resolution of 72 dpi.
- Name your image files as follows: LastNameFirstNameNumber.jpg (i.e.CleoAlex01.jpg,CleoAlex02.jpg). Do not include any spaces, dashes, or other symbols when labeling your images.
- Image information, including title, date, media, and physical dimensions of each piece, must be supplied in the space below each image upload.
- For time-based/ new media work: Supply URLs for 3 links via YouTube, Vimeo or Soundcloud to video or sound pieces less than 8 minutes in length.
- For writers or scholars: 2-3 writing samples that are one to two pages long. Save your 2-3 submissions into one document.
All submissions must have been completed within the last three years. All documents listed above should be saved as a Word document or a PDF.
Contact the Alumni Office at 207.699.5018 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Isaac Crabtree.