The Art Biz ep. 151: Running an Artist Residency Alongside a Studio Practice with Shannon Amidon

Artist residencies, in whatever form they take, are invaluable to an artist’s growth.

But there are barriers to doing residencies—primarily the time commitment and cost.

In this episode of The Art Biz, I talk with Shannon Amidon, an artist who has created a residency especially for, but not limited to, artists who might be parents or caretakers and can’t commit to the month or longer that some residencies require.

Shannon Amidon encaustic painting
©Shannon Amidon, Endless Whispers. Encaustic on wood panel, 36 x 24 x 1.5 inches.

In my research on artist residencies, I have discovered how helpful it is when the residency involves some kind of travel, during which you are slowly transitioning away from your daily life and toward a different mental and physical space that opens up your creativity. The longer the travel, the better. 

It's also a plus when the residency environment contrasts with your familiar surroundings.

Shannon’s residency is The Verdancy Project, and while it’s easy driving distance from Portland, Oregon, it’s far enough out that you step into a new world. It’s for artists who want to be close to nature. As you will hear, it provides an experience distinctly different from the one most artists are used to.

We discuss:

  • How The Verdancy Project is set up
  • What the facilities are like
  • What she looks for in her artists
  • Some of the mistakes artists make on their applications
  • How she learned the nuts and bolts of managing an artist residency

Shannon also reveals how she manages to run the residency while maintaining the commitment to her studio practice.


Mentioned and Related

The Verdancy Project Shannon Amidon
Various spaces at The Verdancy Project. Featuring the Treehouse, glamping tent, and studio space.

Shannon Amidon Quotes

“It's very important to have a focus on the kind of artists that you want to, host.”

“It's been really wonderful to see the property and this experience through the eyes of a different discipline.”

“Artists need time to contemplate and gestate and plant seeds.”

“Artists  have lives where we have to take care of families, work, pay the bills, do all of this stuff, and it's all competing with our art practice.”

“I'm always encouraging people to try at least one [artist residency] because you really discover a lot about yourself, your practice, the way you work.”

“I'm really more interested in quality over quantity, so I really wanna keep being able to serve artists in the best way possible.”

About My Guest

Shannon Amidon is a professional visual artist and the founder and director of The Verdancy Project, a multidisciplinary community-oriented art experiment with a mission of fostering curiosity and inspiring environmental stewardship. In her art career spanning 20 years, Shannon has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions worldwide, curated group exhibits, garnered press, received several grants and fellowships, and participated in artist residencies all over the world, focusing on both art-making and ecological research. She often collaborates with other artists, scientists, activists, and researchers.

Follow on Instagram: @shannonamidon and @theverdancyproject

Shannon Amidon

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