Roman J. Witt Residency 2020

Roman J. Witt Residency 2020

The mission of the Roman J. Witt Residency Program is to support the production of new work at the University of Michigan. The program awards one residency per academic year for a visiting artist/designer to create work in collaboration with students and faculty. The 2020-2021 Witt Residency is organized in partnership by the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design and the Institute for the Humanities (IH) at the University of Michigan. The Institute for the Humanities will provide their renowned contemporary gallery as an installation and project space. The gallery has long been a nimble and progressive place, a space for critical inquiry with the ability to respond to complex and timely issues. Each exhibition offers a point of accessibility for public engagement, making more visible the connection between humanities research and real-world problems, with a deliberate commitment to social practice. The Institute for the Humanities Gallery presents five to six visually driven art projects annually which can include artist residencies, community and student engagement, cross-campus collaborations and artist/curator led classes.

Submitted proposals must include a description of how the project will address the Institute for the Humanities 2020-2021 theme exploring the idea of home; not limited to but potentially including considerations of temporary shelter, power as it pertains to space; identity/community, the emotional and philosophical landscape of home and homelessness, exile, memory and loss as it is associated with place. These responses are suggestions only; successful applicants will respond to the theme in a way that is unique and genuine to their vision.

The residency is expected to culminate in the realization of the proposed work, as well as its presentation. The cumulative exhibition will open in early April 2021 and will occupy the IH gallery — with possibilities for additional programming to extend beyond the gallery space. Plans should show consistency conceptually regarding the inherent overall structure of the project, have a strong visual impact and potential for engagement. This, along with the proposed work, will strongly determine selection of the artist/designer.

It is expected that a significant portion of time during the residency will be spent in direct interaction with students. Ideas for student interactions include but are not limited to: allowing students to work with the artist/designer; be in dialogue with the artist/designer; provide critiques on student work; engage in student-led interviews; or allowing for student observation of artist/designer’s process. Creative methods of engagement to animate the gallery space as a focal point of campus activity are highly encouraged. The 2020-2021 resident will conduct planning sessions remotely during the fall 2020 academic semester; they will be on-site in Ann Arbor during the winter 2021 academic semester, with student participation unfolding January 6-April 20, 2021, with the exhibition opening in early April 2021. Curatorial and installation support will also be provided. De-installation is the responsibility of the artist/designer: the work created is the property of the artist. Please see gallery plan.

The Witt Residency is open to both established and emerging artists/designers. The Witt residency provides students an alternative learning opportunity to engage with practicing artists/designers who can make use of resources across campus, therefore the ideal candidate must value collaboration, have good social and communication skills and be interested in generating creative partnerships across disciplines. It is the goal of the Witt Residency to foster an atmosphere of inventive creative activity that extends throughout the University community. The application is online and there is an apllication fee of $15.00. Deadline is 31st January 2020.

Witt Residents receive an honorarium of $20,000 for up to twelve weeks in residence served over an academic year. In addition to the honorarium, residents will be provided with housing, studio space, and up to $10,000 funding support for project materials, installation, and de-installation. The School encourages applications from individuals as well as from creative teams however, please be advised that the resources listed above are finite, including the travel budget. If teams apply the expectation is that the award will be shared between its members.

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