Sonoran Arts Residency 2019
Sonoran Arts Residency 2019
In 2018 the Sonoran Desert Inn & Conference Center launched a new artist residency. This residency is open to emerging, mid-career and established artists, giving them the opportunity to step away from the day-to-day hustle and focus on a new or existing project in an inspiring setting. Ajo is a quiet, little-known town in the heart of Arizona's Sonoran Desert, ideal for a period of creativity and experimentation, as well as exploration. The community is full of artists of all kinds and embraces visiting artists from across the country and around the globe.
For Spring 2019, there is no prescribed theme or medium. They are focusing on visual and performing artists, and preference is given to Native and Latin individuals to highlight the historic (and historically underrepresented) populations of this region. That said, artists of all backgrounds and cultures are encouraged to apply. They are now accepting applications for 4-week residencies in May 2019.
Visiting artists are given a kitchenette room at the Sonoran Desert Inn for the duration of their stay. The rooms, all former elementary school classrooms, are comfortable, air conditioned, spacious, and full of light. The kitchenette, stocked with a coffeemaker (and locally roasted coffee), fridge, microwave, stove, pots, pans, and dishes, allows artists to easily prepare their own simple meals. All rooms are on the ground level and open onto a lovely central courtyard, the centerpiece of which is an urban farm managed by their partners, the Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture. ADA-friendly rooms are available. While other guests will be staying at the inn during the residency, they intentionally host artists-in-residence during the quiet months. Expect javelinas, bright night skies, and conversations with locals and travelers. Don't expect a courtyard full of people or a packed roster of events.
Visiting artists will also be provided, at no cost, a large, air conditioned classroom as their studio space. Classrooms are approximately 800 square feet and have five 8-foot windows, letting in lots of natural light. They are equipped with an artist sink; hi-speed WiFi; cabinets, closets and shelving for storage of supplies; and tables and chairs (which can be removed if not needed). Studios are ADA-friendly, with ADA-accessible restrooms nearby. They have rehearsal and performance space available, as well as outdoor work spaces for artists wishing to work en plein air. While they welcome visual and performing artists working in any medium to apply, there are some limitations to the work space and available equipment.
The Sonoran Arts Residency provides time and space to explore Ajo and the surrounding region, and get to know the locals and fellow artists. It isn’t strictly a retreat-style residency, where you will work in isolation for days at a time - although by expanding it from 2 weeks in Fall 2018/Winter 2019 to 4 weeks in Spring 2019, visiting artists should be able to balance focused work time and community exploration. The organizers envision the residency as a chance for artists-in-residence to contribute to the growing arts community in Ajo, so they will ask each visiting artist to participate in community activities to showcase their work. This generally takes shape as a pop-up show in a local gallery near the end of your residency, and open studio times throughout.