Upper Jay Art Center
The Upper Jay Art Center (UJAC) was founded by Scott and Byron Renderer in 2005 as a place to enjoy music, theater, and visual art. In 2008, it incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and, with a wink and a nod the brothers, upholsterers by trade, named the performance space the Recovery Lounge. Over the past decade, the Lounge has become an essential gathering place in the Ausable River valley, bringing an eclectic array of professional musicians to this rural corner of the northeast Adirondacks throughout the year and staging plays by classic and contemporary playwrights, acted by an ever expanding troupe of local talent. UJAC also hosts play and poetry readings, performance art, dance, art exhibits, and the CA+MP Residency Program. All events are affordable and many are free. Guests can expect a relaxed environment with warm acoustics, comfortable vintage furniture, and a diverse audience of all ages.
CA+MP Artist Residency Program
CA+MP – creative arts + multidisciplinary performance – is the emergent artist-in-residence program at the Upper Jay Art Center. We host artists in all disciplines for periods of 1-4 weeks, offering time and creative freedom within our unique and historic space to create, dream, perform, and explore.
Unlike many residency programs, our building operates like a living museum – likened to a Joseph Cornell box – and presents a plethora of objects, furniture, nooks and crannies for residents to explore and re-make anew, as well as a full live production suite (light and sound) and the sometimes raging waters of the Ausable River right outside the door. Residents can expect a loose, permissive vibe, as well as a curious and engaged local community with which to share their work.
Our goal is for these residencies to provide support to artists in any stage of their creative process, as well as opportunities to engage in cultural and cross-cultural conversations with local audiences, further challenging and growing our collective understanding of what connects (and divides) us, and ultimately, what it is to be in community with each other.
We accommodate both emerging and established artists working in visual disciplines (2D, 3D, mixed & digital media), film, writing (fiction, non-fiction, hybrid/new genres), music (performance, songwriting, recording), movement and dance, theater, performance art, as well as multidisciplinary artists of all stripes.
The CA+MP Artist Residency Program operates out of the Upper Jay Art Center (UJAC) – also known as the Recovery Lounge – and is located in Upper Jay, NY, in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Approximately 5 hours due north of NYC by car, the Adirondacks (a state park) is a large expanse of 6 million acres, 3 million of which are designated as "forever wild" forestland. Home to many small but thriving communities, Upper Jay is a small sleepy town within 20 minutes of the more bustling and international tourist mecca Lake Placid (known for hosting the 1932 & 1980 Winter Olympic Games), an array of active local farms, many pristine rivers and lakes, and most of the High Peaks, a collection of the state's highest 46 mountains that draw hikers and explorers year round. For the past century and beyond, the Adirondacks have also been a destination for artists and writers alike – a place to retreat to make their work amidst wild natural surrounds. At CA+MP, residents live and work inside "the Building" that houses UJAC, a turn-of-the-century former Model-T assembly factory perched on the edge of the Ausable River. Residents are housed inside a shared apartment and work on-site in various studio and performance sites throughout the space.
CA+MP residencies offer time and space for artists to experiment and explore within their creative process. Each session is slightly different, but the goals of the residency are to: support artists in their process and work; offer the time, space, facilities and staff support in order to do so; and to provide meaningful sharing and learning opportunities, as well as events for cultural exchange, for the artists and the local community. CA+MP residency sessions include 1-2 community events – such as open studios, open rehearsals, workshops, artist talks, showings and performances – tailored to the artists present in each cohort.
All CA+MP residencies involve 1-2 community events where artists share their work and process with the local community. These events are tailored to the artists present at each residency, as well as their work and interests.
"The Building" that houses our art center and residency program, also known as the Recovery Lounge or "The Lounge," is an old, funky space, filled with curiosities left over from times passed. Though cleaned regularly, it is inherently dusty and intentionally not pristine. The plumbing is old and sensitive. In the winter, it's chilly and sweaters are recommended. That said, the treasure trove you will discover, and the creative possibilities therein, are manifold. This residency is not for everyone, and we want to be upfront about its particulars so people know what they're getting into!
Artists will be sharing creative space! In many instances, artists will carve out their own private "spots" within the building to build or present their work, however sometimes spaces and resources are shared. We encourage collaborative inhabiting of the building and will work with residents to create schedules or other arrangements needed to cooperatively share certain spaces, stages, or equipment so that everyone gets what they need.
At this time this residency is not wheelchair accessible, and if you have other accessibility requirements or concerns, we encourage you to get in touch with us. We are able to offer (limited) help completing or formatting this application for artists with accessibility needs that affect their ability to do so. Lastly, due to the ongoing pandemic, our policy as of now is to require all CA+MP residents to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19.
Residencies include on-site living accommodations in an apartment shared with other residents. Most residents will be offered their own bedroom; artists who apply as a couple will be asked to share a bedroom; in rare instances, due to space and applicant acceptance, artists will be offered a shared bedroom. There is space in the application below to allow for preferences, re: rooming arrangements.
Both individual artists and groups can apply. Non-artist guests (family, friends) cannot be accommodated as overnight guests at CA+MP.
We have spaces that accommodate artists working in visual media and disciplines, as well as digital, film, media, mixed-media, music, performing arts, and more. Artists must provide their own materials and most of their equipment. We have some equipment for use on-site - if you have special requirements, please don't hesitate to ask before applying: [email protected]
The Upper Jay Art Center is accessible by car, as well as bus and train to nearby towns (in which case a residency coordinator will pick you up, however we do not provide vehicles for resident use, so you would have to arrange other ways to get around, get groceries, etc).