The general Residency Program has provided more than 250 artists, writers, musicians and natural science scholars the opportunity to conduct their work in the unique environment of Cascade Head and Salmon River estuary. Residents are on campus October through mid-May for our general residency program and throughout the summer for some of our specialty programs.
The Sitka Center hosts approximately 14-25 residents each year. Some residents are emerging voices while others are mature professionals who are internationally recognized in their disciplines. Residents come from across the U.S. and, to date, seventeen nations.
Up to five residents at a time, usually from different disciplines and stages in their careers, live and work on campus anywhere from 2 weeks up to 3 1/2 months free of charge. A residency is about taking precious time out of the regular routine of life and expanding into the space of creativity, it is a gift of space and time.
Tucked in the forest near Cascade Head, Sitka is an ideal location to withdraw from the distraction of daily life, finding the solitude needed to push through creative boundaries and chase artistic pursuits. We revere this practice. Our intention is to offer residencies of two weeks and up to three and one half months with living spaces and studios that enhance this experience.
Fall General Residency and Howard L. McKee Ecology Residency: September 30, 2019- January 10, 2020
Spring General Residency and Howard L. McKee Ecology Residency: January 20, 2020- April 30, 2020
Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency Dates: We are not taking applications for the 2019-2020 cycle of printmaking residencies. The 2020-2021 dates will be:
Session 1- Sept. 28 - Oct. 9, 2020
Session 2- Oct. 19 - Oct. 30, 2020
Session 3- Jan. 18 - Jan. 29, 2021
General Residency, Howard L. McKee Ecology, Recorder, and Artist at Sea: April 16, 2019
Other speciality residencies have alternative deadlines and will be announced as they are available.
Studios and residences are assigned by the Sitka Center depending on the needs of a particular group of residents. The residences include living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen areas set-up with basic cooking supplies. Residents are encouraged to bring items to make the living space accommodate their personal needs, e.g., a favorite cooking skillet or pillow. Laundry facilities are available on campus. Each resident has their own private residence within walking distance of each other. Most residents are given a private studio. No stipend is provided. Residents are responsible for providing their own food, art supplies, and transportation while in residence. For more detailed information about our studios and facilities.
Sitka Center is located seven miles from Lincoln City, the nearest town, and is within the privately owned neighborhood of Cascade Head Ranch. The nearest access to public transportation is about 3 miles away. While the majority of day-to-day needs can be purchased in Lincoln City, many art supplies are not readily available, and must be purchased in Portland (a 2-hour drive) or shipped. The Sitka Center borders a Nature Conservancy Preserve, the Siuslaw National Experimental Forest, and the Salmon River estuary, and is located within a National Scenic Research area and a United Nations Biosphere Reserve.
The Sitka Center is smoke and e-cigarette free. Pets are not allowed on the Sitka Center campus, including in the residences, studios, office, outdoor spaces or in parked cars. No candles or incense please.
The living space and studio space is offered free-of-charge. There is a small application fee of $25 which helps support the residency program. The resident is responsible for all travel and living expenses, e.g., food, art supplies and consumables.
You will need to bring all of the supplies and equipment necessary for your residency. We use our studios for a wide range of mediums and by not stocking supplies and maintaining equipment we can provide space to a wider variety of artists. We do have basic items like, easels, task lights, tables & chairs, projector, printing press, etc. but we do not have supplies used for art making. Please talk with us about your specific needs.
We welcome all mediums and disciplines of artistic work at the Sitka Center. Possibilities maybe limited only by the facilities and equipment available. Currently, we offer residencies to visual artists, writers, musicians, composers, natural scientists and individuals working with ecological or environmental studies. We are open to other creative disciplines that would fit well with our facilities.
Residents are selected in a range of skill levels. We believe in the magic that happens when professional and emerging artists have the opportunity to exchange ideas through conversations, projects, or occasionally sharing meals. When several residents from different disciplines and skill levels live and work in the same area, cross-pollination occurs on many levels -- from a casual chat that inspires new ideas to an intentional project that transforms the resident's work.
"Place" is what makes the Sitka residency experience extraordinary. We're nestled in a Sitka spruce tree grove located in the Cascade Head Scenic Research Area. Along with the pristine, lush, green environment comes a sense of tranquility and peace. We encourage residents to experience the area by hiking, walking, following elk trails, canoeing, and kayaking.
Residents must consider whether or not this is the right environment for them. We are approximately seven miles from the nearest grocery story in Lincoln City with a population of about 7,000. It rains frequently -- about 193 days per year -- with an annual rainfall of 98 inches, thus rain gear is essential for outside exploration.
We plan a few casual events during the residents' time here. A few days after arrival, we hold a Show & Tell and invite the local community. During the evening, or Saturday afternoon, residents share a brief presentation (approximately 15 minutes each) about their work. This allows for immediate connection between the residents and the local community. We schedule two hikes with local experts to help orient the residents to the area and help them get to know each other and also offer soup and salad dinners every other week to build community.
On the other hand, we respect that some residents want more solitude while others desire more community involvement and consequently, we offer optional ideas for connecting with each other, e.g., movie nights in our library, weekly lunch, or group hiking. It's up to each resident to coordinate how frequently or infrequently they want to interact with other residents and the community. Our hope is that this gives each resident what he/she needs in terms of solitude and community involvement.
Our expectation is that residents participate in the Show & Tell, complete an exit interview, and leave the residence and studio spaces in the same condition as when they arrived (or better). We have no expectations about your creative processes.
Significant support for the Sitka Center's Residency Program comes from the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Ford Family Foundation and the donors to the named residency funds. Sitka also receives support from the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, and hundreds of donors and members.
"Each day of my residency at Sitka, I spend time in the forest, along the river, and exploring the coast. Through learning that boletes emerge from spruce duff and oyster mushrooms thrive in downed alder, I developed a skill for mushroom hunting. Globally, nationally, and climatically, this is a time of conflict and challenge; my time at Sitka has given me an opportunity to recognize and reflect on interconnectedness, organic communities, and healthy co-dependence. Artists are so often under-supported and over-extended, and my time at Sitka has allowed me to connect and create. Thank you for inviting me into the generative ecosystem!" -Nina Elder, Fall 2016
"I worked at Sitka for several years, made this remarkable place my home, believed in its mission, understood well why students returned every summer for the workshops as well as the deep emotional connection, and I hiked the Cascade Head trail hundreds of times. But now that I'm one of the Artists-in-Residence, it's as if I'm experiencing Sitka for the first time. My roots go deep and discover a new home ground. The mission is still clear, but the work is mine now. Each of us is treated like our work is the most important effort in the world. And that's enough to make us believe it's true. We're allowed enough time to develop the confidence and momentum of our ideas, enough support to know that wherever we fetch up in the future, that support will always be felt." Rebecca Welti, Fall 2016
"The freedom to work for an entire day -- or week or month or year -- gives most artists the feeling of returning home. The work is where we know we belong, where we find ourselves with all of the strange and wonderful tools we've discovered over the course of our careers to navigate the unique journey of our lives. For my four weeks at the Sitka Center I've felt at home ... I feel infinitely grateful for the time I've had here to embrace my work with all the reckless freedom and delight of a child in the safety of a home in which he feels cared for and nurtured and loved." Scott Sadil, Spring 2011
"My time at the Sitka Center has been an amazing journey of self-discovery. Having the time, a beautiful resonant space, beautiful surroundings, and the friendly supportive folks of the Sitka Center all contributed to a deeper understanding of myself as a person and musician, and of my instrument, and the music I worked on. Since I don't have any of this at home this residency was a gift that cannot be surpassed." Letitia Berlin, Spring 2011
The Alliance of Artists Communities is a national organization supporting the work of artists. Through publications, member benefits, and symposiums on the role of artists in communities, the Alliance heightens our awareness of the value of art in our lives and fosters best practices in residency programs throughout the US and the world. The Sitka Center has been an Institutional Member of the Alliance since 1999.