Sitka residencies provide time and space for self-paced work and reflection in an inspiring natural setting. Residents from a broad range of art, writing, performance and science-based practices come to Sitka to create and explore away from the familiar contexts and constraints of daily routines, and free from external expectations. Located within the unique ecosystems of Cascade Head and the Salmon River Estuary on Oregon's central coast, Sitka is a place where natural curiosity is sparked and creativity is unleashed.
Since our founding, we have hosted hundreds of visual artists, photographers, writers, journalists, musicians, composers, filmmakers, educators and a broad range of natural scientists and interdisciplinary creatives. We currently invite 30-50 practitioners to stay at Sitka each year. Some are emerging voices while others are practicing professionals, and our residents represent a diversity of geographies and cultural backgrounds. A range of personal and shared experiences are possible at Sitka, from sanctuary and solitude to cross-pollination and community.
Sitka is committed to equity and welcomes people from diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences. Bringing together people from different backgrounds and fields of expertise is core to Sitka's art and ecology mission. From climate change and environmental justice to systemic racism and cultural appropriation, diverse perspectives help spark new ideas and collaborative approaches to address today's challenges in creative ways.
Fall/ Winter/ Spring Residencies: October 3, 2022- April 28, 2023 (Applications re-open in January 2023)
Artist at Sea: Feb 14, 2023 - March 17, 2023 (Applications open now)
Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency Dates (for experienced artists new to printmaking): (Applications open in January 2023)
Recorder Residency Dates: Up to 6 weeks in June, 2023 - May, 2024 (Applications open now)
Residency applicants will be notified by June 1, 2023
Residency applications for Fall/Winter/ Spring 2023/2024 are due no later than April 15, 2023.
Applications for the Recorder Residency are due no later than March 15,2023.
Application Fee: $30
Each resident receives private living space and, if needed, private studio space. Studios and residences are assigned by the Sitka Center depending on individual needs and collective needs. Residences include private living, sleeping, bathroom and kitchen areas. Each kitchen is equipped for basic cooking. Laundry facilities are available at a central location on campus. Most residents are given a private studio. There is Wi-Fi available in all studios and residences. Residents are responsible for providing their own food, art supplies, and transportation while in residence, and no living stipend is provided. This link provides More detailed information about our studios and facilities.
The Sitka Center is a non-smoking and non-vaping environment, including all indoor and outdoor spaces on our campus. Pets are not allowed on the Sitka Center campus, including in the residences, studios, office, outdoor spaces or in parked cars.
Our campus is nestled in a Sitka spruce tree grove located in the Cascade Head Scenic Research Area. There is a natural sense of tranquility and peace. We encourage residents to experience the area by hiking, walking, following elk trails, canoeing, and kayaking.
The Sitka Center is family friendly and allows partners to attend the residency with the artist. We ask that you let the Sitka office know if you are having overnight visitors.
Residents must consider whether or not this is the right environment for them. We are approximately seven miles from the nearest grocery store in Lincoln City, a coastal city of about 7,000 people. It rains frequently, about 190 days per year, with average annual rainfall of 98 inches. Rain gear is essential for outside exploration.
Living and studio spaces are provided free of charge. There is an application fee of $30 to help cover the administrative costs to carefully review each residency application. Sitka offers application fee assistance to those for whom this is a barrier. Each resident is responsible for all of their own travel and living expenses, including transportation food, toiletries and any supplies used in their work.
Sitka’s studios, the office and library are ADA accessible. We have one cabin that is ADA accessible The cabins and studios are situated on a steep slope that also impacts accessibility at our facility. There is a gravel pathway from the parking lot to the office. We have a courtyard behind and above the office that can be reached via car. This courtyard has ramps off of it with access to two studios and our ADA cabin. Please contact us directly with specific questions or provide information about your needs in your application. Sitka is unable to accommodate residents’ pets. If you require a certified service animal, please disclose this information in your application so that we may accommodate you appropriately.
Sitka's studios are comfortable and flexible. We can provided basic items like easels, task lights, tables and chairs. One studio contains a printing press, and there is a small ceramics studio on campus. Sitka does not provide art or laboratory supplies used for art making or scientific investigation. Please talk with us about your specific needs.
We plan a few casual events during each residency cycle for residents to meet each other, get to know the area and engage with the community. A few days after the start of each residency cycle, we hold a Resident Talk event and invite the local community. During these events, participating residents give brief presentations (approximately 10-15 minutes each) and share their work. We also schedule hikes with local experts to help orient residents to the ecology of the region. We respect and value that some people want more solitude while others desire more community involvement. Residents are invited to engage with each other and form a sense of community while in residence together in their own ways.
Sitka asks that residents present during Resident Talk events. We also ask residents to complete an exit interview, and to leave assigned residence and studio spaces in the same condition as when they arrived. We have no expectations about your creative or scientific processes or productivity.
"My favorite moment at Sitka this winter was walking out to the head at sunset on the solstice and seeing a lone bull elk silhouetted on the very tip above the ocean. The heavy gray sky broke open into a wash of violet and pink behind him, and he raised his head, as if he'd been waiting for this moment all year. I felt the same: grateful that a calendar's-worth of work and joy and struggle had brought me to this extraordinary place." -Maxim T. Loskutoff, Fall 2019
"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.