It’s been about a year since I sat here typing, writing about the challenges of choosing artists from all across the country. This year that challenge is even greater.
I’m happy to report the word has spread and the MakeRoom Artists Residency has grown. Last year a total of 34 applications were reviewed, this year that number increased to 45. This is wonderful news and also an opportunity to dig in and truly find the best of the bunch.
Its been no small feat to go through all 45 applications and a certainly no easy task to pick just two creatives from the stack. I’ve noticed that along with an increase in the number of applications there’s also been an increase in their desire to be chosen. Additionally, I’m so grateful for all of the individuals, non-profits, art organizations and creative communities - from the Midwest to the deep South and even north of the border who have helped to spread the word.
From folks producing podcasts in the Windy City to graphic designers in Virginia, there are painters from all across Texas and illustrators from Oregon. Musicians from Detroit and writers from Dallas, publishers from Brooklyn and poets from Oakland. Creative folks from as close as Duluth MN and a batch from Canada, too. As before, some applicants have a long and established practice while others are just finding their way to make their mark.
I heard from one of the applicants that typically the applications they fill out can take days of their precious time to complete. The MakeRoom application on the other hand requires very little time and can usually completed in under 30 minutes. It is this ease of approach-ability that is at the core of why I created this residency program and now as I sit here writing I’m happy to know it’s been approached by many.
Very soon I will make the decision and invite two of these talented, passionate and creative individuals into my home so they can paint or rest, write or read, inspire, collaborate or focus on their work.
Wish me luck as I dig into this great challenge.