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The mission of the Roman J. Witt Residency Program is to support the production of new work at the University of Michigan. The program awards one residency per academic year for a visiting artist/designer to create work in collaboration with students and faculty. The 2020-2021 Witt Residency is organized in partnership by the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design and the Institute for the Humanities (IH) at the University of Michigan.
The Institute for the Humanities will provide their renowned contemporary gallery as an installation and project space. The gallery has long been a nimble and progressive place, a space for critical inquiry with the ability to respond to complex and timely issues. Each exhibition offers a point of accessibility for public engagement, making more visible the connection between humanities research and real-world problems, with a deliberate commitment to social practice. The Institute for the Humanities Gallery presents five to six visually driven art projects annually which can include artist residencies, community and student engagement, cross-campus collaborations and artist/curator led classes.
Submitted proposals must include a description of how the project will address the Institute for the Humanities 2020-2021 theme exploring the idea of home; not limited to but potentially including considerations of temporary shelter, power as it pertains to space; identity/community, the emotional and philosophical landscape of home and homelessness, exile, memory and loss as it is associated with place. These responses are suggestions only; successful applicants will respond to the theme in a way that is unique and genuine to their vision.
The residency is expected to culminate in the realization of the proposed work, as well as its presentation. The cumulative exhibition will open in early April 2021 and will occupy the IH gallery — with possibilities for additional programming to extend beyond the gallery space. Plans should show consistency conceptually regarding the inherent overall structure of the project, have a strong visual impact and potential for engagement. This, along with the proposed work, will strongly determine selection of the artist/designer.
It is expected that a significant portion of time during the residency will be spent in direct interaction with students. Ideas for student interactions include but are not limited to: allowing students to work with the artist/designer; be in dialogue with the artist/designer; provide critiques on student work; engage in student-led interviews; or allowing for student observation of artist/designer’s process. Creative methods of engagement to animate the gallery space as a focal point of campus activity are highly encouraged.
The 2020-2021 resident will conduct planning sessions remotely during the fall 2020 academic semester; they will be on-site in Ann Arbor during the winter 2021 academic semester, with student participation unfolding January 6-April 20, 2021, with the exhibition opening in early April 2021. Curatorial and installation support will also be provided. De-installation is the responsibility of the artist/designer: the work created is the property of the artist. Please see gallery plan.
The Witt Residency is open to both established and emerging artists/designers. The Witt residency provides students an alternative learning opportunity to engage with practicing artists/designers who can make use of resources across campus, therefore the ideal candidate must value collaboration, have good social and communication skills and be interested in generating creative partnerships across disciplines. It is the goal of the Witt Residency to foster an atmosphere of inventive creative activity that extends throughout the University community.
Witt Residents receive an honorarium of $20,000 for up to twelve weeks in residence served over an academic year. In addition to the honorarium, residents will be provided with housing, studio space, and up to $10,000 funding support for project materials, installation, and de-installation. The School encourages applications from individuals as well as from creative teams however, please be advised that the resources listed above are finite, including the travel budget. If teams apply the expectation is that the award will be shared between its members.
How to Apply
The Witt Residency Program’s application process is conducted using SlideRoom, an online review system.
Applicants register and submit their application materials on the SlideRoom website.
SlideRoom Application Requirements:
Complete the online application form, including resume/CV and references.
Upload media – this may include video, audio, and pdf files.
Submit the processing fee.
Slideroom requires a nominal $10-15 application fee to offset the cost of media uploads and storage at the time of submission.
If you cannot use Slideroom and would like to make alternate arrangements, please email Chrisstina Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals Due – January 31, 2020
Selection Committee Review – February/March, 2020
Selection Committee reviews materials and selects a shortlist of candidates for further review and from the shortlist selects a slate of finalists to present their projects and interview. Applicants will receive email notification, so please be sure to include your correct email address in your proposal.
Shortlist candidates follow-up – March/April, 2020
Finalist Interviews & Presentations – April/May 2020
Notification and Announcement – June 1, 2020
About the Organizers
The Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design
The undergraduate and graduate programs in the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan each offer a non-media specific degree at the intersection of art and design. Free of traditional concentrations, the undergraduate program challenges students to define their own pathways and undertake robust, self-defined culminating projects in their final year. Our dynamic two-year MFA program integrates creative production with rigorous academic studies, international study with regional community engagement, and theoretical grounding with skills development. It is structured to expand the intellectual reach of creative work and utilize a comprehensive process for bringing creative work into the world. Our MDes in Integrative Design aligns graduate education with the best in emerging professional practice. A program rooted in collaboration, our two-year MDes program brings together a small cohort to focus on addressing one “wicked problem” through design.
The Stamps School of Art & Design has a current enrollment of 500 undergraduate and 19 graduate students. Fifty-five full-time faculty, a cohort of part-time faculty, and 39 administrative and technical staff support the School’s programs. Additional information about the School and its programs is available at stamps.umich.edu
University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities
Research into the human condition—how we live in the world and how we live with each other—is vital to the cultivation of a just and equitable society. At the Institute for the Humanities, we facilitate work that examines humanities traditions broadly across space and time, deepens synergies among the humanities, the arts, and disciplines across the university, and brings the voices of the humanities to public life.
Each year we provide fellowships for Michigan faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars who work on scholarly and artistic projects. We also offer a wide array of public and scholarly events, including public lectures, workshops, discussions and art exhibitions.
Since 1987, when Arthur Miller read from his memoir Timebends at our inauguration, the institute has granted fellowships to over 350 Michigan faculty fellows, Michigan graduate student fellows, and visiting fellows and artists.
The Institute for the Humanities:
Encourages fellows to talk and debate, informally and formally—all in an effort to reach beyond the assumptions of a given discipline.
Promotes innovative teaching in the humanities, encouraging fellows to add perspectives from other disciplines to the courses they teach.
Brings nationally and internationally known artists to Michigan to participate in fellowships, exhibitions, and artist/curator led classes, supporting interdisciplinarity and the synthesis between scholarship and the arts.
Brings nationally and internationally known scholars to Michigan to participate in programs, conferences, and fellowships.
Offers programs reaching out to university and public audiences.
Brings together those who create—artists, musicians, writers—with those who analyze these art forms.
The Stamps School’s facilities are geographically distributed in Ann Arbor and Detroit. The main facility is located on the University’s North Campus, and includes well-equipped media studios for drawing, painting, printmaking (lithography and intaglio), clay, wood, fibers, hot metals (welding, casting, brazing), cold metals (machine tools), video, and photography (large and small format printers), and a wide variety of digital fabrication tools. The School of Art & Design also maintains faculty/graduate studio facilities off-campus at 1919 Green Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. This 33,000 square foot facility accommodates all of the School’s faculty and graduate students in one building, with 66 private studios for all full-time faculty and graduate students, large shared working and meeting spaces, wood, metal and multi-purpose shops and a digital media studio.
Engagement with the extensive scholarly, human, and technical resources of the University of Michigan is encouraged and facilitated. Comprised of 19 schools and colleges, Michigan is one of the world’s foremost public research universities. Current enrollment on the Ann Arbor campus totals 43,651 graduate and undergraduate students. Additional information about the University is available at http://www.umich.edu/.
Ann Arbor, located 40 miles west of Detroit on the Huron River, is an intellectually and culturally rich community, with a current population of 114,024. Additional information about Ann Arbor is available at http://www.annarbor.org/.