SPACE purchased its Congress Street home in 2015, saving the below-market artist studios on the upper floors of our venue and gallery. The staff worked to convert one of the studios into a visiting artist residency facility, piloting a single-studio residency program alongside SPACE friends, studio artists, and collaborators. With the initial support of the Maine Arts Commission and the Moser Family Foundation, we formally established the SPACE Artist-in-Residence Program in 2016, the first of its kind in Portland, ME.
As a creative incubator hosting one artist at a time, this vital asset to our programming and artist resources is responsive, flexible, and ever-changing as we assess creative needs. SPACE has hosted residencies with innovative programmatic collaborators while they make new visual art installations or program offerings hosted open-ended residencies as part of a National Endowment for the Arts supported initiative for queer or BIPOC artists/writers/curators, and a Pickwick Fellowship program that has allowed resident artists to work on editioned prints with Pickwick Independent Press in our building.
As a non-traditional residency program in a community art studio building, SPACE has transitioned this asset into a local resource during the pandemic. We are currently offering Maine artists without comparable studio facilities to use the studio to make new projects or bodies of work for short term local residencies in 2020 through 2021.
Please stay tuned for future news or initiatives about our residency program as it continues to create new opportunities and evolve.