Supporting Emerging Artists
As part of our mission, we support and host visual and literary artists and scholars of all kinds who are influenced by a sense of place, including the natural world and humankind’s place in it. Our art-related programming continues the Mellons’ long history of generous support at the intersection of the arts and the environment.
Emerging artists engage with Oak Spring through either a residency or fellowship program, as detailed below.
Residencies are also open to scholars or researchers who are interested in the Oak Spring Garden Library. Visit our Scholars Page to learn more and apply for a residency or fellowship.
Seeking Art/Science Collaborations:
We are now accepting Letters of Intent for a 2020 place-based project in the Virginia Piedmont that relates to the American chestnut tree.
The story of the American chestnut reflects a once-abundant North American species that has been nearly wiped out by a fungal infection from Asia. We are seeking artists/scientists to help us visualize and communicate what can be learned from the demise of the American chestnut and the struggle for its revival. The project will utilize the American chestnut salvaged split rail fences that were once a part of OSGF estate (see image at left).
Eliza Moore Fellowship for Artistic Excellence
OSGF awards one Fellow annually for the Eliza Moore Fellowship for Artistic Excellence. The selected Eliza Moore Fellow is awarded $10,000 and a two-week residency at Oak Spring.
Artist in Residence
The Artist in Residence (AiR) Program provides the opportunity for artists and writers to pursue and accomplish their own creative endeavors in a beautiful rural environment. Our hope is for artists to be inspired by each other, our 700-acre landscape, our historic gardens, and the Library's collection of rare books on plants, landscape and gardens.
All artist residents are provided a stipend, housing accommodation, and 24-hour access to studio space on the Oak Spring estate in Upperville, Virginia (see slideshow; additional images forthcoming).
Beginning this year, we will accept applications to our Artist in Residence Program along with our Eliza Moore Fellowship. The open call for applicants will be held in conjunction with a nomination process that intentionally seeks out mission-aligned artists. Finalists will be given the opportunity to join our AiR and the top applicant will be awarded the Eliza Moore Fellowship. For the 2020 program, the application period will run from April 2019 to August 2019. Please check our Opportunities Page and sign up for our E-newsletter to stay up-to-date.
How do we define an emerging artist?
Our support to artists–in both our residencies and fellowships–prioritizes emerging artists who show significant potential, but are under-recognized. We define an “emerging artist” as an artist who is early career, self-directed, and pre-professional. An emerging artist can be of any age and of any technical background (we consider both academically trained and non-academically trained artists) and are no longer enrolled in a degree-related program.
To help us recognize an emerging artist, we look for some evidence of professional achievement and recognition, but do not expect a substantial record of accomplishment. Examples of recognition include exhibitions, critical reviews, commissions, performances, grant awards, residencies, fellowships, publications, and productions. Our selection committee considers not only the number of these acknowledgments, but also timing, size, characteristics, geographic context, and significance.
All emerging artists who are invited to work at Oak Spring have the necessary equipment and skills to work independently, but may require support in the form of time, space, financial assistance, and community.
OSGF is an emerging member of the Alliance of Artists Communities.