Folk Art Residency Program

Instructor Professional Development

The application deadline has passed. Check back for future possibilities. See the selected artists here.

Vesterheim Folk Art School has been embracing the historic and contemporary craft traditions of Norway and fostering a community of folk-art instructors for over 50 years. We are excited to present this professional development opportunity for practicing folk art instructors to explore Vesterheim’s collection for object inspiration and future teaching.

Who is Eligible?

Applicants must be established folk art instructors who have taught for Vesterheim in the past six years.

If artists are interested in collaborating on a shared class curriculum idea and project, each artist must fill out their own application and explain the desired collaboration through their application materials.

The proposed project must have a narrow focus and the research/project must work towards class curriculum goals.

Selection will be based on experience, ability, interest in working with the collection to plan curriculum for classes in the coming year, and clear residency goals.

Artists should be prepared to offer times of the year when they are available for the residency. Exact dates will be negotiated with staff when artists are notified of their award.

What is Vesterheim’s commitment?

Up to five residencies will be awarded on July 15 and will take place between August 2023 through July 2024. The Vesterheim curatorial and folk art education staff will serve on the selection committee.

Each awarded artist will receive a stipend of $1500 toward the cost of travel, lodging, research, and materials for the residency project. The amount will be awarded upon arrival at Vesterheim for the residency.

Awarded artists will have access to the collection between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, and can choose to spend their week-long residency during one scheduled week or split the week between two trips to Vesterheim.

Artist studio workspace may be available depending on the timeline of the artist’s visit. Vesterheim reserves the right to negotiate dates with awarded artists to ensure staff (and studio space if desired) is available to support the artist’s residency project. It is also acceptable for the artist to travel back and forth to Vesterheim and work in their own studio space.

What is the artist's commitment?

At the end of the residency, the awarded artist will fulfill this partnership with Vesterheim by creating a class based on their study of the collection. They will provide a full class description, supply list, and list of tools necessary for the class as well as a finished object for photography for the class catalog for the 2024-2025 year.

The artist must be committed to teaching the developed class for the first time at Vesterheim by the end of 2025.

It is the responsibility of the artist to find their own housing when visiting Decorah. The Folk Art School can provide a list of homestays upon request.

How do I apply?

The 2023 application deadline has passed. Check back for future dates.

This application will include:

Up to 10 images of your work to support your research and project proposal.

A CV outlining your experience related to studio practice, teaching, and research.

A full proposal of your residency and project goals.

This program is supported in part by the Dennis and Ruth Green Endowment.