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14 Sep 2016

Call for Art, Empathy, and Ethos Thematic Residency

Kenya (Robinson)
St. Petersburg, FL
Artist-in-Residence, 2014
Photo courtesy Colin Conces and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

Art, Empathy, and Ethos Thematic Residency
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts


Thematic Residency | September 20–November 17, 2017 Artists-in-Residence Selected: 9 Application Deadline: December 1, 2016 Applications are only accepted via SlideRoom at Notifications to all applicants will be made via email on March 1, 2017.

Holly Kranker
1 (402) 341-7130

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 S. 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
United States

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The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is now accepting applications for the 2017 Art, Empathy, and Ethos thematic residency. Through this call, the Bemis Center will construct a cohort of artists whose artistic practices take diverse approaches to negotiating, understanding, and communicating empathy. Applicants should have demonstrated experience in the research, development, or execution of work that explores empathy and its various manifestations, from social justice and human rights, to environmental conservation and protection.

Examples include ethnocultural differences; consideration of immigrant communities; authentic and inauthentic selves; psychic and new agist mediums and culture; neuroaesthetics; biohacks (including consumables, wearables, and smart clothing); understanding animals; natural resources, energy, and the environment; consideration of viewers and spectatorship; labor economies in service industries; white privilege; social practice; correlation between poverty and access to human rights; psychoanalytic and cognitive behavioral psychologies; love and loss; embodied and somatic performance; kinesthesia; gender identification; social practice working with underrepresented communities (elderly, persons with physical disabilities, or mental illness); cybernetics and social media; and medical and legal practice.

Contemporary artists from all backgrounds and areas of practice are encouraged to apply. Applicants should not be enrolled in an academic program during the residency period. This residency aims to assemble artists who work with like-minded subject matter and interests. As a process-based residency, there is no expectation or promise of an exhibition in our first floor galleries.

Residency opportunities are open to national and international artists 21+ years of age, showing a strong professional working history. A variety of disciplines are accepted including, but not limited to, visual arts, media/new genre, performance, architecture, film/video, literature, interdisciplinary arts, music composition, and choreography.

Bemis Alumni are allowed to re-apply for residency after a three year hiatus from the program. Alumni seeking residency must submit a complete application including recent work samples and current resume. Preference may be given to applicants who have not previously attended. The Bemis Center expects selected artists to attend the residency in it's entirety. If an artist can not attend after they have been selected and scheduled, the artist may not defer and must decline the award.

Students enrolled in an academic program during the time of requested residency are not eligible to apply.

Applications consisting of small collaboratives (2-3 total members) are eligible to apply. Each artist included in the collaborative must submit a resume.

Bemis welcomes internationally based artists to apply. A working knowledge of English is helpful for international artists as an interpreter will not be provided.

The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability. For special needs or questions about accessibility, please contact Holly Kranker, Residency Program Manager, at 402.341.7130 x12 or

Fees & Stipend:
A $40 non-refundable application fee is due at the time of application paid via credit card or by PayPal. Submission of applications are only accepted online through Each artist will receive a $1,500 stipend for the eight-week session and a $500 travel stipend. Artists are responsible for arranging travel to and from Omaha to attend the residency. Additional material stipends are not available, however, these additional resources are:

Expectations or Opportunities:
Selected artists-in-residence will live and work at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts from September 20–November 17, 2017. Artists-in-residence participate in the Bemis Center's Open House / Open Studios public program where they open their studios to provide the public a glimpse into their process, present works-in-progress, and deliver a short presentation.

The following information is requested in the application at

1. Current Resume
You may cut and paste from another document. Please keep formatting simple, as only basic spacing will be saved. If you are a collaborative group, please include a resume with completed collective work and projects. List collaborative members individually at the top of the resume. (limit 8,000 characters, about 1,300 words)

2. Are you a collaborative?
If yes, include the names of all participants. Only collaborative groups of 2-3 members are accepted into residency.

3. Please list two references:
Please provide the name, email, and phone number, as well as your relationship to each. Letters of recommendation are not required. Should the selection panel choose your application, your references will be contacted by the Bemis Center. 

4. Website (if applicable)
5. Phone Number
6: Email
7. ZIP code
8. Artistic Discipline
9. Date of Birth

10. Image/Media Samples:
Please provide up to 10 images.
Images should be sized no larger than 5MB each.
Video samples should be sized no larger than 250MB each and 5 minutes in length or less.
Audio samples should be sized no larger than 30MB each and 5 minutes in length or less.
Text-based media samples should be submitted in pdf format; 1500 word max or one page in length.

Do not include external links to media samples or websites.
Do not include multiple page pdfs as one media sample.
Do not include trailer video samples.

Include title, dimensions, and medium. Media descriptions may also be included. No external websites are to be included. (100 word max.)

When uploading video or audio files, please use the following formats:
Videos: .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, .mpg, .mkv
Video samples should not exceed 5 minutes in length, 60Mb
Audio: .mp3, .wma, .ogg, .flac