Application Deadline April 15, 2015 before midnight
Application Fee $15.00

Background on VisArts

VisArts is a non-profit arts center dedicated to engaging the community in the arts through educational programming, gallery exhibitions and a studio artist program.  Since its founding in 1987, VisArts has provided children, teens and adults with opportunities to express their creativity and enhance their awareness of the arts. VisArts is located in the heart of Rockville Town Center, a thriving gathering place for the local community. VisArts is home to three gallery spaces, seven artist studio spaces, a curatorial program, arts education classrooms and offers a vibrant exhibition schedule featuring contemporary emerging, mid-career and established artists.  It is a dynamic and important presence in the greater metropolitan arts community.


Studio Artist Program

VisArts’ Studio Artist program is designed to provide artists working in a variety of media with studio space in a 25,000 square foot facility with an art-rich environment that encourages interaction, dialogue and exploration both within the VisArts artist community and the larger community as well.  Studio artists, the artists who are selected each year for a four-month residency as a Bresler Artist in Residence, visiting and exhibiting artists are all important members of the VisArts community.  Studio Artists will be given the opportunity to participate in an annual group exhibition, conduct workshops and facilitate discussions during their term. VisArts is eco-friendly and seeks artists who are committed to using materials that are not harmful to the environment.


Program Requirements

Qualified applicants should be professional artists over the age of 18. The program is not designed for current students or commercial artists.  Collaborative teams may apply for a studio.

Applicants must be committed to using a studio primarily for art-making activities. Teaching of private students in the artist studios is not prohibited however it may not constitute the primary activity of the artist.

Studio Artists are required to work at least 28 hours per week in their studios with

15 hours coinciding with the VisArts gallery hours.

Studio Artists are expected to support VisArts galleries and mission by:

  • Participating regularly in studio artist pot-lucks and “critique sessions;”
  • Opening their studios during the ten gallery opening receptions scheduled each year and during the VisArts’ annual open studio day; and,
  • Initiating community outreach programs that include other studio artists and the greater Rockville community.  These activities can range from preparing and executing a group exhibition or performance, conducting free workshops or working with local schools or other non-profit organizations.

Studio Artists are responsible for the acquisition, insurance and care of their materials and equipment.  While VisArts carries liability and business insurance this insurance does not cover any materials, equipment or artwork in the artist studios.


Description of the Space and Limitations on Use

VisArts Artist studios range in size from 178 square foot studios with large windows to an interior 248 square foot studio with built-in cabinet storage.  Studios are unfurnished and have sinks, fluorescent overhead lighting and spotlights.  Exterior studio walls are not floor to ceiling.  All studios are located on the second floor along the common area known as the “Artist Concourse.”  This hallway connects VisArts’ primary event rental space, the Buchanan Event Room and its main exhibition space, the Kaplan Gallery.

Studio Artists shall have 365 day, 24-hour access to their studios.  On some occasions, when the Buchanan Event Room is being rented by a client for a private event, artists may not have access to their studios. These events usually occur on Saturday afternoons and evenings.  VisArts’ event rental staff provides a monthly events calendar to artists so that they have advance notice of times when studio access is limited.

Artists working in all media are welcome to apply, but VisArts cannot support the use or storage of hazardous materials that require specific ventilation and specialty disposal requirements.

Studio Artists are responsible for maintaining the studio in a safe and tidy manner and cannot make alterations to the space without permission. Artists who wish to have kilns and other equipment that create additional electrical use must obtain permission for each piece of equipment that they wish to use in their studios.  There will be a utility surcharge of up to $40.00 per month for those studios that have kilns or other equipment.

Use of VisArts equipment is not included in the monthly rent. Use and scheduling of VisArts equipment and additional charges, will be determined by the VisArts Education director at her sole discretion.

Studio Artists must leave the studio in the state in which it was found and remove all belongings at the end of their residency.


Required materials include:

  • Application Form
  • Images:  Submit 10 images of work produced during the last three years. Work samples can be a combination of high resolution jpgs and time-based media (*up to 10 minutes total). *For collaborative teams, 10 images of collaborative work are required as well as a statement of the collaborative nature of the work. *Two minutes of video, film, sound or performance documentation = one work.  Artists may choose to include links to Vimeo or You Tube public accounts for time-based work samples.
  • Image Requirements: You may submit up to 10 images. They must be in .jpg, .tiff, .png, or .gif file format. Minimum image resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Maximum file size 5MB per image. Files must be labeled in the following way: first name last name-title of artwork-1.ext, first name last name-title of artwork-2.ext, etc. The file number corresponds with the number on the list of works. (Ex. John Doe-Untitled-1.jpg)
  • List of Works Form- Numbered list of artworks with the following information: artist name, title of artwork, year, dimensions, description of artwork (optional).
  • Resume/CV
  • Brief Artist Bio
  • Artist Statement
  • A brief statement about why you or your collaborative team wish to be a VisArts studio artist including what you are looking for from the program and what you will bring to the community.

The preferred means of submitting applications is online, however they may also be mailed or hand delivered.

Online:   Complete the online application and submit all required documents on the VisArts website.

By mail:  Complete and print out the application form and mail all required application materials to VisArts Exhibitions Department, 155 Gibbs Street, Suite 300, Rockville, MD 20850. Images must be on a DVD or CD. If you would like your DVD or CD of images returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. (click here to download application materials for mail or hand delivery)

In person:  Hand deliver the application form and all required application materials to VisArts,155 Gibbs Street, Suite 300, Rockville MD 20850 (Administrative office hours – Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm

All applications will be reviewed by a panel of artists and arts professionals.