I’m a writer/musician/filmmaker/dancer/composer/other type of artist. Am I eligible to apply for a Mary Sky residency?
Yes. In our Exhibitions and Sales, Mary Sky focuses on the intersection of digital and fine art. However, the Residency Program is open to artists of all disciplines, styles and sensibilities.
We ask that you self-evaluate whether the campus and facilities will meet your creative needs. Please read the rest of the FAQ on this page, and email us if you’re still unsure if we have the tools to support your project.
Do you accept applications from artists in other countries?
Yes. The Mary Sky Residency Program is open to all practicing artists. Be advised that Mary Sky cannot offer assistance with travel to and from Vermont or visas.
When do residencies take place? When should I apply?
Our residency season runs from July through September each year. You should apply in the year you want to attend by June 1st. We evaluate applications all at once and send out letters mid-June. List any commitments that limit your availability on your application. The individualized nature of our program allows us to match most accepted residents with a slot that works for their scheduling needs.
Do I have to attend the program if I’m accepted?
No. You are under no obligation to participate when you apply. If you’re accepted, we ask that you contact us right away regarding your residency placement. If we don’t hear from you within 10 days of being accepted, we reserve the right to give away your spot to another applicant.
Can you explain how Mary Sky decides who gets awarded a residency?
Mary Sky’s board of Evaluators looks at many categories to determine who is accepted into the Residency Program. Aesthetic appeal of your portfolio is just one small piece of the puzzle.
Above all, Mary Sky’s Evaluators look for a clearly articulated project proposal rooted in strong conceptual purpose.
We are interested in working with artists who push the boundaries of their field and whose practice challenges traditional delineations of discipline. We encourage established and emerging artists alike to apply. Artists are considered based on merit of the submitted portfolio and proposal.
Mary Sky is interested in promoting diversity in all contemporary arts disciplines and fields. Our evaluation process places a preference on candidates who reflect this mission.
How does the materials stipend work?
Accepted residents have access to a materials allowance. Discretionary use of the stipend is subject to individual review and approval.
Mary Sky works with each artist individually to use the stipend to benefit your project. If you need to purchase materials ahead of time for use during the residency, we ask that you send an itemized list and we can release the funds directly to you. If your travel plans preclude bringing the materials you need with you, we can also purchase against a provided list and furnish the site ahead of your arrival.
Alternative uses of the materials allowance are approved on a case by case basis.
What are the basic operations of the residency site (cooking, internet access, etc)?
The residency campus is very rural, and staying in the cabin is much like camping, which presents certain undeniable realities. You must be generally physically fit and able to walk up steep hills in order to participate in the program.
Our mountain spring-fed artesian well provides bountiful water on campus. The path to the cabin is about 100 meters uphill from the well and residents must carry their own water. In the cabin, there is a gravity-fed sink.
Residents can cook with the push of a button on our double burner gas camping stove. Gas and cookware is provided. We have an outdoor wood stove that is also great for cooking, though does require some fire-starting skill. The cabin has a miniature refrigerator for storing perishable food.
We highly recommend using the wood stove at some point during your stay, even if you never cook on it. It burns very efficiently and having a fire outdoors keeps the bugs away. Also, it’s just really lovely. We provide some firewood, though if you’re using the wood stove every day you will need to pick up extra firewood at the nearby supplier.
The outhouse contains a state of the art composting toilet for residents’ use. Further instructions regarding use of the composting toilet will be furnished upon your arrival.
Our heated outdoor shower is gravity-fed from collected rainwater and pumped with solar power. The water in the outdoor shower is not potable and therefore should NOT be swallowed or used for oral hygiene.
The cabin has an AT&T internet hotspot and plenty of electrical outlets. On the residency campus and in the surrounding area, cell phone service is limited. AT&T or T-Mobile subscribers usually have an easier time getting service than others. You can use the Wifi to call and text if using another provider.
A ceramic electric wall heater keeps the cabin warm and toasty on cold summer nights.
Other furnished provisions:
Hand soap, dish soap, body wash, laundry soap, sponges, wash tubs, clothesline, camping towels, hand towels, pillows, sheets, blankets, bug spray, toilet paper, paper towels, utility knife, utensils, electric kettle, coffee, tea
Available to borrow for residents:
1080p video projector, video camera and equipment, film camera and equipment, sound recording equipment, MIDI keyboard, speakers, headphones, bicycle
How do I get to the residency site? Will Mary Sky pick me up at the Burlington airport?
We recommend if at all possible for you to drive directly to the residency campus, or strongly consider renting a car at the Burlington airport or other nearby airport. Montreal and Manchester, New Hampshire are the next closest airports. If you cannot drive your own car or rent one we can arrange to pick you up at the Burlington airport (BTV) and drive you to the residency campus.
How does transportation work once I get there?
It is difficult to be on campus without a car. We can lend you a bike, however the area is not ideal for riding a bike. The campus has a very steep gravel driveway and faces Vermont Route 100, a two-lane road with a 50-mile per hour speed limit and no bike lanes.
If you absolutely cannot bring a car, be advised that it will be much harder for you to shop for food. You will need to plan ahead to do your food shopping in fewer trips when we can bring a car to transport you. You do always have the option of walking to the store as well, however that can be time consuming at a three mile distance.
Can my partner stay with me during the residency? Do you accept applications from couples or groups of multiple artists?
We do not allow partners or family members stay at the residency site with you. It is important to the program that you rely on your own skills and senses, and take responsibility for your progress.
The residency cabin is furnished with one small loft bed. We do accept and consider all applications from couples if the work is collaborative, however the program and cabin are primarily intended for one resident at a time.
Can my pet stay with me during the residency?
We usually advise against this as we’ve found that the ability to get quiet with one’s own thoughts and work can be clouded by the responsibilities of caring for others. If you are accepted into the program and believe your pet is absolutely necessary to your participation, please speak with us about it at that time and we will make final decisions on a case by case basis.
Is a Mary Sky residency the right fit for me?
YES, a Mary Sky residency is a great fit if you...
NO, we don't recommend the program if you...
Still unsure? Email us. We’re happy to discuss the program in more detail to help you decide, and can probably point you in the right direction for a better fit if needed.
What if I don't have an idea for a proposal?
If you identified strongly with the "Yes" section above, yet don't have a clear idea of what you'd like to achieve during your time at the program, we recommend developing a clear proposal plan before applying. Brainstorm a list of projects you've been wanting to complete and don’t feel you have the time. Narrow it down to one specific project and write about how you'd focus in on it during the residency. In the rest of your application, provide context that showcases your original perspective and broader artistic intentions.
I have a totally different question!
Great! Email us and we’ll do our best to answer it.