TMA Artist in Residence Program

The Trout Museum of Art’s (TMA) mission is to connect and inspire all people through creative experiences and the visual arts. Our strategic vision is for everyone in the Fox Cities to believe that creativity and the visual arts are vital to our community’s well-being. This means: (1) all schools offer high quality art programs, (2) artists and designers choose to make the Fox Cities their home, (3) vibrant art organizations thrive in our community, and (4) people value TMA as a pillar for the visual arts.

Goals of the Artist in Residence Program

  1. To support and invest in visual artists whose work will impact the cultural landscape of the Fox Cities
  2. To provide artists with the opportunity to invest time in their work and take it to the next level through exploration and experimentation
  3. To encourage artists to investigate their own creative ideas
  4. TMA’s Artist in Residence program is intended to support each artists’ individual growth. As an extension of our Education Center, Artists in Residence are artists who facilitate a learning environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with students and the general public. They are artists selected by a jury based on demonstrated qualities, performance, experience, and expertise that align with TMA’s Education Philosophy.

How to apply

Complete an online application, which includes:

  • Resume or CV
  • Artist Statement (250 words or less)
  • Written project proposal (500 words or less) about your vision if given the opportunity to work at TMA
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Two professional references
  • One or more of the following:
    • 12 images of your work
    • 20 pages of poetry
    • 30 pages of prose or one full-length play/script
    • Up to 30 minutes of audio/video
  • $25 application fee

Artists in Residence are required to:

  1. Set goals for what they wish to accomplish during their residency and review with Education Manager prior to beginning their term
  2. Fulfill a minimum of twelve (12) hours assisting with any of the additional opportunities listed below 
  3. Help maintain TMA’s public and private studio spaces 

Additional Opportunities 

Additional opportunities are based on the artist’s professional goals. All responsibilities are under the supervision of the Education Manager or Curator and will be discussed during a pre-residency orientation.  

Opportunity as a TMA Contract Staff Member: 

  • Offer free art projects at Art at the Park (AATP) | Education Manager  
  • Assist with Summer Camps | Education Manager  
  • Assist with Community Art Projects | Education Manager  
  • SPARK! | Education Manager  
  • TMA Talks | Education Manager or Curator  
  • Support TMA’s exhibition installations | Curator 

Other opportunities as they arise.


Exhibition Opportunity  

As part of the residency, the artist has the option to be part of a group exhibition the following calendar year that includes all other artists in residence from the same year. For example, all artists in residence for the year of 2022 had a group show in 2023. If you are interested in being part of this group show, you must confirm with Curator. Requirements for this exhibition opportunity: 

  • Artist must have a portfolio review and/or critique with the Curator and/or Executive Director. Must schedule ahead of time with the Curator.  
  • Artist must include at least one (1) completed work of art to be exhibited that was created and/or began during residency.  
  • Artist must present proposal of works to Curator 6 months before exhibition opens.  
  • Artist has the option to collaborate with other Artists in Residence that will participate in this group show, but it is not required. Each artist will be given their own sectioned area of exhibit space to feature their work.   

TMA offers three residency terms and will host one Artist in Residence each (a maximum of 3 Artists in Residence every year). Specific residency dates are based on TMA’s exhibitions, events, and education schedules, and will last two to three months. 

Term 1: January – April  

  • October 1: Applications Due 
  • October 15: Artists Notified of Decisions 
  • November – December: Artist Orientations and Planning Sessions 
  • January 1: Residencies Begin 
  • April 25: Residencies End  


Term 2: May – August 

  • March 1: Application Deadline
  • March 15: Artists Notified of Decisions  
  • April – May: Artist Orientations and Planning Sessions 
  • May 1: Residencies Begin 
  • August 25: Residencies End 


Term 3: September – December  

  • June 1: Applications Due 
  • June 15: Artists Notified of Decisions 
  • July – August: Artist Orientations and Planning Sessions 
  • September 1: Residencies Begin 
  • December 25: Residencies End 

  • Former TMA Artists in Residence may not apply within five years of previous residency 
  • Artists in all stages of their careers and work in the following media are welcome to apply 
  • Visual: painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, installation, conceptual, video 
  • Writing: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting 
  • Arts Professionals: art writers, administrators, curators 
  • Social Practice 
  • Interdisciplinary Arts  


Selection Criteria 

  • Merit of past work 
  • Readiness to engage with and benefit from the Residency experience at TMA 
  • Potential to develop creative practice and impact the Fox Cities community 

Selection Process 

  • TMA representatives will serve as the jury. To ensure variety, jury members will rotate each cycle 
  • Jury members will review applications to ensure completion and eligibility 
  • Jury members will evaluate eligible artists and select finalists 
  • Finalists will be invited to an in-person or zoom interview 
  • Jury members will select and notify 1 – 3 artists to serve as Residents during each cycle 


  • 24-hour access to our private Artist in Residence Studio Suite, supply storage, and a community space. Current Artist in Residence will be in Studio A. Note: outside of museum hours, artist must only enter through building’s back door.  
  • 24-hour access to two large studio classrooms (when not in use) 
  • Gallery access during regular museum hours 
  • Ability to reserve TMA’s 4th floor boardroom 
  • Access to TMA’s private collections (restrictions apply, contact Curator)  
  • Ceramics wheels, printing presses, large worktables, easels, drawing benches, drying racks 
  • Wi-Fi, Scanner, computer, color copier, Wi-Fi speakers, projectors, iPads, lenses, mounts 
  • TMA’s supply stock 


  • Family Membership to the Trout Museum of Art 
  • Monthly Stipend: $250.00 
  • Supply Stipend: $500.00 maximum for the entire duration of the Residency (restrictions apply) 
  • Sell artwork in TMA’s Museum Store (contact Gallery Manager)  
  • Teaching opportunities include a $25.00 per hour stipend 
  • TMA Talks include a flat $100.00 stipend 
  • Free artist booth at the following calendar year’s Art at the Park (contact Curator)  
Are housing, mileage, and meals included?

TMA’s Artist in Residency program is currently designed to support the professional growth of local artists, therefore we anticipate that artists will already have these accommodations nearby. Stipends for housing, mileage, and meals are not included.

What should I bring?

One to two months before each residency begins, we will invite artists into the museum for a tour of the studio spaces and to discuss materials. TMA will provide a private studio space for each artist that includes moveable tables and chairs. Additionally, our classroom studio spaces are available to you when they are not being used. We keep a large supply closet stocked with materials (scissors, paper, glue, acrylic and tempera paint, etc.), and we will also order supplies for you before and during the residency. You are welcome to bring anything else you need.

Can my family and friends visit me?

Family and friends are welcome to visit you in your private studio during regular museum hours and must check-in at the front desk of the main gallery. Please be mindful of TMA’s Volunteer Studio Manager who shares the Artist in Residence Studio Suite with you.

Where are the private studio spaces located?

Private studios, a community space, and private storage for Artists in Residence are located on the 5th floor of the Fox Cities Building for the Arts. The 5th floor also has two large classroom studios, a large shared storage closet, public restrooms, and a student artist gallery.

What is the studio environment like?

All classroom studios have large windows with ample sunlight. Windows in the Artist in Residence private studios can open, and a thermostat is in the Artist in Residence suite to control the temperature of that space, alone. Each artist will be invited for an orientation and tour one-to-two months prior to their start day to see the space in advance.

What is TMA’s culture like?

TMA values creativity, inclusion, and empathy. We are committed to individual goal setting and recognize the contributions of everyone who enters our building. We share office spaces with the Appleton Boychoir, Makaroff Youth Ballet, newVoices, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Wisconsin Public Television. Staff are hardworking, enthusiastic, and enjoy each other’s company. We’re an integrated team and rely on each other’s contributions and voices. Artists in Residence may be included in meetings and conversations to provide added value to large projects and planning.

Is there a dress code?

TMA does not have an official dress code and welcome artists to dress as they usually do when working in public studio spaces. Aprons are available to prevent some damage to clothing if desired. For public engagement events and programs, TMA staff will provide advance notice of any expectations.

Who manages the Artist in Residency program?

TMA’s Artist in Residency program is managed by the Education Manager and the Curator.