Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre is one of the world’s largest cultural developments. It consists of 4 museums: Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Space Museum, and Arabic and Islamic Science Museum. It also hosts a Fine Arts Centre, a Theatre, and a public space that includes outdoor exhibits, as well as cafes and restaurants.

What is an Artist in Residency Program?

Artists’ residencies have become intrinsic to many artistic careers. They play an important role in facilitating and catalyzing artists’ abilities to move across the world. They have also evolved into important elements in the (local) contemporary art scene connecting the local with the global art world.

The artists participating in residency programs build bridges between countries and cultures contributing to cultural diversity. Artists’ residencies are an invaluable collaboration to short-term cultural exchanges, as they permit artists to develop a deeper understanding of their host societies and cultures. At the same time, they create opportunities for giving insights into the cultural background of each participating artist’s own background. Consequently, artistic and cultural exchange and cooperation through residency programs can increase understanding between countries and cultures.

Purpose of ASCC Artist in Residency Program

ASCC artist in residence program provides artists with time and space to develop work and creatively explore new ideas. Artists are mentored by curators and other art professionals, nurturing experimentation and new ideas, research and the development of new work.

ASCC artist in residence program has been developed with clear objectives:

  1. Provide professional development and networking opportunities for both visiting artists and the host community, with opportunities for a community to be invigorated through an exchange of ideas and new ways of working.
  2. Cultivate relationships with other artists and exchange opportunities with distant arts organisations.
  3. Encourage experimentation and facilitate exchange across art forms.
  4. Support artists in initial and mid-career stages, and encourage progress of their work and ways of seeing and developing their art practices.
  5. Increase access opportunities to a specialist facility and resource at the ASCC Art Studios.
  6. Promote community engagement with ASCC education, public and artist development programs.

What does ASCC Artist in Residence Program Offer?

Studio Facilities

ASCC artist in residence program offers its guest artists studio facilities throughout the residency period. ASCC has 8 artist studios, each one with a surface of about 70 sqm of working surface. We have adopted an approach of shared studio space to encourage exchange of ideas and artistic practices between our guest artists. The number of artists per studio will vary depending of the art forms and media artists work with, but we do not expect each studio will host more than 4 artists at the same time.

All ASCC art studios are equipped with all the minimum required services for artists. Providing we can accommodate the artists’ requirements, we will re-arrange the studios to satisfy acceptable requests from guest artists. Guest artists can bring items they would like to have in the studio, provided they receive written approval from ASCC art studios team.

Accommodation and Traveling

Guest artists are expected to make arrangements for their accommodation and traveling. ASCC art studios team can help in the search with offering options for affordable accommodation and traveling, but artists are responsible for securing their accommodation throughout their residency at ASCC art studios, and booking their travel tickets.

Financial Support

Limited funding is available for guest artists. It will be offered on a merit and needs basis after guest artists receive an invitation letter to become an ASCC artist in residence. In the application process, artists should make clear if they require funding for their application to be considered. Artists that do not require funding should also state that clearly in the ASCC artist in residency application form provided.

Expectations on the Artists

Being a project based artist in residency program, ASCC will select artists based on their ability to integrate themselves in the ASCC activities, and diverse education and public programs. While we invite artists to come work with us and develop their own work and ideas, we expect that through this process, programmed opportunities for community and educational engagement will occur and be welcomed by the artists to exchange ideas with the Kuwaiti artist community and population at large.

Artists are expected to:

  1. Participate in and deliver, in collaboration with the ASCC education department, some art classes or tours of the studio and artwork being developed.
  2. Participate in and deliver, in collaboration with the ASCC education department, some public programs sharing with the public the artist’s art practices and creative process.
  3. Participate in and deliver, in collaboration with the ASCC education department, some talks or discussions on themes relevant to the artist’s practice and work.
  4. Produce artwork for an exhibition to signal the end of the residency period at ASCC.
  5. Participate in the ASCC open house and studios events by being present and engaging with other artists, aspiring artists and the community at large.
  6. Donate one artwork sample from the residency to ASCC to be included in the collection, and to record the artist participation in the ASCC artist in residency program.

Criteria and Application Process

ASCC artist in residency program is project based. Artists will apply through a year-round rolling application process with a project for the research and development of new artwork that will then be the object of an end of artist in residence exhibition. We invite applications from Kuwaiti artists, regional and international artist alike, our program is ambitious and provides an international platform for artists to discuss, develop and produce artwork amid a creative and diverse environment.

Artists will be selected based on:

  1. Fully completing the application form.
  2. Presenting a project that is innovative and with significant impact in the Kuwaiti art community development and its appreciation for artists and their work.
  3. Presenting a project that promotes the importance of creative and critical thinking for a better understanding of communities living together in a diverse cultural environment.
  4. Presenting a comprehensive overview of the project and how acceptance to the ASCC artist in residence program will have significant positive impact in the artist’s career and new artwork to be produced.
  5. Satisfactorily proving interest in the community engagement dimension of the ASCC artist in residence program.
  6. Presenting work relevant to current and contemporary sociopolitical, economic and environmental issues, conditions, stories, etc.