Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts

Artist residency

Current Opportunities

Art, Empathy, and Ethos 
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.

Residency Opportunity Description:
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 global warming.  

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
  • 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 and working with underrepresented communities (elderly, persons with physical disabilities, or mental illness)
  • cybernetics and social media
  • 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 informatioin 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
  11. Residency Goals:
    During this open call residency, time is yours to use as your own. The Bemis Center does not request project completion. Please provide us a brief description and statement about your creative and intellectual interests. If awarded, please tell us how you would like to use your time while at the Bemis Center. (500 words)
  12. Based on your residency goals previously mentioned, are there specific resources you may require while in residency necessary to your studio practice? (100 words)


  • Although required, responses to the following questions are for research purposes only and in no way will affect your application status.
  • How did you hear about this Bemis residency opportunity?
  • What aspects of this residency opportunity inspired you to apply?
  • Age
  • Please provide your ethnicity, or cultural background, in the way that most appropriately describes how you identify yourself.
  • Gender
  • Country of Origin
  • Level of education
  • Would you use your time at Bemis to continue an existing project or create a new project[s]?
  • Are you scheduled to attend other residencies this year? If so, where?
  • List previous Artist Residencies attended

Application Review Process:
SlideRoom will confirm receipt of your submitted application. Residency applications are reviewed each cycle by a rotating panel represented by arts professionals such as artists, curators, academics, and/or critics. The review process will take 10-12 weeks from the application deadline. Notifications to all applicants will be sent via email after the selection panel has made its final decision.

To Apply:
Applications are only accepted via SlideRoom at

Notifications to all applicants will be made via email on March 1, 2017.

For more information, contact Holly Kranker, Residency Program Manager, at 402.341.7130 x12 or 

Watch this video to learn more about the Bemis Center residency program from artists that we have supported.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 South 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
12th and Leavenworth
Admission and Parking: FREE
Phone:: 402.341.7130
Fax:: 402.341.9791