Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts

Artist residency

About Our Residency Opportunities

Upcoming Deadline
Residency Session: January 11 - April 7, 2017
Residency Session:   May 24 - August 11, 2017
Total Artists Selected:   18   (9 Artists per Residency Session)

Deadline: July 1, 2016
Notifications to all applicants will be made via email on September 30, 2016.

Selected artists-in-residence will enjoy a generous live/work studio complete with private kitchen and bathroom. Located in downtown Omaha’s historic Old Market,  a vibrant urban area offering restaurants, cafés, bookstores, and art galleries, the Bemis Center serves a critical role in the presentation and understanding of contemporary art, bridging the community of Omaha to the global discourse surrounding cultural production today. The 110,000 square foot facility offers 24-hour access to extensive installation and production spaces, able to accommodate a broad range of artistic activity. This independently-driven atmosphere and communal environment encourages creative growth and experimentation to confront new challenges.  This is a process-based residency; there is no expectation or promise of an exhibition in our first-floor project spaces. Residents will receive a $750 monthly stipend to help with materials, supplies, and living expenses while in residency. A non-restricted $500 travel stipend will also be awarded.

Artists who are interested in applying to both 2017 open call opportunities (January-April & May-August) will be required to submit a separate application and application fee for each designated session. In the event an artist is selected for both, the artist will be only able to select one session to attend.

To apply:

Founded in 1981, by artists for artists, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts provides a diversity of residency opportunities to work across conceptual, material, performative, and social practices. Bemis facilitates the development of material and intellectual interests; and maintains an alumni program that further extends Bemis support. We offer artists-in-residence unmatched critical and technical guidance, access to assistants and interns, an established network of resources, and opportunities to engage in dialogue with Bemis Center communities.

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.

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.

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 Artists-in-residence receive a $750 monthly stipend and an additional $500 travel stipend. Bemis Center is not responsible for organizing artist’s travel to Omaha to attend the residency.  Additional material supply stipends are not available for residents.

Additional Expectations or Opportunities
Artists are invited to participate in at least one opportunity for public presentation, such as our monthly lecture series or our public Open Studios.

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


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 collaborative group, please include a resume with completed collective work and projects. List collaborative members individually at the top of the resume. (limit 8000 characters, about 1300 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

5. Phone Number

6: Email

7. Zipcode

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 60MB 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.  Open Call 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)


Please answer the following questions.  Responses 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?

Please provide your ethnicity, or cultural background, in the way that most appropriately describes how you identify yourself:
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

Notifications to all applicants will be made via email on September 30, 2016.

For more information, contact Holly Kranker, Residency Program Manager, at 402.341.7130 x 12 or

Watch this video to learn more about the Bemis 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