Artist in Residence - Overview, FAQ's, & Application Info

     The WNCSC is thrilled to be able to invite artists working in a range of disciplines to live on site and work as artists in residence. The role of our artists in residence is simply to engage in their own studio practice and with the public. Public engagement may include an artist lecture, community based project or lead a workshop. We are open to additional public engagement ideas and welcome the consideration of alternatives. Artists are encouraged to display at least one sculpture at our park for one year following the residency period, when applicable. 

It is encouraged for applicant artists to look over the studio facilities to get acquainted with the equipment that will be accessible while in residence. The WNCSC will work with artists to try and secure materials or services as it relates their work, though securing materials or services can not be guaranteed. It is the responsibility of the artist to cover travel and material costs to travel to and work at WNCSC. Artists request the duration and timing of their residency in the application.

Weekly potlucks are held to create a communal environment while remaining time throughout the week is allowed for focus on a studio practice, exploring the gorgeous WNC mountains or surrounding cities for personal enjoyment. 

Situated in the beautiful North Carolina mountains, WNCSC has a sculpture trail for artists to place a range of work along as well as open meadow spaces. We will accommodate pouring a concrete pad of a reasonable size should the artist choose to exhibit a work at the sculpture park. Lenoir, NC is an hour and a half from Asheville, NC, 30 minutes from Boone, Hickory and Morganton, NC. There is a wealth of industrial suppliers within reach as well as vibrant communities to explore. The Blue Ridge Parkway is less than 20 minutes away and is regarded as one of the most beautiful road in the United States. There is a large amount of hiking trails, waterfalls and mountain overlooks within reach of our facility.

We are currently raising money to replace the roof in our 10,000 square foot studio space. This may hamper some artists ability to fully actuate their work and we want to be upfront about that.

The equipment that we currently have for artists in residence to access include:

• MIG Welder

• Plasma Cutter

• Forge

• A range of hand tools for metal working and wood working

• Chainsaw

• Cupola (to be fired on specified dates in conjunction with public events and the cast iron residency).

We are eager to build up our equipment offerings to facilitate ambitious and engaging sculptural works. 

Residency Duration and Dates

• Duration is between 2 weeks and 6 month and run from the beginning of April through the end of October. 

• Selected artists will work in concert with The WNCSC in arranging residency dates based on their desired dates and availability.


• A private bedroom in a communal living space. 

• Assistance in technical assistance, construction and installation will be provided when able from the WNCSC. 

• While in residence, artist have the option of attending workshops or classes for free or at a high discount if desired. 

Residency Types

• Environmental Installation - Artists will have access to a wooded sculpture trail and wide open meadow spaces to consider sites for installation work. Material may be gathered from the trails to be included in the work pending approval from WNCSC. Artists may include community volunteer days to assist in the implementation of their work if needed, as part of their community engagement component of their residency.

Cast Iron - Artists have the opportunity to make molds leading up to one of our two annual iron pours. For 2020, the fall iron pour will only accommodate cast iron resident artists. Artists will have a dedicated mold making space and we are able to facilitate up to 4 cast iron artists at one time. Artists will be expected to participate in the prep work leading up to the pour, participate in the pour itself, clean up and finish their works. These residencies range from 2 weeks to 3 months. Artists will be responsible for sand purchase for mold making and will be given up to 800 pounds of foundry chemicals for mold making. Should artists exceed 800 pounds, they will be responsible for reimbursing WNCSC for additional consumption. Artists are expected to give a public lecture as well as be present for a single open studio afternoon to engage with the wider community. 

Community Engagement - Artists may propose projects which specifically engage with the community. This may range from social practice projects to leading workshops. We are able to facilitate a large number of participants with the existent infrastructure that is found on the land and buildings that we are fortunate to work on. There may be ways to set up locals that extend beyond our purview to the downtown location of the City of Lenoir, NC. 

Forged and/or Fabrication - This steel focused residency will allow for metal working artists who forge or fabricate steel the facilities needed to create sculptural work. With generous forges, MIG, STICK and TIG welders as well as a plasma cutter, in addition to a variety of hand tools, sculptors will have ample workspace and time to create work on a large scale due to our large ceiling height and support to see an idea through. 

General- General residencies designate a residency that is not bound by material or process. Artists are given a 270 sq. ft. private studio space with 24/7 access. Only a single artist in residence is available at any given time and as a result there may be scheduling needs to accommodate multiple artists in a single year. It is requested that open artists applications include a second and third request for dates relating to their time at WNCSC. There may be period of ironing out available time slots for both the host and the guest in this case. Open artist in residence will also have access to the wood shop and metal fabrication equipment in addition to a private studio.


Group Residencies - The WNC Sculpture Center has the ability to facilitate groups as resident artists. This could consist of collaborative teams or otherwise. Groups may share a room with two beds. Per shared room, group/collaborative residencies will add $150.00 to each of the rates listed below. 


Rates associated with studio and lodging fees vary depending on residency duration.

• 2 weeks - $350.00 (includes lodging and studio access)

• 3 weeks - $475.00 (includes lodging and studio access)

• 4 weeks - $600.00 (includes lodging and studio access)

Residencies over 4 weeks will combine the above figures to determined fees associated with duration. In the event that a five week residency is requested, the fee will come to $725.00

Artists have the option of sharing a room with another artist as there are two bed per room. Shared rooms are only available when artists interested in such a living arrangement inquiries link up and overlap. WNC Sculpture will do everything we can to help coordinate overlapping shared lodging artists. It is advised that artists maintain flexible availability to maximize shared lodging possibilities. Interested artists are to clearly specify this interest in their application packet. Rates: 2 weeks - $250, 3 weeks - $312.50, 4 weeks - $375.00.

Half of the residency fees must be paid at least 4 weeks prior to the start of the residency with the other half to be paid upon arriving to WNCSC. 

Work exchange residencies may be available depending on the anticipated needs at The Patterson School Foundation and WNCSC. Please email to inquire about work exchange details and availability. 

How to Apply

In a single PDF file, please send the following to:

• Name

• Address

• Email and phone

• Website

• Artist Statement (200 word max.)

• Letter of Interest (500 word max.)

• Proposal to include needs from WNCSC (500 word max.)

• 5-10 portfolio images or specific links to 5-10 works on a personal website

• updated CV

• Residency Type, as it is outline above to be specified in SUBJECT LINE of Email

• Specify the dates requested for residency, as well as at least one backup date set

Rolling Deadlines throughout the year, we are happy to review residency applications 

as they arrive and typically notify applicants within 2 weeks of submission.