Apply for a residency

Learn more about an artist residency at McColl Center and apply for an open call.

Founded in 1999, McColl Center for Art + Innovation is a nationally acclaimed artist residency and contemporary art space in Charlotte, North Carolina. Regional, national, and international artists are selected for McColl Center residencies through a combination of open applications, invitations, and solicited nominations. The artist-in-residence program is open to artists working in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, new media, design, or interdisciplinary practices.

We invite artists to take risks in their processes and explore their ideas within the context of Charlotte. We welcome you, your family, friends, and colleagues to connect with contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and public programs.

    • Residency Dates: January 11, 2021–May 4, 2021 (16 weeks)
    • Application open: June 26, 2020
    • Updated Application Deadline: Sunday, August 9, 2020
    • Application Fee: $35 nonrefundable

Since 1999, McColl Center has partnered annually with Atrium Health, one of the leading healthcare organizations in the Southeast, to support one artist-in-residence in a medical setting in order to explore how the arts can extend or enhance healthcare and healing. Artists-in-residence in this program have worked in various areas of the healthcare system, facilitating opportunities for self-reflection and creative expression for patients and staff.

McColl Center seeks project proposals from local and regional artists for the Winter/spring 2021 cohort. Artists may work in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, new media, or interdisciplinary practices. We look for artists who are engaged in research and investigation and who are interested in the healthcare system as both site and subject for their work. Successful proposals will clearly state how the artist’s project will advance the theme of healthcare and healing and actively engage Atrium patients and/or staff.

Examples of past projects include:

  • A portraiture project addressing the changing identities of ten women experiencing breast cancer and chemotherapy and confronting issues about beauty, femininity, and motherhood
  • Artist-led drawing and guided-meditation workshops at Levine Cancer Institute
  • A series of 3D works created in collaboration with medical staff to identify, select, and reimagine patients’ brain scans

Applications are only accepted online via SlideRoom. Please review eligibility requirements, learn more about our residency program, and read the application and work sample guidelines before beginning your application.


  • Applicants must be a resident of the Charlotte region.
  • Minimum age: 21
  • Students are not eligible
  • McColl Center alumni artists should wait five years before applying for another residency. Artists are limited to two residencies at McColl Center.


Application Guidelines

Collaborations and Collectives
Artist collaborators and collectives must submit a single application with appropriate work samples that show artwork made by the group, not its individual members. Due to housing limitations, individual condominiums will not be provided for each group member; collectives must share housing.

International Artists
McColl Center welcomes artists from around the world; however, due to the limitations of B-1 visas, international artists are not eligible to receive stipends.

We invite partners and children of artists-in-residence to stay in the provided condominium during the residency term. However, partners will not be allowed to use McColl Center workspaces, facilities, equipment, or materials. Artist couples must apply individually; if both are accepted, each will be offered a studio. Only registered service animals are allowed in the condominiums and facilities.

Facilities and Equipment
McColl Center is a 30,000-square-foot facility with common-use wood, sculpture, ceramic, darkroom, and printmaking studios, a media lab, and a communal kitchen. Artists-in-residence have 24-hour access to the facilities and a jeep, van, and flatbed truck.

Public Engagement
All artists-in-residence are required to participate in at least one public program, onsite or offsite, during their residencies. Typical outreaches consist of community projects, lectures, demonstrations, youth-learning experiences, or other special programming. Significant social practice projects are reserved for special initiatives or alumni who have already spent time incubating their ideas in Charlotte and connecting with community members.

Selection Process
Each application review panel is different and comprises a combination of curators, alumni artists, national artists, and arts leaders. The selection process consists of an online review and scoring by the panelists, followed by a meeting in which reviewers develop a shortlist. Artists are typically notified fourteen weeks after the application deadline. Reviewers are asked to consider the following criteria for each application:

Artistic excellence
Does the artist show exemplary creativity, innovation, or skill?
Depth and communication of conceptual content
Does the artist communicate their ideas clearly?
Is there depth to the artist’s practice?
Evidence of current and ongoing professional practice
Is there commitment to or support for contemporary art making?
Does the artist show a strong history of exhibitions or presentations of artwork?
Appropriateness of applicant and their work for McColl Center and its vision
Does the artist seem ready to engage with and benefit from the residency experience at McColl Center?
Does the artist have potential to develop creative practice and impact the community in Charlotte and beyond?

After the shortlist has been determined, reviewers will adjudicate the potential cohort’s overall diversity of medium or practice, race and ethnicity, geography, gender, and age. Finalists will be invited to take part in a short interview. Artists accepted into the residency program will then be notified.

McColl Center 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, or physical ability.

Artists-in-residence in partnership with Atrium Health must consent to a background check and share recent medical records. Immunizations are required for artists to work in some areas of the hospital.

Work Sample Guidelines

Work samples are a critical part of the application. The selection panel will only review the materials requested in the application; all others will be discarded. Upload the work samples in accordance with the following SlideRoom specifications:

Acceptable file types:
Images: .jpg
Videos: .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, .mpg, .mkv
Audio: .mp3, .wma, .ogg, .flac
Documents: .pdf
Linked Media: Vimeo, YouTube, SoundCloud, Sketchfab
Note: Linked media must be public. Only link to individual files, not to a playlist, set, or collection.

Additional guidelines per discipline or medium:
2D or 3D: sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, collage, digital art, book arts, architecture, design, ceramic
● Submit no more than 5 samples of artwork completed within the past five years
● Upload images in the order to be viewed

Media Arts: film (narrative, documentary, experimental, or artistic), video (narrative, documentary, experimental, or artistic), and time-based digital art
● Submit no more than 10 minutes of video

Interdisciplinary and Public Practice: social practice and interdisciplinary works
● Submit any combination of media formats (image, text, audio, video) that are appropriate to convey the work (No more than 5 work samples; no more than 5 minutes per audio or video sample; one PDF with no more than 10 pages of writing, double-spaced, 12-point font.)