Application and Work Sample Guidelines

Review these guidelines prior to applying for a residency.


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. The submitted application must indicate the primary contact person. Please include a PDF with the following: first and last name, email, phone, address, website (if available), and bios of the group members. In the application, clearly specify the number of collaborators and the group’s workspace needs. 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. A working knowledge of English is helpful; we are unable to provide an interpreter for applicants who speak little or no English. Due to the limitations of B-1 visas, international artists are not eligible to receive stipends.

Partners and children of artists-in-residence may 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. Pets are not allowed in the condominiums or studios. Exceptions may be made for registered service pets.

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 McColl Center staff are available for assistance during weekday business hours (9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.). A jeep, a van, and a flatbed truck are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Public Engagement
All artists-in-residence are required to participate in at least one public program, onsite or offsite, during their residencies. Artists add value to and can help shape our community. Community engagement programs are a way to extend McColl Center’s reach, thereby extending our mission and core values beyond the building itself. The type and scope of the programs will be mutually designed and agreed upon by the artist and McColl Center’s staff. Typical outreaches consist of community projects, lectures, demonstrations, youth-learning experiences, or other special programming. Community partners may include the City of Charlotte, Atrium Health, Urban Ministry Center, Studio 345, Men’s Shelter, Behailu Academy, Center of Hope, and many others. 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.

Artist Fees
With the belief that artists add immeasurable value to everyone’s quality of life, McColl Center makes every effort to generously support artists-in-residence through a combination of stipends, free housing, and other offerings.

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. 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 samples are a critical part of the application. Submit all written materials as PDFs; submit all image files as JPGs. 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:

Each image file must be under 5 MB. Images do not have to be submitted at particular dimensions; the SlideRoom servers will resize images larger than 1280 x1280 pixels at 72 ppi to fit the system. Each video must be less than 250 MB in size; audio files must be less than 30 MB each; and documents must be less than 10 MB.

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 8 samples of artwork completed within the past 5 years
● Upload images in the order to be viewed
● Name each image file as “last name_title of work” (for example: “jones_apaintingofatree”)
● Include caption information for each work sample: title, year completed, medium/materials, dimensions, and a brief description (if necessary; maximum 40 words)

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
● Upload images in the order to be viewed
● Name each image file as “last name_title of work” (for example: “jones_apaintingofatree”)
● Include caption information for each work sample: title, year completed, medium/technique, original format, the specific role of the applicant in creating the submitted work, and a brief description (if necessary; maximum 40 words)

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 10 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 )
● Upload work samples in the order to be reviewed
● Name each image file as “last name_title of work” (for example: “jones_apaintingofatree”)
● Include caption information for each work sample: title, year completed, medium/technique, dimensions, and a brief description (if necessary; maximum 40 words)