Call Detail
2020 Call for Proposals: Camera Obscura Studio Residencies
1450 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica CA 90401

Contact Email:
Call Type: Residencies
Eligibility: Regional
State: California
Entry Deadline: 9/25/19
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 12
Call for Artists: Studio Residencies at the Camera Obscura Art Lab

Application Deadline: Wednesday September 25, 2019, by 10:59 PM PT


Santa Monica Cultural Affairs, a division of the City of Santa Monica, seeks proposals from artists and artisans living in Los Angeles County for a fourteen-week studio residency at the Camera Obscura Art Lab in Palisades Park, Santa Monica.

The Studio Residency Program offers artists a glass-walled studio with a spectacular ocean view in an iconic midcentury park building overlooking the Santa Monica Pier, four blocks away from the terminus of the Expo line. The City seeks artists whose work offers opportunity for inspiring the public through example and instruction. All disciplines and mediums will be considered.

Residency Description

The City of Santa Monica established the Studio Residency Program at the Camera Obscura Art Lab to support the work of local artists, highlight the intersection of fine art and craft, and provide the public with access to a variety of artistic practice and instruction.

This Studio Residency spans 14 weeks and three terms are available; January 8 – April 15, 2020; April 22 – July 29, 2020, or August 5 – November 11, 2020. The latter two terms are approximate and may be adjusted slightly to accommodate developing schedules. The selection panel is directed to select either two individual artists, one collective, or a combination, to share the 46’x16’ dividable studio space for each time period.

The City presents this opportunity to artists who both need a place to practice and create, and are deeply invested in sharing their work for the public’s benefit.

A stipend of $2,000 and use of the facility for a final exhibit/presentation is offered to the successful applicant(s). Parking validations in a local structure will be made available if desired.

Other details:

  • The residency offers studio work-only space. Access is from 8:00am-10:00pm M-F and 9:30am-10:00pm Sat-Sun, with some exceptions.
  • Residents present at least thirteen participatory events/workshops for the public and a final presentation.
  • Events focus on arts/crafts skills, community building, and hands-on participation for adults. They need not relate directly to the residency project. Active and participatory rather than presentational formats are preferred. A small materials budget for workshops is available.
  • The Resident must utilize the studio at least three times per week in addition to their weekly public event.
  • Equipment available: tables, chairs, whiteboard, video projector/screen, relief printing press, and various craft equipment.
  • Also provided: electricity, free City Wi-Fi and access to a kitchen with refrigerator/ stove/ sink/ microwave. Slop sink available for nonhazardous cleanup.
  • Work in the studio will be in public view and should be appropriate for a general audience.
  • The studio, though lockable, is part of a shared space; use of fragile, hazardous or very valuable materials is not allowed, and a waste removal plan is required for any proposed waste generation. 


The residency is open to all artists, artisans and makers who reside in Los Angeles County. Artist teams will be considered; partnerships and groups should apply through one coordinating member. All forms of artistic production are eligible; previous residents have employed quilting, printmaking, painting and drawing, choreography, puppetry, sculpture, illustration, and social practice, among other forms.

Applicants who have received a Santa Monica Artist Residency or Fellowship in the past two years, are current grantees or resident artists through another City of Santa Monica program, or are currently employed by or serve on a Board or Commission of the City of Santa Monica, are not eligible to apply.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of arts and community engagement professionals.

Criteria for selection will include:

  • Quality of previous work
  • Applicant’s plans for the residency period
  • Ability of applicant to design and implement effective interactive activities with the public
  • Suitability of the artist’s practice for the space

The City of Santa Monica may request additional information from, or schedule initial interviews with, selected applicants. The City also reserves the right to not select applicants and recall and/or cancel the Call for Applications at any time at its sole discretion.

Notification of the selected resident will take place in early November, 2019.

The Camera Obscura Art Lab

The Art Lab hosts both the historic Camera Obscura mechanism (c.1898) and an ongoing series of arts, crafts, movement, and culture classes for adults. As a place for creativity and inquiry, areas of focus at the Art Lab include visual arts, dance/movement and participatory culture. 

For questions about the Studio Residency Program, please contact Naomi Okuyama, Cultural Affairs Supervisor, at or (310) 458-8350.

For information about the Art Lab and its activities, stop by during the Camera Obscura open hours (M-F 9am-3pm and Sat 11am-4pm) or visit

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