Call Detail
2021 Camera Obscura Art Lab Studio Residency
1450 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica CA 90401

Contact Email:
Call Type: Residencies
Eligibility: Regional
State: California
Entry Deadline: 10/21/20
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 15
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 20

Call for Artists: Studio Residencies at the Camera Obscura Art Lab
Application Deadline: Wednesday October 21, 2020, by 10:59 PM PDT


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 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 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 20 – April 28, 2021; May 12 – August 18, 2021; or September 1 – December 15, 2021. The 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.

An honorarium of $2500 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 four online participatory workshops for the public and a final online presentation.  Residents are responsible for preparing online offerings by creating materials lists, pre-class video tutorials and/or pre-class study guides for the public to view before class.
· Online workshops range from 2-3 hours and 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.
· The Resident must utilize the studio at least three times per week in addition to offering their classes.
· 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.
· Resident is responsible for covering the floor of the studio to protect it from damage.
· During COVID-19, masks must be worn in all communal areas of the building and no visitors are allowed except to help with load in and load out.  Artist can request a special dispensation to be made for onsite studio visits by gallerists and collectors.  Requests must be made in writing to at least one week prior to scheduled visit.


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, videography, animation 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

All eligible applications are evaluated by a panel of arts professionals, which rates and selects the final awardees according the following criteria:

· Quality of previous work
· Applicant’s proposed plan for the residency period
· Ability of applicant to design and implement effective interactive online 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 mid-November, 2020.

The Camera Obscura Art Lab

The Art Lab hosts both the historic Camera Obscura mechanism (c.1898) and an ongoing online 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. 

COVID-19: Since COVID-19 the building has been closed to the public until further notice. This does not affect the Resident Artist Program which will continue to operate.  The building is staffed minimally for cleaning purposes.  All staff wear masks and follow safety protocols.
  Between residencies the building is deep cleaned, disinfected and all air filters are replaced.  During residencies the building is cleaned daily. 

Proposal Submission Requirements

The following list is provided for information only; all proposals must be submitted through CaFE (Call For Entry).

A complete application will consist of a proposal letter and a resume.  For the proposal letter, please include the answers to the following prompts:

• Describe your practice.
• What project do you intend to embark upon/finish during the residency period?
• What experience have you had teaching or working with the public online, and how can you translate this to your work at the Camera Obscura?

Also include:
• Work sample images, video or audio: NOTE: Panel will review a maximum of 5 mins of video, 5 mins of audio, and a minimum of 5 images or a maximum of 15.
• A proposed schedule and descriptions of online public workshops/activity
• A proposed schedule of working hours
• Any special requirements for move-in/out, space, storage, electricity, or equipment, and a list with usage and disposal plans for any chemicals or bulky objects.
• A brief artist statement for publicity

For the resume, please include:
• A single paragraph biography
• Your residential address
• Previous showings of your work, awards, residencies, and related accomplishments


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

For information about the Art Lab and its activities, visit

Due Date

Applications must be received by 10:59 PM PT on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.

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