What a 5-Day Residency Looks Like

If you are new to bringing an artist to your school, or organization, no worries! Residencies look different based on the artist, location, or length of residency period.

I like to start with a 5-day residency, because it gives you a good idea of what is involved. While I do other types, this is the easiest, SMART-est (grant wise), and most impactful for a school that may not have had this experience before.


Other Options:

3 Week Residencies

Weekly Workshops (Central Minnesota Only)

Summer Camp Workshops

Mixing Colors like Scientists. Getting their observation skills on!

Mixing Colors like Scientists. Getting their observation skills on!

Day One: Intro to Abstraction

In day one, I spend time getting to know the kids and they get to know me. I start with a game, loosening up our creative juices, and helping me get an understanding of the kids for the week. 

I ask questions to know where they are at, so I know how to discuss art so it is accessible. 

We lay down paint, exploring what the colors look like, and what happy accidents happen and how to enjoy the process.


Abstraction; Non-Representational; Color Theory


Day 2-3: Elements of Art

Every day we spend some time reflecting on the work. We expand our initial ways of discussion from "I like this..." to "I achieved {this principle of design} by using {this element of art} in this painting. This logical reflection grounds the abstract thought into a discussion, rather than the usual "to each their own" we often see in discussion of art. 

Lesson Focus:

What are the Elements of Art? What are the Principles of Design?


Day 4: Proportion

Proportion is a fascinating idea for many students who don't think they can draw or paint. While I am teaching abstraction, I do often end with a Selfie project, where the students create an image like themselves. They will learn the proportions of the face (and body). At this point of the week, they will have a knowledge of color, technique, brush work, and line. I help them correct "oopsies" and at this point, they know they can correct any big mistakes the next day.


Day 5: Refining and Reflection

Every artist needs to come back to their work to decide what worked, what didn't, and what needs to change. At this point of the week, the learners know how to act in the "studio," how to use the materials properly, and what they want to do. I am not there, at this point, to tell them what is right or wrong with their piece. They are often aware, at this point that just like a basketball player, you need to practice so you can have more control over your artwork. We spend time sharing our favorite pieces (they have created a few during the week), and giving feedback to each other.