Ox-Bow, School of the Arts and Artists’ Residency


Location: Saugatuck, Michigan

Mission: To serve as a haven for the creative process through instruction, example, and community.

Ox-Bow offers a wide range of opportunities for artists at all stages in their career. With year-round programs that cater to degree-seeking students, professional artists and those new to the field, Ox-Bow is a protected place where creative processes break-down, reform, and mature.

As much as Ox-Bow is a place, it is also an experience. Through its affiliation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ox-Bow offers one and two-week courses for credit and non-credit for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students. Ox-Bow’s courses are diverse, ranging in focus from the functional to the sculptural; from traditional to contemporary; and from representational to conceptual. It is the synthesis of this diverse range of studio practices, and the artists who come to engage with them, that offers the diversity of opinion, viewpoint, and discussion that makes the Ox-Bow experience so rich.

There are a variety of ways to engage in the program, from being a student, artist in residence, faculty member, visiting artist, or fellowship student. Whether you are there to learn, teach, or work in the studio, artists find that Ox-Bow invigorates them with fresh ideas to bring back to the studio.

Cost: $250 per week (includes room and board and use of studios). There are also scholarships available to help with the cost of the residency.

Application Fee: Free

Number of Artists:  Up to 30 artists at a time

Accommodations: Residents are housed in one of three of our new, heated buildings: The New Inn, The Janie and The Marshall. The buildings have hardwood floors, shared bathrooms with showers and a common room. Each resident is given their own bedroom.

The Ox-Bow campus is comprised of 115-acres of dunes, forests, and trails. The central campus has grown up around the historic buildings that still stand today. The heart of the campus is the Ox-Bow Inn which was built in 1873. In 2006 the Inn underwent a major renovation. The main body of the original building still stands as rustic and as charming always. The new Burke Inn Addition is home to Ox-Bow’s new kitchen, and cozy dining room, complete with a fieldstone fireplace.

Approximately 30 brightly colored studio buildings and residential cabins surround the Inn, which looks out onto the Ox-Bow meadow and lagoon. The original cabins were built by Ox-Bow stewards, and have been preserved for almost a century. The five acres that make up the residential campus have been enhanced with flower and organic vegetable gardens that complement Ox-Bow’s meadow. The Tallmadge Woods, Ox-Bow’s 110-acre old-growth forest has remained untouched and has been placed into a conservation easement to ensure its preservation.

Length of Stay: Ox-Bow offers two- to five- week residencies, September 1 – October 5, 2013

Demographic: National and International artists, emerging to established

Medium: Visual, Sculpture, Photography, Performance, New Media, Writing

Benefits: Ox-Bow provides the opportunity to focus on art making in a small, supportive community setting. Artists are served three delicious meals a day and are encouraged to use the surrounding lagoon, forest and dunes as inspiration for or in collaboration with their work. Artists receive their own studio, plus, during the fall season, Artists in Residence have the opportunity to work in studios not available during the summer session. They also enjoy a more intimate community of like-minded, and diverse professionals. The fall season is also an ideal time to propose group or collaborative work. Residents each have the opportunity to give an evening talk about their work.

Deadline: Summer Residencies Deadline: 2/5/2016 & Fall Residencies Deadline: 5/9/2016

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One thought on “Ox-Bow, School of the Arts and Artists’ Residency

  1. I just finished a 2 week fall residency and was very pleased with the experience. It was a nice number of artists (about 20) and they were from all over (several from Chicago due to the SAIC connection). The facilities were great – the living quarters are relatively new, and they do a good job of keeping everything clean and functioning. The beach was great (can hike or canoe there). The food was excellent – good quality and lots of variety. Good price for what you get. I would recommend it to any of my colleagues.

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