Artist  Michel Varisco  |  Photo: Chris Battaglia

You don’t need to be an “artist” and you don’t need outdoor experience! Artists of all experience welcome.


This unique venue of “floating artist residency” holds space for up to six participants — chosen through an open-call application — and one or two pre-determined Registered Maine Guides to paddle and camp on an expedition for 10 days in late summer of 2019: August 24 - September 1. Residents will paddle in one big canoe from the Penobscot river, which courses from the interior and flows outward, to the Maine coastline, following the Maine Island Trail and other accessible islands found in Penobscot Bay, ending the journey in either Belfast or Brooklin. All food will be included during the residence.

Following the residency, there will be a group exhibition, populated with work from the artists in residence. This work may have been produced during the time away, and/or during the 2-4 week lapse between residence and exhibition, inspired by the time in residency. Artists will co-curate and are encouraged to install/attend the show, taking place in a pop-up structure on the waterfront. The exhibition will last one weekend, and consist of artist talks, panel discussion, immersive/interactive installation, and hands-on educational workshop(s).

Residents will be selected by an independent jury of artists and art professionals based on interest in this specific program, work samples, and ability to produce a place-based body of work to be shown soon after the residency in a group show. The jury will aim to select a group of artists whose work will work in concert with one another, providing for an experience as dynamic and as interdisciplinary as possibly.

The Village Canoe acknowledges Maine canoe traditions as rooted directly in Indigenous Wabanaki culture and history. We are working in a concerted effort to recognize the Indigenous people and traditions of this land in order to unlearn habits, attitudes, and behavior that continue to perpetuate colonialism. One way we are doing this is to specifically hold a seat in our canoe for Wabanaki people, out of humility and respect.

Artists chosen for the residency will receive a $150 stipend to help support materials costs during the residency and/or for exhibiting their work.



Just as the program is nontraditional in its nature, so are some general expectations:

- Participants will need to provide all materials and equipment needed for their residency.

- Participants will provide their own transportation to and from the residency (Penobscot Bay region/Midcoast).

- Participants must be willing to be physically active and paddle 10+ miles in a canoe daily, carry their personal gear ashore, set-up and break-down their own tents. This is a full-participation trip!

- We're all in this together! The experience of being/living in nature together is as important to this project as the work that will result. Participants will be encouraged to help execute daily camp duties, including but not limited to: collecting firewood, building fires, setting up the kitchen, meal preparation, loading and unloading the canoe.

- Participants will observe, embrace, and champion Leave No Trace outdoor ethics, treating all aspects of wilderness responsibly and sustainably.

-After the residence, there will be a brief lapse (approx. 2-4 weeks) before the culminating exhibition to complete all site-specific (that has already been started in residence) or produce work during that time, inspired by the artist’s time in residence.

- Participants will be accountable for and must develop work for the culminating exhibition. While participants are expected to make work in line with what they described in their application, we know that the inner journey one makes in the outdoors on an expedition can flow in new, unexpected ways and directions. Participants must also make at least one piece of work available for future exhibitions.

- Please note that there is no designated studio space, that participants should be self-directed, open to inevitable influence of the small community in the boat/at camp. Be the creator of your own time and avant garde "studio" in the wild.


Everyone in any medium or practice is encouraged to apply! That means visual artists, performance artists, writers, social practicians - you are all welcome. Please share with those artists and individuals you think might be a great fit for this program.

Applications are to be submitted online and open February 1st, 2019, and close April 1st, 2019.

Applications are juried by a jury during the month of April. Applicants will be selected based on the quality of their work samples, their artist statement, and demonstration that their work aligns with the spirit of the project.

Notices will be emailed out in the first week of May, 2019.



[Note - Itinerary subject to change due to weather/tide conditions.]

Midcoast Floating Residency: Sat. August 24 - Sun. September 1

Belfast Exhibition**: Fri. September 27 - Sun. September 29

**Anticipated dates, pending artists’ availability, subject to change.


Applications to this year’s residency have closed. THank you to all who applied!

Follow our journey and be the first to sign up next year via our newsletter: