Artist Residency at Michigan Legacy Art Park

Michigan Legacy Art Park’s residency program is undergoing some new and exciting changes and we will re-open for applications in May 2020. Please explore our collaborator residency at Villa Barr in Novi, Michigan and sign up here to receive updates on future opportunities.

Michigan Legacy Art Park offers artists the time and space they need to create in and be inspired by the natural surroundings and the mission of the Art Park. Artists use the 30-acre park as their studio and source for inspiration. Working primarily outdoors, artists have access to two outbuildings with electricity, a workbench with basic tools, and a large deck. Artwork may be ephemeral or more permanent in nature.

The artist is expected to create at least one work to be loaned to and exhibited at Michigan Legacy Art Park for two years, provide at least one public or school presentation or workshop, and document their residency through a series of blog posts and/or photographs.

In addition, the artist may be asked to participate in a short-term residency at Villa Barr, before, during, or after the residency period at Michigan Legacy Art Park.

The artist will receive an honorarium of up to $1,000 and basic accommodations close to the Art Park.

If a full studio is required, accommodations may be available at the Parsons Center, about a 20-mile drive.

Residency Details
How to Apply
Selection Process

About Michigan Legacy Art Park

Enriching lives through experiences that connect art, nature, and Michigan’s history.

Michigan Legacy Art Park is a 30-acre sculpture park dedicated to sharing the stories of the people, events and natural resources that continue to shape the legacy of Michigan. Contemporary artists interpret these stories through outdoor sculpture. Founded by David Barr in 1995, the Art Park currently exhibits 50 works of art and provides a cultural experience for thousands of visitors annually. Michigan Legacy Art Park is located in rural Benzie County, 15 miles from the shore of Lake Michigan and within the resort community of Crystal Mountain. The Art Park is a nonprofit organization.

Michigan Legacy Art Park Residency Details

Three residency periods (2 to 8 weeks)

  • Fall (September, October, November)
  • Spring (March, April, May)
  • Summer (June, July, August)

Michigan Legacy Art Park provides to the artist:

  • Full use of the 30-acre park
  • Limited tools available in the garage workshop
  • An honorarium of up to $1,000
  • Modest, furnished housing within a two-mile drive from the park (Photos)
  • Opportunity for up to two immediate family members to stay in lodging
  • Opportunity to participate in a short-term residency at Villa Barr, before, during, or after the residency period at Michigan Legacy Art Park with travel reimbursement

The Artist will provide or be responsible for:

  • Day-to-day living expenses including meals
  • Providing supplies and materials used to create artworks
  • Creating a work of art to loan to Michigan Legacy Art Park for two years or an ephemeral, site-specific work
  • Work or consult with local teachers, conducting workshops with students, directing student projects, and/or public presentations relating to the artist’s work
  • Documenting the residency through a series of blog posts and/or photographs

Additional residency option at the Parsons Center for Arts & Sciences:

While this residency is rooted in the mission and 30-acre woods of Michigan Legacy Art Park, our collaboration with Eastern Michigan University opens up the possibility for the resident artist to utilize the Jean Noble Parsons Center for the Study of Art & Science. The Parsons Center is located 22 miles from the Art Park and includes lodging and a full artist studio. If interested, this option may be negotiated into the terms of the residency.

Other residency opportunities are also considered:

  • Local Artists in Residence—Short term residency, usually one month or less, for artists not needing lodging.
  • Arts Educator Residencies—Short term residency (one month or less) focused on working with teachers to develop projects that could be implemented in the classroom.
  • Exhibiting Residency—Hybrid residency in which the artist’s work would be exhibited at Michigan Legacy Art Park for a fixed period of time, the artwork could be for sale, and the artist would give a public lecture and/or workshop.

To apply for Michigan Legacy Art Park Residency

An artist may anchor themselves in more than one way in this residency program. The selection committee is amenable to a multitude of proposals. Artists are invited to envision residencies tailored to their own interests, goals, duration, primary location, etc. The selection committee will work with residency candidates to craft a residency experience that meets the individual goals of the artist and the partner organizations. Our goal is to provide time, space, support and inspiration in order to foster the pursuit of new ideas and new works.

Deadline: Applications are currently closed.

Submit all requested information in a single pdf file.

Letter of proposal – including the information and questions below:

Contact Information:
Residency participation at: Villa Barr, Michigan Legacy Art Park, or both
Preferred length of residency:
Earliest start date:
Lodging preference, select all that apply:

  • Cabana at Crystal Mountain (basic accommodation, 2-mile drive)
  • Parsons Center (home & studio, 22-mile drive)
  • None needed

While the primary interest of this residency is to provide a space for artists to create new works, the secondary interest is in furthering the mission of Michigan Legacy Art Park.

Please address at least three of the following questions that most resonate with you and your work. Please respond to the questions in no more than 250 words each.

  1. How do you foresee living, working or exhibiting in the environments created by David Barr having an effect on how you approach your work?
  2. How will your work further the mission of Michigan Legacy Art Park?
  3. How do you see your work developing through research and the creative process?
  4. How will you involve the public in your residency?
  5. Why do you think you should be considered for this residency?


  • Artist’s statement
  • CV or Resumé
  • Please provide any pertinent links (website, video, blog, articles, etc.)
  • Portfolio of 10 to 20 hi-res images of your work or, for writers, 10 to 20 pages of your current work
  • List of three references including name, title, and contact information

To Submit Proposal:

Include all documents and images in a single PDF file labeled as last name_first name.pdf and email the document to

Selection Process

The Collections and Exhibitions Committee, led by the Artistic Director, awards the David Barr Legacy Artist Residency to an artist whose samples of artwork submitted, artist statement, and experiences best align with and further the mission and values of Michigan Legacy Art Park. For artists interested in lodging and studio use at the Parsons Center, the Director of the Eastern Michigan University School of Art & Design will be involved in the jury.

The mission of the Art Park is to enrich lives through experiences that connect art, nature, and Michigan’s history. The organization values artistic excellence, education, diversity and inclusion, stewardship, and wellness.