Artist Residencies at Villa Barr

Villa Barr provides artists full use of the living spaces, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, open kitchen, living, and dining area, a well-equipped studio and four-acre grounds with multiple sculptures, paths, gardens, and pond. The artist may reside at Villa Barr for up to fifteen weeks. At least one artwork created by the artist may be loaned to and exhibited by the City of Novi for a mutually agreed upon period of time. Artists are asked to share their knowledge and artistic vision with the public through educational presentations.

Residency Details
How to Apply
Selection Process

About Villa Barr

Provide the inspiration and means for artists to create new artwork that explores “harmony with the environment – natural, social, cultural, and global.”

Villa Barr is the most recent addition to the parks and recreation division of the City of Novi, Michigan. The four-acre property, previously owned by internationally recognized artist David Barr and dancer Beth Dwaihy Barr, includes a home, studio and multiple sculpture installations in a park setting. The home was designed by Chicago architect Lawrence Booth to reflect David Barr’s personal aesthetic, one that was “…germinated by constructivist principles of art, fascination with nature’s innermost structural processes, and a belief in the promises of the American democratic experiment.”

Novi, Michigan (population 60,000) was founded as a township in 1832. Novi is equidistant (25 miles) from the centers of Detroit and Ann Arbor. The City’s public art program is designed to enrich the visual environment of the City of Novi by placing works of art that inspire the community and engage the mind and senses.

Villa Barr Residency Details

Three residency periods are available each year (Ranging from 6 to 15 Weeks in length). Shorter residencies are available on a case-by-case basis.

The residencies take place between April 1st and December 15th each year.

Villa Barr provides to the artist:

  • Full use of the house and studio at no cost
  • All tools existing in the studio
  • An honorarium of up to $1,000
  • Opportunity for immediate family to reside at Villa Barr during the residency
  • Visual Artists working in sculpture may also have an opportunity to visit and collaborate Michigan Legacy Art Park, before, during, or after the residency period at Villa Barr on a case-by-case basis

The Artist will provide or be responsible for:

  • Day-to-day living expenses including meals
  • All supplies and materials used to create artworks
  • Maintaining the house in a clean and orderly fashion
  • Creating a work of art to loan to the City of Novi for a period of not more than five years
  • Working or consulting with local teachers, conducting workshops with students, directing student projects, and/or public presentations relating to the artist’s work
  • Internet access is not available at Villa Barr. The City will reimburse the Artist for expenses relating to using a hot spot at the property.

The City of Novi and the Artist will agree upon:

  • The duration of time spent and nature of the participation at a location outside the City of Novi will be agreed upon by the artist and the partners.
  • The goals and objectives of the educational presentations by the artist to the community
  • The location to install the work of art created during the residency
  • The terms of ownership of the artwork following the loan period
  • No pets are allowed at Villa Barr

Other residency opportunities are also considered:

  • Local Artists in Residence—Short term residency (one month or less) for local artists. They can be live/work, day work or some combination of the two.
  • 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 Villa Barr for a fixed period of time, the artwork could be for sale, and the artist would give a public lecture and/or workshop.
  • Group Residencies will be considered for up to three residents applying together to live and work at Villa Barr.

To apply for the Villa Barr 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.

Application Deadlines:

April 15th: For Late Summer and Fall Residency

July 15th: For Spring and Summer Residency

* for artists looking to participate in a residency during an educational sabbatical, send your application and dates up to one year in advance

Please 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:

While the primary interest of this residency is to provide a space for artists to create new works, the secondary interest is in outreach, education and civic engagement.

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 do you see your work developing through research and the creative process?
  3. How will you involve the public in your residency?
  4. 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 Alyssa Golles

Selection Process

Villa Barr selects its artists-in-residence through a jury composed of members of the Friends of Villa Barr and regional arts professionals.

As a publicly owned and operated art and cultural center, Villa Barr has the responsibilities of serving as a crucible of creativity and supporting the interests of the citizens of the City of Novi. To those ends jury members consider the following:

  • Promote insight, vision, and artistry that seeks to deepen human knowledge and understanding of the natural world.
  • Advocate creative responses to expressing the interwoven structures, natural, social, cultural and global that characterize life on earth.
  • Provide an artistic legacy for citizens that inspire inquiry and innovation.
  • Explore the variety of relationships between art, math, science, and the humanities.
  • Advance democratic cultural values through sharing knowledge and vision through educational/community experiences.
  • In addition to the samples of artwork submitted the jury considers artist statements and educational/exhibition/residence experiences.