San Diego Art Institute Artist-in-Residence Program

Currently accepting applications for our Summer and Fall residencies.



The San Diego Art Institute (SDAI) was founded in 1941 and has since remained the premier organization showcasing artists from the Southern California/Baja Norte region. Our mission is to develop artists and supporters of the visual arts through exhibition, education, and outreach. We achieve this mission by creating innovative programs that respond to the needs of our members, by offering world-class facilities to exhibit artwork, and by forging partnerships with our local and global community.

SDAI currently operates out of our main exhibition space in Balboa Park  which houses our educational programs and artist studio. SDAI showcases rotating curated exhibitions of artwork in our Balboa Park location every eight weeks, as well as special series and an artist in residence exhibition. Additionally, SDAI hosts ongoing professional development lectures, workshops, and a number of arts education programs for adults and youth.

The Matthew J. Mahoney Artist-in-Residence program is named in honor of our dear friend, the prolific and talented artist Matt Mahoney, who passed away in 2017. Matt was SDAI's second artist-in-residence, and helped develop and grow this important program that has a significant impact on the lives of emerging artists as they create new, contemporary work.


Artists working in all media and at any stages of their career are welcome to apply for a three month residency. The selected resident receives a private, 200 sq. ft. studio space to create new work, culminating in a presentation at  the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park. Residents will have the opportunity to install artwork during their residency in the gallery space.

The selected Artist-in-Residence will be required to spend a minimum of 20 hours/week working in their studio from the hours of 8am - 6pm on Monday - Friday, 10am-5pm on Saturday, and 12pm-5pm on Sunday. The Artist-in-Residence will be required to give a public lecture and/or workshop during the course of the residency (for which stipends will be offered). The artist will be involved in monthly public engagement programming, working closely with SDAI to have opportunities to speak to the public and international student groups about their process. We offer studio and exhibition space only—we currently do not assist with lodging or travel to/from the residency. A stipend of $500 will be rewarded to the chosen resident. During the course of the residency, we will arrange for monthly visits by area curators to the artist’s studio.

The Residency dates are as follows (exhibition dates to be decided):

June 1 - August 31, 2018

Sept 1 - November 30, 2018

Our staff is on-hand to provide technical support and to respond to the studio needs of our Artist-in-Residence.

Application Deadline is April 1, 2018, 5PM PST. The selected Artist-in-Residence will be notified by Monday, April 30, 2018.


Artists in all media and at all levels of their career are encouraged to apply. Applications will be judged based on quality of work samples and statement of purpose. A panel of arts professionals and artists will review applications and select artists for the 2018 season. Artists will be selected based on the quality of their work and the potential for making the most of their time in the program. All applicants will be notified by email. Please do not call the office for selection results.


All applicants must be United States citizens or legal Permanent Residents of the United States, 18 years or older, may not be enrolled in any degree program, and must be able to demonstrate need for a studio. Applicants may not be a resident artist in another studio program at the same time as the residency.



ALL Artists Must Send:

  1. Current CV, saved as PDF

  2. Artist Statement, please tell us more about your practice – 250 words or less, saved as PDF

  3. Statement of Purpose, please share what you would like to get out of this experince – 250 words or less, saved as PDF

  4. Work Samples: SEE BELOW

  5. Image list as PDF - your name, work title, year, medium, and dimensions

  6. Names and Contact information (email address) for two references as PDF


Visual Artists - Send up to 8 JPGS of work at 500KB or less each; work must be formatted no larger than 1000px in any direction. Each image file must be titled with your Last Name, underscore, First Name, underscore, image number.  Example: Smith_John_01.

Performance/Video/Sound Artists – Submit up to five links to work on VIMEO or SOUNDCLOUD.

Sound Artists – Submit up to five .mp3 files titled with your Last Name, underscore, First Name, underscore, sound number. Example Smith_John_sound01

Only moving images, i.e. time-based media, video, kinetic art or documentation of performance art, should be submitted as video files. Videos of still artwork or documentation of artistic process will not be viewed.

*We will not accept CDs of digital images, slides, DVDs, or VHS. Please do not send original artwork.


APPLICATION FEE: $15/per application (Members receive a 50% discount) – please submit payment below and send proof of purchase with submission email


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