Some of the best Artist in Residencies around the world

There are 100's of incredible options around the globe for artists to practice their craft in foreign places. Take it from someone who's been to more than 20 of them and happy to share her recommendations.

Every artist needs a change of scenery. Sometimes to recharge the creative battery, sometimes to be able to concentrate on a project with no distractions and sometimes just to break away from recurring themes. While there are comprehensive lists out there-such Resartis which give detailed accounts of what you can expect and guidelines, there is someone who has been to many of these residencies. She has written about them and can advise you on which place is best suited to your practice, intention and accommodation preferences. Her name is Amy Clay and while she lives in the States, she has lived and worked in some amazing locations, undertaking these artist in residencies.

In her own words: "Art and travel are the ultimate bed fellows in my world view. In fact, they are essentially the same - both are about reaching for the horizon, the unknown, being ready and willing to experience new worlds, new languages, new ways of seeing”.


Amy Clay in Akumal, Mexico

Amy Clay in Akumal, Mexico

This has inspired her to create the lifestyle of being an artist nomad. She found the perfect marriage of art and travel by becoming an artist-in-residence around the world. Since 2009, she has lived and worked as a resident artist at 20 residencies in 14 different countries and counting. 

Artist residencies are dedicated places around the world that offer time and space away from one's usual life distractions. They exist all over the world and are structured in so many different ways - some charge a fee, some are free and others offer a stipend.  Some are geared towards musicians, writers, painters, sculptors and some all of the above.

Because she has been asked so many times about artist residencies, Amy created an online course that teaches you everything you need to know to research, apply and attend an artist residency anywhere in the world. You can preview her course on her website at: 

Here are some of her recommendations as of April 2018:

The following is a list of the residencies that Amy has been to with a (very) short description. Head to her website to find out more about each one.

Obras is set on a cork farm, east of Lisbon

Obras is set on a cork farm, east of Lisbon

1.     Obras - Evoramonte, Portugal - I have been here twice. In 2009/2011. There is a fee so check updated costs. Well run, wonderful helpful hosts. Very rural, on a cork oak tree farm in central Portugal.

Can Serrat is a more lively mix of artists in the hills behind Barcelona

Can Serrat is a more lively mix of artists in the hills behind Barcelona

2.     TAKT - Berlin - in 2010 - There is a fee so check updated costs. In East Berlin - very young and arty. Great city. Accommodations are simple but noisy at times. They have other locations in the city.

3.     Can Serrat, near Barcelona - I was there in 2009, has since changed ownership. At the time it was very rowdy, art dorm. I think it’s better now. Beautiful area in the hills outside of Barcelona.


Cill Rialaig, Ireland. About as remote as you can get

Cill Rialaig, Ireland. About as remote as you can get

4.     Cill Rialaig - in remote southwest Ireland. I was there in 2010 and 2015. Free, but pay some utility fees. Very rustic, old stone pre-famine cottages on a cliff facing the Atlantic. No website - email Mary O’Connor at


5.     Brush Creek Ranch - Saratoga, WY - USA. I was there in 2018. Excellent - free, with all meals included. Very well run on luxury working cattle ranch.


6.     Gullkistan - Laugavatn, Iceland - Lovely hosts, small town in southern Iceland, 1 hr from Reykjavik. I was there in 2011. Small farmhouse - have expanded accommodations.


7.     Sanskriti Kendra - New Delhi, India - Well run compound in the city - but quiet, clean, they feed you well. There is a fee for this but all food is included. I was there in 2010.

8.     New Pacific Studio - Mount Bruce, New Zealand. Nice house in the north Island. Very small town. Just me and one other artist so was a bit lonely. There is a fee. Lovely host - has since changed hands.

9.     London Print Studio - London, England. This does not have accommodation but great printmaking studio. Have been several times. You will need to find your own accommodation. Fees are for 2-3 weeks - reasonable price for access to fab studio.

10.  4 Winds Atelier, Aurielles, France. Small village nearby, very rural. Rustic cabins. I was there in 2009, and I think has improved a lot. There is a fee.



11.  Babayan Culture House – Turkey. It was a truly unique experience!

12.  Art Print Residence - Arenys de Munt, Spain. This is north of Barcelona and is specifically for printmakers, and has an excellent working print studio. The owners are wonderful - Jordi and Claudia. There is an apartment that the artists share that is very clean and comfortable. Right near the coast of the Mediterranean. You will pay a fee for accommodations and use of their studio - check rates.


 Sanskrit, near New Dehli, India                                     Babayan Culture House, near Cappadoccia, Turkey      Bush Creek Artist Camp, WY, USA                               London Print Studio UK 







This list was compiled at the beginning of 2018 and is composed of incredible places to extend one’s creativity. They are not as easy to apply for but worth the effort if you are successful. They are worth staying at, regardless.

Sofitel Melbourne

Sofitel Melbourne

Sofitel on Collins, Melbourne (curated via Global Art Projects)       

The Sofitel Melbourne has a contemporary art residency open to established artists who live in the five star hotel for up to 3 months with an ensuing exhibition at the hotel

Walled off Hotel, Palestine                                                                                                                    

This hotel is amazing in its’ design and concept-although there isn’t an actual artist in residency program, I’m sure they’d be open to anything and you can contribute to the not ‘not’ legal painting of the wall!



Vagabond Hotel, Singapore

The Vagabond, Singapore

The Vagabond, Singapore

 It's flashy but art reigns supreme with the help of French interior designer, Jacques Garcia. One of the first like it in Asia

 Claridges and the Savoy, London

 I've seen some of the artwork come out of the residencies so I know they exist but not well advertised on the feted hotel's site.


Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Sinagpore


Uxua, Bahia, Brazil            

Some artists/residents have created furniture and other interesting objects for the retreat