Artist Programs

Artist Programs support artists, the creative process, and the development of ideas and new work. These programs provide opportunities for research, experimentation, professional development, and peer-to-peer exchange that foster creative breakthroughs and innovations in  work and thinking.


The Artist in Residence (AIR) program is at the heart of Headlands. It offers fully sponsored residencies and studios to local, national, and international artists working in all disciplines.

Satpreet Kahlon (AIR '23) Photo: Andria Lo

The Artist in Residence (AIR) program awards fully sponsored residencies to approximately 50 local, national, and international artists each year. Residencies of four to ten weeks include studio space, chef-prepared meals, housing, travel and living expenses. AIRs become part of a dynamic community of artists participating in Headlands’ other programs, allowing for exchange and collaborative relationships to develop within the artist community on campus. Artists selected for this program are at all career stages and work in all media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, new media, installation, fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, dance, music, interdisciplinary, social practice, arts professions, and architecture.

We’ll begin accepting applications for 2025 residencies on April 1, 2024.  The deadline to apply will be June 10, 2024. : Apply.

Read more about the program

Artist in Residence FAQ


The Fellowship Programs support artists, designers, thinkers, researchers, and makers at all stages of development, from emerging practitioners to those at critical places in established careers.

Building 945. Photo: Andria Lo

The Bay Area Fellowship Program (BAF) represents a radical departure from Headlands’ traditional modes of working with artists. The BAF engages each artist as a collaborator in designing and producing their own Fellowship, bringing them into the Headlands community as thought partners while developing an experience tailored to their specific needs. Applicants should come with a desire to work closely with their Fellowship cohort and Headlands staff to intentionally design the vision, scope, and allocation of resources for their own Fellowship. The program is designed to evolve over time, as Headlands continues to learn how best to work with and support future Fellows.

Fellowships are intended to last three years and will be planned in close collaboration with participants on annual timelines. The program is open to artists and writers working in any discipline. In addition to providing access as needed to Headlands resources such as studios, meeting spaces, and staff expertise, support includes an annual stipend of $20,000, a health insurance allowance, production budget, and access to resources such as professional development, and travel.

Read more about the Bay Area Fellowship program.

Watch an info session.

Apply here by March 15, 2024.

Headlands Center for the Arts’ Graduate Fellowships provide meaningful support to recent, promising studio art MFA graduates, in partnership with seven esteemed Bay Area academic institutions. The program is unique in the country for addressing this critical juncture in an emerging artist’s career, providing opportunities for professional development and a chance to define their practice outside of the academic context.

Graduate Fellows receive private studio space, chef-prepared meals, and public presentation opportunities, including participation in a curated exhibition. Graduate Fellows are active participants in Headlands’ peer-driven creative community and benefit from engagement with local, national, and international artists participating in our artists’ programs.

Graduate Fellowship applications are by nomination only through our partner schools: California College of the Arts;  San Francisco State University; Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; and University of California, Davis.

Learn more about the Graduate Fellowship.

The Threshold Fellowship brings together cohorts of experts—artists and non-artists across disciplines—to investigate a critical social issue for which they all share a passion. The program builds on early successes of the Thematic Residency program, and facilitates deep research and experimentation in areas such as climate equity, environmental racism, and the future of palliative care and psychedelic drug research. The Fellowship leverages the creative process combined with expertise in research, policy, and community outreach in order to produce knowledge  and build power to confront some of society’s most pressing concerns.

Threshold Fellows each receive a $10,000 annual stipend and access to further resources, such as studio facilities, collaborative retreats, and funds for project development, fabrication, or travel. Each Fellowship includes one onsite residency per Fellowship year, and a culminating engagement with Headlands artists and the public designed by the cohort.

The Threshold Fellowship is currently by invitation only.

For more details, click here.

For information about the current Threshold Fellowship focused on climate solutions, click here.

The Design Fellowship (formerly known as the Designer in Residence program) provides an opportunity for a Bay Area graphic designer to build their portfolio through a long-term relationship with a unique, reputable contemporary arts organization. The Design Fellow is receives a stipend, a budget supporting an independent project, and is invited to participate in Open House, artist dinners, and other activities. Like all of Headlands’ Artist Programs, the Design Fellowship supports practitioners working at the leading edges of their field—individuals who are interested in pushing boundaries and exploring the possibilities of their medium. The program is designed to create a cohesive and dynamic aesthetic through the development of a unique body of original work, while mobilizing the Headlands’ pre-existing visual identity in a new way. 

Apply now for the 2024 Design Fellowship. Applications are due October 30, 2023.


Project Space and several named awards provide additional resources, support, and opportunities for select participants in the Artists in Residence program, and the Tournesol Award provides year-long support for a painter in the Bay Area.

Sadie Barnette (AIR '19). Photo: Andria Lo

Chamberlain Award is a fully sponsored artist residency and $10,000 prize to support an artist working in the social practice discipline. This award supports artists employing non-traditional media to creatively engage with social concerns of the day. 

Applications open April 1-June 10, 2024: Apply.

Read more about the Chamberlain Award.

The Chiaro Award is a fully sponsored artist residency and $15,000 prize for two mid-career painters residing in the United States. The Chiaro Award residency includes a private studio, and inclusion in a dynamic network of Headlands’ creative practitioners and thinkers.

Applications open April 1-June 10, 2024: Apply.

Read more about the Chiaro Award.

The Henderson Award is a fully sponsored artist residency and a $10,000 prize for a mid-career woman-identifying painter who lives in the U.S. or Canada.

No additional application required; all AIR applicants meeting eligibility requirements will be considered.

A fully sponsored artist residency and $10,000 prize, the McLaughlin Children’s Trust Award recognizes a writer exhibiting a clear dedication to their practice. No additional application required; all AIR applicants meeting eligibility requirements will be considered.

The McLaughlin Foundation Award recognizes an established visual artist with a substantial body of work. The award includes a fully sponsored artist residency and a $10,000 prize. No additional application required; all AIR applicants meeting eligibility requirements will be considered.

Project Space provides additional support to Artists in Residence, and participation in formal and informal engagement opportunities with visitors. Project Space offers premium studio space and time regularly open to the public to germinate new ideas and artistic approaches through conversation and exchange. No additional application required; all AIR applicants meeting eligibility requirements will be considered.

The Tournesol Award recognizes an emerging Bay Area painter in support of establishing and maintaining a career in the region. The Award supports a full year of artistic development, and includes a $10,000 stipend, a private studio, and a culminating exhibition or project of the artist’s choice.

Applications open March 25 – May 3, 2024 in Slideroom.

Tournesol Award application criteria and requirements.