Berlin Studio-Artist Residency Program
Each summer, two Berlin artist residencies are awarded to MFA students in the first or second years of their MFA program. This program is funded through the Center for German and European Studies (CGES), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Department of Art. The six-week Berlin residencies provide academic credit towards an MFA program. Students submit applications in the spring, and two candidates are awarded up to $4,500 in reimbursable expenses to provide funding for airfare, housing for the duration of the residency, travel insurance, local transport in Berlin, and a materials stipend of approximately $500.
2014 was the inaugural year of the Berlin-Studio Artist Residency Program. This project was conceived as a way to foster transatlantic education and collaborative artistic practice by providing an opportunity for a graduate student studying for the MFA in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota to conduct research and engage in creative practice in Berlin for up to three summer months.
The 2014 Berlin Artist Residency fellowship was awarded to second-year MFA candidate, Beth Dow, for her project, Happy Place. Citing the political and historical significance of Berlin, Dow proposed to “photograph the many parks and green spaces of Berlin in a way that will highlight their status as a mode of escape and refuge.” Dow also aimed “to move images away from a conventional linear layout on the gallery walls and into a more nebulous space of association…and to experiment with small panoramas that would allow the viewer to immerse herself in an escapist environment.”
Dow spent nine weeks in Berlin housed in the guest-artist studio-living space at Milchhof Artist Studios in Berlin-Mitte. While in residence, Dow was welcomed into the Milchhof community of artists and exhibited her work at the small exhibition pavilion in the Milchhof complex. She successfully completed the body of work she proposed for the residency, and her summer creative research project directly influenced her MFA thesis exhibition at the U's Katherine E. Nash Gallery in April 2015. Beth Dow is continuing the professional relationships with artists she met while at Milchhof, including artist Weibke Wachmann and Hartmut Kurz, the Milchhof Director. The productive cultural exchange established between the University of Minnesota and Milchhof Artist Studios continued in 2015 and 2016, as the Milchhof agreed to host the Berlin Artist Residents for an additional two-year period. Learn more about Milchhof Artist Studios.
Art Exchanges with the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe
The University of Minnesota's Department of Art also supports fall and spring semester exchanges with the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe (Die Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe) for enrolled art students. As part of this program, two students from Karlsruhe study in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota for six weeks in the fall, and two U of M graduate students study in Karlsruhe in the spring.