Applying to VACI School of Art

Applications to the VACI School of Art program will be accepted beginning on November 1, 2019 and will close on March 2, 2020. Eligibility is limited to those who are juniors in college and older, with an emphasis on artists whose work has not yet been recognized internationally. Up to 38 positions are available. The entire Core Faculty and Artistic Director as a group will select participants who will enter into this program. Applications will be judged by the quality of the work submitted and artistic excellence as well as the answers provided to questions in the application. Financial ability to fully pay for fees to attend plays no role in the decision process and jurying of applications.

Requirements for application include:

  • 8 images of your work, all media accepted, including video.
  • Complete application including answering a few questions designed to tell us about your artistic practice and why you want to come to Chautauqua.
  • PDF of your current resume.
  • $25 non-refundable fee. Everyone who does not receive acceptance into our program will receive a response and brief feedback on their application.
  • All eligible artists will be considered with no preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability, or age.

The Juroring Process:

In an effort to be transparent, the juroring of applications is as follows:

  • Applications received by midnight, March 2, 2020.
  • Artistic Director Sharon Louden reads through applications to see if everyone who applied is eligible
  • Artistic Director sends all applications to all of the core-mentors to review and vote on and give feedback on each application. The applications are scored between 1-10. It is optional for a core-mentor to give feedback on the applications. The Artistic Director gives feedback on every application who is not accepted into our program.
  • Artistic Director and VACI Manager collect all of the votes. Every application over 5.0 out of 10.0 are looked at again by a smaller jury of 5 core-mentors and the Artistic Director in person in Brooklyn, NY. The Gallery Director witnesses the process and the VACI Manager takes notes of conversations per application.
  • Between 38-44 artists and 5 alternatives are accepted by the core-mentors.
  • Artistic Director then starts the process of writing a few sentences of feedback per application that is not accepted and emails those applicants first. This takes between 3 days and 2 weeks depending on how many applications are submitted.
  • Artistic Director then writes 5 people who are selected as alternatives.
  • Artistic Director then writes approved applicants of their acceptance, which is between 38-44 people.

If you have any questions about the juroring process, please feel free to write us at Thank you!

Applications close on March 2, 2020

Apply Here

Applications who applied before March 2, 2020 will be notified on or before April 15, 2020.   

For 38 participants who receive the opportunity to visit Chautauqua, their work will be shown the first day of the School of Art residency in the main galleries at the Chautauqua Institution. Curated by gallery Director Judy Barie and mentors of our program, this will be the first introduction of accepted applicants’ work to the Chautauqua community.



We are open and excited to work with many mission-aligned nonprofit organizations, universities and schools to bring participants to the School of Art. Our focus is on sharing resources and finding ways to offer opportunities to artists worldwide.  For more information, visit our Partnerships page.

College Credit

fredonia logo one line 2c web 1Participants in the Chautauqua School of Art residency program can receive undergraduate or graduate credit for their studies at the Chautauqua Schools of Performing and Visual Arts. Credits are available by special arrangement with the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia. This is at the prevailing cost of SUNY tuition, in addition to tuition, room and board costs at CHQ. Students must indicate their desire for college credit at initial registration.

Visual Arts students can receive up to three credits for studio work for the course Special Topics: Studio Art (ARTS 390) – 1-3 credits.

For more information please contact:

Sarah Malinoski-Umberger, Manager, Chautauqua Schools of Performing and Visual Arts

Eric Skowronski, Director of Extended Learning, SUNY Fredonia

Contact Us

For more information and all inquiries, feel free to email Sharon Louden at We are happy to answer any questions you may have.