Residency Program


The museum's residency program, now in its fourth year, is an opportunity for artists to create works that build on and resonate with the museum's themes, exhibits, and collections. The idea is to use the museum as a starting point for creative interpretation of its themes, usually in different media, such as video, artist books, or written works.

The structure of the program is informal. The only real deadline is the gallery show in September. The term "residency" is used rather loosely; there no actual accommodations available. Work may be done on-site at the museum, off-site, or both, although space at the museum is rather limited. Work can be done in a concentrated amount of time or spread out. An application of sorts is available below, but you may also contact the curator with ideas or present them during a museum visit.

The program was inspired by projects that have been done over the years by various artists. You can check out what residents have created in previous years:
2021 - Five artists each created works using materials from the museum's archive of animal parts, gnarled sticks, fungus, and other materials.
2022 - Five installations extrapolating on museum themes and objects
2023 - Explorations in chemical and biological art, as well as traditional assemblage
Projects done before the advent of the residency program, including a mini-mockumentary, a poem cycle, color studies, a kid's guide, and an artist's book can be seen here


We are looking for projects that do any of the following:
- evoke the spirit of the alchemist or the mad scientist
- extend the mythos of the Zymoglyphic region
- use the Wunderkammer or museum exhibit format as a medium
- incorporate, or are produced by, living things such as bacteria, algae, fungus, or ants
- explore life-like processes using chemistry, alchemy, artificial life or robotics
- involve miniature ecosytems with living components
- use an aquarium/terrarium/diorama motif
- create a surreal natural history

Gallery Show
We are planning a show of work created during the residency in September of this year at the 1122 Outside Gallery in SE Portland. 1122 is an informal backyard gallery in southeast Portland. It is suitable for site-specific installations or traditional gallery hanging. There are a number of outbuildings that can be used - a former chicken coop (currently a mini-theater), an enclosed shed, and a carport have all been used to display projects. The gallery show will be up for a month.

- There are no application fees or stipends.
- All art produced belongs to the artist
- The museum requests right of first refusal if works are offered for sale.
- Multiple people may work on a single project
- The residency is open to all creative persons, whether or not they are established in the art world.
- Work at the gallery show need not be for sale.

To apply, send an email to with answers to the following questions:

Are you currently living in Portland or nearby?

Have you visited the museum?

Describe what you would want to work on as your residency project

How do you see your work relating to the museum?

List any relevant web site(s), social media, or other online presence

Verdancy Residency

This year the museum is partnering with the Verdancy Project's residency program. Verdancy is a burgeoning art center near Portland that offers rustic on-site accommodation on a wooded 4.5 acre site. The museum is sponsoring two partial scholarships for this residency. Applications for 2024 have closed.