The Lighthouse Works’ fellowship program accepts artists working in a wide range of disciplines, but we are best able to accommodate painters and visual artists, writers, and musicians and composers. Artistic excellence is the primary criterion for acceptance as a Lighthouse Works fellow.
Any serious artist at any stage of his or her career is welcome to apply through our online application system. Applicants are required to fill out an application form and to submit work samples and a personal statement. While our staff reviews applications for completeness, a panel of experts in the applicant’s field evaluates each portfolio. Because the fellowship program accepts only 12 to 15 artists a year, our process is necessarily quite selective.
Note to International Artists: At this time, The Lighthouse Works is only able to offer fellowships to artists living in the United States.
While fellows’ primary obligation is to the solitary pursuit of their creative projects, we do ask every artist to participate in an exhibition, reading or performance for the public at the conclusion of their fellowship season. In addition, fellows have the chance to teach workshops with students, and most of our past fellows have taken that opportunity. The partnership between The Lighthouse Works and Fishers Island School is a mutually beneficial one, allowing artists to share their knowledge and be reinvigorated by youthful energy, while students are offered an exciting extension to their curriculum and a chance to see that, yes, you can make art for a living.
Our program is unique in its size and intimacy. In 2012 we invited two artists at a time, and in 2013 we’ll invite three artists for each fellowship season. In a program this small, everyone—from artists to board members to those who run the program to the workers trailing to the ferry at day’s end—gets to know each other. In this way the fellowship, while allowing more than enough solitude and unstructured work time, also facilitates conversation, collaboration, and friendship.
Any serious artist at any stage or his or her career is welcome to apply for a Lighthouse Works fellowship through our online application system.
Applicants are required to fill out an application form and to submit work samples and a personal statement. Further explanation of the application materials can be found here.
While our staff reviews applications for completeness, a panel of experts in the applicant’s field evaluates each portfolio. Finalists will be invited for phone interviews, and all applicants will be informed of the committee’s decision by the notification date for the relevant application period. We look forward to seeing your work!
As we may have mentioned elsewhere, The Lighthouse Works’ fellowship program is unique in its size and intimacy. While other artists’ residency programs house artists in private cottages or in communal dorms, on Fishers Island our fellows are housed—well, in a house. Fellows live in the home of Kelly Ramsey and Nate Malinowski, Co-Executive Directors of the program, along with their independent yet loving cat, Weezy. Fellows have private bedrooms but share two bathrooms, a kitchen and living space with the directors and the other artists. The house is always stocked with food (with special requests and dietary needs accommodated), and most nights the directors cook for—and eat dinner with—the fellows at one big table. Past fellows have loved the supportive, familial nature of this arrangement.
The Lighthouse Works has dedicated studio spaces in the Ferry Annex Building, located adjacent to the cove where the ferry arrives and departs on the north side of the island. Our studios for visual artists are at least 20’x20’, with great light and views of the ocean. Please contact us if you are an applicant or prospective fellow and have questions about our studio facilities.
Life on Fishers Island is not quite like life anywhere else in the continental United States. We have some of the most beautiful beaches and rocky coastlines anywhere on the east coast, yet they are seldom crowded. The island’s “downtown” is a village green with only the most critical services: a post office, liquor store, ice cream shop, and two boutiques. It is literally green, with a bright emerald lawn and picnic tables in the shade. There’s an idyllic, timeless post-war feeling about the place, and one could easily be the only customer in the grocery store on a fall afternoon.
Light has a different quality on Fishers Island, and so does time—the former clearer, more golden, and the latter slower. Things never quite seem to happen on schedule, and no one (save one of our Executive Directors, who is type A) seems to care.
When planning to come to Fishers Island, you should know that life is dictated by the ferry schedule. You should also realize that you cellular phone is likely to function poorly, if at all, and that sometimes the internet just goes out for a day. Mail doesn’t arrive when your online tracking says it has, and you don’t dare ask where it is. Everything— everything—is a little bit more expensive.
In exchange for these inconveniences and peculiarities, you might cook your dinner over a bonfire on a completely deserted beach, or go swimming in the Atlantic in late September. If you were walking down the road with a heavy bag, someone would pull over and offer you a ride. You will learn everyone’s name, and every single person you pass will raise his hand in a friendly “island wave.” Try plucking an oyster out of the sound, or sailing out of the harbor past a family of seals, and perhaps you’ll feel as we do: it’s a very odd place, but we never want to leave.
Here’s a video, by Andrew Deutsch, that might give you an idea of what life here, and in The Lighthouse Works’ fellowship program, is like.
Before beginning the online application, please prepare your materials thoughtfully. Incomplete applications will be returned unread. All applications must be submitted through the online application system.Artist Information
The application form is very straightforward and involves some basic questions about you, your work, and your preferences. You may also upload your CV or resume, if you’d like.Work Samples
Please submit your work samples by uploading media within the online application. For technical support, see the Help page on the SlideRoom application or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For other issues or questions, please contact us.
Please upload up to ten digital images of your artwork. The file size for each image cannot exceed 5 MB. Please, only one piece per image. Two of the ten images may be detail shots, installation views, or video, when appropriate.
Note that we do not have extensive facilities or equipment for sculpture nor a high-tech media lab. If you have questions about whether you could complete your work in The Lighthouse Works facilities, please contact us before applying.Literature
Please submit a writing sample by uploading a PDF file in manuscript format, double-spaced, in a 12-point legible font. Files cannot exceed 10 MB each. Your name and the title of the piece should appear on the top of each uploaded file.
Poets - 5-15 poems in a single PDF document.
Fiction Writers - 10-25 pages, double-spaced
Nonfiction Writers - 10-25 pages, double-spaced
Playwrights - 15-40 pages
Performers, please upload 6-12 audio files through the online application system. Audio files are limited to 30 MB in size.
Composers, please contact us for further instructions about audio recordings and scores.
Please upload a Microsoft word (.doc) document or PDF file including a statement of 500 words or fewer. We prefer that the statement be verbal rather than visual, though it may include visual elements. The Lighthouse Works places no strict guidelines on this statement; this is simply your opportunity to tell us how you'll use the fellowship.References
If you are chosen as a finalist for a Lighthouse Works fellowship, we'll email you to request the contact information of a reference who can speak to the quality of your creative work and to your character.
If you have any technical difficulties with application process, please see the Help page on the SlideRoom application or contact email@example.com. For other issues or questions, please contact us.
If you have any technical difficulties with the Letter of Reference process, please see the Help page on the SlideRoom application or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For other issues or questions, please contact us.
We are currently no longer accepting applications for 2013 Fellowships.
To stay informed of the next call for applications, please join our mailing list or check back this summer.