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The Berlin Residency Program

The Open Call period for 2014-2015 Blue Star Contemporary Berlin Residency Program has closed. Selected artists will be notified June 15th. All artists will recieve a letter on the status of their application in the mail.


Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum seeks proposals from artists living and working in Bexar County for three-month residencies in Berlin, Germany. We are pleased to continue this program after an astoundingly successful inaugural year. In partnership with Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Blue Star awards four artists annually the opportunity to live and conduct their studio practice in one of the world’s most significant art centers, Berlin, Germany.

Künstlerhaus Bethanien is a non-profit organization that has earned a worldwide reputation for its international residency studio program.  The residency includes a $2000 travel stipend. Künstlerhaus Bethanien provides studio and living space with access to a common area, Internet connection, laundry facilities, and various workshops. The 2014-2015 Residency cycles are: July 15, 2014 - October 8, 2014, October 15, 2014 - January 8, 2015, January 15, 2015 - April 8, 2015, April 15, 2015 - July 8, 2015. Applicants must be able to attend during these dates but may specify their preferences in the application. Following the completion of the final artist residency, an exhibition of artworks made during the residency will occur in March 2016, at Blue Star Contemporary. More information about the Künstlerhaus Bethanien can be found at: www.bethanien.de/en/

Four artists will be selected by a jury to participate in the 2014-2015 Blue Star Contemporary Berlin Residency Program, based on their application consisting of a CV, letter of intent, and portfolio.

The Blue Star Contemporary Berlin Residency Program is made possible in part through the support of City of San Antonio’s Department of Culture and Creative Development; Guillermo Nicolas; Ruth Chang and Randall Nadeau, and Ann and Bill FitzGibbons.


Submission Requirements


Candidates must:

·Currently reside in Bexar County and conduct a significant portion of their artistic practice/outreach in San Antonio.

·Must have at least five years of relevant work experience and/or specialized arts training, such as a degree or certificate.

· Derive a portion of individual earned income from their artistic practice or areas related to their field or demonstrate a clear investment of time and resources into their artistic practice.

· Have professional portfolios that include publicly displayed and possibly published works.

Proposal Guidelines:

·A current CV including exhibition record, education/training, professional experience, lectures, publications, etc. and contact information – email, phone number, current physical address and website.

·A letter of intent expressing why the artist believes she or he should be chosen for the Berlin Residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien. The written proposal letter must be a maximum of 500 words.

·A 15-image portfolio of the artist’s work. Some images may be detail, but must not constitute the majority of the portfolio. The artwork in the portfolio must have been completed within the past five years. Maximum image file size 5 MB. Maximum video file size 60 MB.

·All proposals must be submitted via Slideroom at before 5:00 p.m. June 2, 2014.


·There is a $10 administrative fee for submitting your application. The fee is paid directly to Slideroom.

Other important information:

·Applicants will be notified regarding the status of their submission on June 15, 2014. Please do not contact Blue Star regarding the status of your submission. 

·Contact Information: Direct questions regarding the application process or the residency to Jack McGilvray, Exhibitions and Programs Manager by phone at 210-227-6960 or email at jack@bluestarart.org.




Supporters of the 2013 - 2014 cycle of the program included:

City of San Antonio Office for Cultural and Creative Development, the University of Texas San Antonio, Palo Alto College and Guillermo Nicholas. 

Artist Testimonies

“This residency has been by far, one of the most important residencies/trips that I have had in my career. Berlin has been an instant influence in terms of evaluating the role that my work plays in a new and foreign environment. This experience has in a very short time, pushed me to approach new concepts which I have been seeking for sometime now. It has also prepared me to finally pursue new formats of creating work when I return home. I am eager to begin several sculptures and have already made plans to begin this work when I return.

“Most of all, the access to Berlin Museums has been extraordinarily important. I have spent every weekend roaming the museums for entire days at a time until closing. Viewing thousands of various works has reignited a fuse in me and i find that it fuels me during the week as I work meticulously on my own images.

“And finally, this Berlin residency has provided me with the ultimate gift, which is to be able to focus without distraction in the studio. This residency provides the artist with the necessary facilities, the time, and with the inspiration and learning experience of being in an amazingly creative and extremely active environment. I am convinced that this extremely important experience is now one of San Antonio's most important opportunities for its local artists. Over the course of my career, I had the privilege of attending various prestigious art residencies such The Skowhegan School of Painting, The Vermont Studio Center, etc. The Bethanian Residency has provided me so much more in terms of learning experience. On many levels, this opportunity and experience have altered my perceptions and possibly my future. San Antonio, The SA Art Community and Bluestar MUST keep this residency going for future artists.”

Vincent Valdez, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum resident at Kunstlerhaus Bethanian, January 15 – April 8, 2014


“As for the residency program itself, I have nothing but glowing words and great thanks for the opportunity to experience this episode of creative flow! This was a window of opportunity to expand beyond my normal parameters of work. I feel that learning about the history and culture of Berlin was an immeasurable gift and just as important as working within the studio. My creative impulse was stimulated by the artwork, galleries, and variety of artists that I met and I feel that my artwork has become liberated. New horizons have appeared.

“The residency introduced me to a curator that I was invited to meet again in London, gave me the courage to speak to another curator that I met in London, and encouraged a visit with a writer and curator that had good feedback to work with. The chance to meet other artists within and outside of the residency community was a profound experience, and a connection to new friendships.

“It is difficult to express my gratitude for this emancipating time. I sincerely hope that the program can continue. Without this residence I am doubtful that I could've come close to seeing how competent, hardworking, and opportunity driven artists and galleries are in other parts of the world.”

Cathy Cunningham-Little, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum resident at Kunstlerhaus Bethanian, October 15, 2013 – January 8, 2014


“My work will forever be changed. The parks and architecture facades are covered with Greek and Roman mythology. It is ubiquitous in Berlin. I was amazed how Berliners don't even see it anymore. Like so many beautiful and historical images washing over them like so much rain. Myth and mythology, oral tradition and how that shapes our culture and identity is what some of my work is about. Another aspect was the repurposing of war machines and evidence of conflict in Berlin. Tanks, anti-aircraft guns, and evidence of war torn Berlin are everywhere—from the bullet holes in the monuments to the Soviet architecture.

“In short, this was an amazing trip—a life-changing experience because of my exposure to the mix of cultures, art and architecture in a very dynamic city. I had the time to experiment and produce a small body of work.”

Ricky Armendariz, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum resident at Kunstlerhaus Bethanian, July 15, 2013 – October 8, 2013


Karen Mahaffy - Currently in Berlin through July 8, 2014


Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum
116 Blue Star, San Antonio, TX 78204
(210) 227-6960 | Contact Us | Hours

Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum gratefully acknowledges major support from the City of San Antonio Department for Culture & Creative Development, the Lifshutz Family, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Ricos Products Co., Inc. Additional essential support is provided by Alamo Beer, Alturas Foundation, Argo Group, Boeing Employee Community Fund, The Capital Group Company: Home of American Funds, Citrus at Hotel Valencia, H-E-B, Hotel Valencia, The Flohr Family Foundation, Frost Bank, The Arts Fund, Luther King Capital Management, Mission Pharmacal, Muñoz and Company, The NRP Group LLC, NuStar Energy LP, Rackspace, RBC, Republic National Distributing Company, Silver Eagle Distributors LP, The Smothers Foundation, Strasburger & Price, LLP, Texas Commission on the Arts, The Trust Company, Valero Energy, and the Community Partners, Members, Individual Donors, and Board of Directors of Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.

© Contemporary Art For San Antonio 2014