Thematic Residency


The Santa Fe Art Institute is committed to fostering positive social change through creativity by providing residencies to socially engaged, marginalized, and/or underrepresented artists and creative practitioners from across the globe.

The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) was founded in 1985 by artists, for artists, to learn from one another and to collaboratively explore the creative process in an intimate setting located within the inspiring environment of Northern New Mexico.

SFAI continues to operate under the vision of artists as changemakers and leaders, and our flagship residency program has evolved in response to the changing role of art in society. In 2014, SFAI shifted our focus to supporting artists whose practice is socially engaged and creatively addresses some of the most pressing issues of our time. In the last five years, SFAI residents have investigated five critical themes, including Truth & Reconciliation (2018-2019), Equal Justice (2017-2018), Water Rights (2016-2017), Immigration/ Emigration (2015-2016), and Food Justice (2014-2015).

The annual theme provides common ground for diverse individuals working in various media and disciplines while honoring their differences in experience and perspective. The questions we pose around the theme are intended to generate ideas along with additional lines of inquiry and creative interdisciplinary problem solving that manifest in resident works.

This internal work radiates outward, from our Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico communities, to national and international platforms through our monthly public events, exhibitions, publications, and resident engagements with their home communities.

In 2017, SFAI eliminated residency fees – offering all residencies free-of-charge for the first time in our 33-year history — as part of an ongoing effort to broaden access to the residency experience and foster greater equity in the arts and beyond.

For detailed information about our International Thematic Residency Program, please visit: