NYC's historic Green-Wood Cemetery is looking for an artist-in-residence

The chosen artist will have access to thousands of personal objects from the deceased.

Collier Sutter
Written by
Collier Sutter
Fort Hamilton gatehouse
Photograph: Shannon TaggartFort Hamilton Gatehouse

Green-Wood Cemetery is seeking applications for its new artist-in-residence program—the first of its kind for a NYC cemetery. For nine months from January to September of 2021, one artist will have the use Green-Wood’s grounds as a creative resource and inspiration.

The chosen artist will have studio space in the cemetery’s beautiful, landmarked Fort Hamilton Gatehouse and will have access to Green-Wood’s vast archives dating back to 1838, including personal objects such as photographs, paintings, books from the deceased. That includes prominent 19th and 20th artists, 400 of whom are buried at Green-Wood such as: Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Catlin, and Asher B. Durand. The artist-in-resident will also receive a $7,500 stipend towards their work.

The cemetery’s ideal candidate is a New York City resident in their mid-career who works in the visual or performing arts, although all mediums are accepted.

Special consideration will be given to candidates whose creative project responds to the history of the space, and can engage communities within the surrounding neighborhood of Green-Wood, a press release says.

“We have been thinking about an artist-in-residence program for over two years, and now seemed like the right time,” says Harry Weil, Green-Wood’s director of public programs. “Not only was it supported financially by some generous members of our board, it follows a successful string of arts programming, including an installation in our Catacombs by Janine Antoni in fall 2019. Over the past 10 years, Green-Wood has emerged as a major cultural destination in Brooklyn. This residency is part of the next phase of our growth.” 

Green-Wood is more than just a cemetery—it’s a National Historic Landmark that stretches over 478 spectacular acres of hills, valleys, glacial ponds and paths.

“Whether it’s the art, the monuments and the architecture, the beautiful landscape, or the history of the residents that are buried here and the history of Green-Wood itself, I’m excited to see what [the artist] is going to focus on,” Weil told the Brooklyn Paper.

At the end of the nine-month-run, the creator will put their work on display on Green-Wood's grounds for the community, whether it be through an art installation or performance. The artist will also present at least one lecture and host at least one open studio related to their work.

You can apply here from through September 2, and the winner will be announced the last week of September.

And if you’re wondering if the residency is live-in—it is not.

“As much as it may be the dream of a lot the artists applying to live in the cemetery, right now only our permanent residents get to rest In peace there,” adds Weil.

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