Saltonstall takes a sabbatical in 2020

Due to the construction of our new accessible addition (breaking ground in April, 2020), our summer residency program is taking a sabbatical. We will not be offering our traditional juried residencies during the summer of 2020. Our next Call for Entries, which will include the new accessible space for writers or artists, will take place in late Fall, 2020 for summer residencies in 2021. Please stay tuned. We can’t wait to share our new space with you!

A quiet studio. A beautiful setting. Time for inspiration


The Saltonstall Arts Colony in Ithaca, NY offers free four-week residencies between May and August and two-week residencies in September to New York State artists and writers looking for a quiet, supportive environment in which to focus on their craft.

In 2019, we piloting a new program: a free 6-night residency specifically for artist/writer parents with at least one dependent child under the age of 18 at home. This new residency was a huge success, and we have every intention of continuing it in 2021. We are not able to accommodate children, spouses, partners, or collaborators. This residency is designed for the artist/writer parent alone!

Our categories include:

  • Poetry
  • Fiction & Creative Nonfiction
  • Photography (film or digital) & Filmmaking
  • Painting | Sculpture | Visual Arts

Each residency session includes the same combination of five artists and writers: one poet, one fiction or creative nonfiction writer, one photographer or filmmaker, and two visual artists. These residencies are designed for individual artists and writers; we cannot accommodate collaborations or partners working together.

All residencies (incl. the new 6-night residency for artist/writer parents, the 2-week, and 4-week) function exactly the same way. Each group of five arrives and leaves together, and the application process for all residencies is also exactly the same.

2021 Residency Dates

Our second annual 6-night residency for parents:

  • TBD

Our 4-week residencies:

  • TBD

Our 2-week residencies:

  • TBD 

There is no cost associated with the residency. Additionally, we have eliminated our application fee. Artists and writers who are awarded a residency are provided the following:

  • a $200 stipend for artists/writers awarded our new 6-night residency for parents
  • a $375 or $750 stipend (based on a 2- or 4-week session)
  • writers: a spacious private apartment with ample desk space
  • visual artists: a private apartment with adjoining studio space on the same level
  • photographers or filmmakers: a private apartment with ample desk space and a fully functional wet darkroom
  • all apartments have private baths and a patio or balcony
  • hearty chef-prepared vegetarian dinners
  • all groceries and a 24-hour accessible kitchen
  • washer and dryer
  • weekly cleaning service

The 200-acre Saltonstall Arts Colony is located 7 miles outside Ithaca, NY in the heart of the beautiful Finger Lakes region. The residency competition is statewide and is open to all New York State residents (including New York City.) Residency alumni are now eligible to re-apply every other year! (If you were a resident here in 2018 or earlier, you are eligible to re-apply.)

“For me, the time (here) is so precious. I haven’t had a chance to make work without the pressure of a deadline.” – Deborah Zlotsky, painter, Delmar (2015)

“The small group of artists … made for an intimate and very relaxing experience which was remarkably productive for me. Saltonstall is the perfect residency for reconnecting with nature, untangling one’s thoughts and getting a lot of work done in a short period of time.” – Rob Carter, photographer, Brooklyn (2014)

“I feel like this changed the way my brain works, because I can sit for 6 or 7 hours and I can just think about the work… I’ve never been so married, so close to my work before.” – Jessica Cuello, poet, Syracuse (2015)

Daily Life

A Saltonstall residency is a small community of diverse individuals. There are five residents in each session: one photographer or filmmaker, one poet, one fiction or creative nonfiction writer, and two visual artists. Each group of five begins and ends their residency together.

Food quickly becomes a central aspect of life at Saltonstall. A delicious communal vegetarian supper is served Monday – Friday, and the kitchen is kept stocked with groceries so that residents may make other meals for themselves. Because of our small size, our chef can accommodate most dietary sensitivities with each dinner she cooks.

Daily life at Saltonstall is defined by uninterrupted time during which residents focus on their work. Our colony chef spends a few hours in the kitchen each week day to prepare dinner. Any necessary maintenance, plus a colony-wide cleaning occurs most Monday mornings. An open house for the community occurs at the end of each residency session. Otherwise, the colony is quiet and free from distractions.

The colony is situated above a valley providing a wide vista of meadows, cultivated fields, and forested hills. Three miles of hiking trails traverse a number of different habitats: fields, old growth forests, streams, and wetlands.

The Colony

The arts colony is comprised of two buildings: the studio building (l) and the main house (r). The Saltonstall Foundation office is also located on the property, just a short walk from the two colony buildings.

The two visual artists stay in the studio building, which is comprised of two private apartments and separate, adjoining studios. (The downstairs studio is seen in the image here.) The two studios are approximately 25 x 12 ft. with excellent light and ventilation. There are utility sinks, easels, and work tables. The living quarters include a sitting room, bedroom, and private bath.

The two writers and photographer or filmmaker stay in the main house, which is comprised of three separate, individual units. Each writer is provided with a large live-work space that includes a writing desk, extra tables, and a sitting area with comfortable couch and chair, and a private bath.

The photographer or filmmaker’s studio/bedroom includes ample desk space, a 21-in. flat-panel monitor, and a black-and-white darkroom equipped with two enlargers (a Beseler 45MXT and an Omega D-2), a 10 ft. utility sink, and other equipment.

The main house also features a full kitchen and the comfortable dining and living rooms. Both buildings are contemporary style architecture and feature stunning panoramic views of the property. Each of the five apartments includes a balcony or a patio.