Stay tuned for our 2021 call for entries

As of November 12, 2020: we’re close! We are shifting the entire 2021 season back by one month. Our application deadline will shift to January 23, with residencies beginning in early June.

Three things to note:

– we only accept applications from artist/writer residents of New York State and/or Indian Nations therein

– we only accept applications online via Submittable (you’ll need a Submittable account)

– our new accessible space is for artists or writers and includes a roll-in shower, a large studio, and an accessible kitchen

A quiet studio. A beautiful setting. Time for inspiration

Saltonstall offers free residencies to artists and writers who are current residents of New York State and/or one of the Indian Nations located therein. Our residencies are designed for those 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 are pleased to offer it again 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 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.

Covid, the unwanted guest

We’re under no illusions. The caronavirus will be with us — in some way — through next summer.

That said, we’re planning a 2021 residency season because we believe we can offer a safe residency experience in a way that is responsible and responsive to the needs of artists and writers while protecting their health and that of our staff and local community.

We are cautiously optimistic because:

  • our guests are only coming to Saltonstall from within New York State
  • to-date, Tompkins County has one of the lowest virus positivity rates in the region
  • we provide private accommodations, including private bathrooms
  • if necessary, we can offer alternatives to the traditional communal dinner
  • we can be flexible and decide at a later date whether or not to host our open house events

To all applicants: we will very likely have covid-related protocols in place for the residency season. These may include (but won’t be limited to) a covid-test requirement  and some degree of travel restriction before you arrive at Saltonstall.

Please be aware of what we may ask of you if accepted for a residency. We take this pandemic, your health, and the health of our community seriously.

2021 Residency Dates


Our second annual 6-night residency for parents:

  • Thursday, June 3 – Wednesday, June 9

Our 4-week residencies:

  • Monday, June 14 – Monday, July 12
  • Monday, July 19 – Monday, August 16
  • Monday, August 23 – Monday, September 20

Our 2-week residencies:

  • Monday, September 27 – Monday, October 11
  • Saturday, October 16 – Saturday, October 30

There is no cost associated with the residency and no cost to apply. Artists and writers who are awarded a residency are provided the following:

  • a $200 stipend for artists/writers awarded the 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

Saltonstall is located seven miles outside Ithaca, NY in the heart of the beautiful Finger Lakes region.

The residency competition is statewide and is open to residents of New York State and/or the Indian Nations located therein. Residency alumni are now eligible to re-apply every other year!

“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)

front of a split level brown house with a white balcony

Our Facilities

Saltonstall is comprised of two buildings: the studio building and the main house (seen above) and includes five private, individual living spaces.

The Saltonstall Foundation office is also located on the property, just a short walk from the two residential buildings.

architectural rendering of new addition

NEW in 2021: a 1,500 square-foot accessible addition. 

This brand new building (still being built!) connects to the lower level of the existing studio building.

If any artist or writer requires an accessible space, they would live, work, and eat here.

The ground floor of the studio building + addition includes:

  • a private accessible living space with a roll-in shower
  • an adjoining living space (with private bath) for a personal care assistant
  • a private 600-foot studio
  • an accessible kitchen and dining area
  • an accessible half-bath for guests
  • an accessible laundry and utility room
visual arts studio with vaulted ceiling, large windows, and a vinyl tile floor

The two visual artists stay in the studio building, which is comprised of two private apartments and separate, adjoining studios. (The upstairs studio is seen in the image here.)

The upstairs studio is approximately 25 x 12 ft. The new accessible studio will be 20 x 30 ft.

Each studio has excellent natural light and ventilation, and each includes a utility sink, an easel, 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.

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.

Saltonstall 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.