It was the wish of Jack Heliker and Robert LaHotan that their home and studios on Cranberry Island in Maine continue to be used by artists. To this end they left their estates to the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation, with a mandate to operate the complex of buildings on Cranberry Island as a place for artists to live and work. The three-to four-week residencies are designed for mid-career artists of established ability, not emerging talents. Because the purpose of the Foundation is to provide opportunities for mature individual artists to work uninterrupted in a tranquil setting, spouses, partners, children, or pets are not included in the arrangements.
Application process: Session dates, usually scheduled between June and October, are determined by the Foundation annually. An updated application form, available in PDF format, will be posted online after the first of each calendar year. The process requires three written recommendations, a statement of purpose, and 12 images. Preference is usually given in July and August to those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to work in Maine.
In applying for a scheduled residency time period, artists are asked to indicate their first, second, and third preferences on the application form. The program can accommodate up to three artists in any time period. If you wish to request a simultaneous residency with another artist, you may apply jointly for the same residency period and indicate this request on the application form. Such collaborative residencies are encouraged if you are willing to share a studio. Each artist who applies is judged individually on the strength of her or his own work.
The Foundation may request a digital image of work(s) done during residencies for use on its website or publications and may request the loan of works for exhibition purposes. While the Foundation is highly protective of the privacy and working environment at its location, we encourage all residents to open their studios at the end of their residencies. Presenting a talk locally is also welcomed by the island population. Heliker-LaHotan asks that you credit the residency award by name when you exhibit work produced at the Foundation.
Facilities: The Heliker-LaHotan complex of buildings includes a winterized and thoroughly updated 19th century farmhouse, two separate private heated studios and a storage barn, all located on a private stretch of shorefront with serene views across a tidal basin known on Great Cranberry as 'The Pool.' Lawns and informal flowerbeds surround the buildings and a terrace at the side of the house that overlooks the water.
Artists are lodged in the main house or another residence nearby. Residents have private bedrooms and use of the large and well-equipped kitchen, library, and other living quarters. A housekeeper cleans the house weekly, but each resident is responsible for daily maintenance of shared facilities and of their private studio spaces.
As a participant, you are considered a guest in an historic private home maintained for the use and comfort of the artists who are invited to live and work on the island. For this reason, you are expected to maintain and return the home and its contents in the same condition as at the beginning of your stay.
As a resident, you are responsible for your own breakfast and lunch; arrangements are made for delivery of shared evening meals for residents; everyone takes part in preparation and cleanup of meals in the shared facilities. You may also establish your own account at The Cranberry Island General Store, which is stocked with essentials. Mainland groceries can also make deliveries to the daily island ferries. There are two island cafes providing coffee, pastries and homemade lunches.
The studios: The studios are essentially painters studios, equipped with easels and workstations, and are not equipped for welding or large-scale work in sculpture. The LaHotan Studio sits directly on the shore of the tidal basin; the Wadsworth Studio has more controlled light and is equipped for printmaking with an etching press and running water. Donation of the press and other equipment from the studio of the late artist Charles Wadsworth, a friend of Heliker & LaHotan, makes residencies for printmakers possible. Residents must bring with them whatever materials they will need, as there is no source of art supplies on the island, and few on the mainland. The Foundation recommends that supplies and equipment be shipped prior to arrival. Helpful information on ferry schedules and getting to the island is available on a website maintained by local residents: http://cranberryisles.com/ferries.html. Detailed logistical and practical information is provided to successful applicants.
The island: Although the summer population of the island swells to hundreds of part-time residents and summer vacationers, artist residents should be aware that island life means they must be resourceful and comfortable on their own in fairly isolated circumstances. If arrangements have been made, a caretaker or staff person will meet residents at the dock and transport them to the Foundation. Bringing a car onto the island is not recommended and requires a deposit to the Town of Cranberry Isles in addition to a barging fee. The island is small enough to explore on foot, and bicycles and a wheeled cart for groceries are available for residents use. The Cranberry Explorer provides transportation on the main road.
Great Cranberry Island has a small post office, a general store, a community center, an exercise facility, and a single island church with non-denominational services. The annual Cranberry Island Ladies Aid Fair, held the first week in August for more than one-hundred years, brings visitors to the island from far and near. The island also has a busy Library with computers for high-speed and wireless Internet access, and a small museum, historical society, and cultural center. Some cell phones do not work in all locations on the island; residents may make brief long distance use of the Foundation telephone for emergencies only.