In 2013, UMOCA founded the Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program to assist local artists in refining their ideas and developing their careers both inside and outside of Utah. What started with three artists has grown to seven artists annually. Over the life of the program, we have served 47 artists, and held as many exhibitions. UMOCA provides support to individual artists to help stimulate, advance, and empower their creative interests and commercial enterprises through the AIR program.

Why Does Utah Need an Artist-in-Residence program?

Being able to support oneself as an artists, and maintain a high-quality life through finances generated from your artwork, can and does happen all the time. However, it rarely happens overnight, and realistically, can take some time before an artists career becomes financially viable. An art residency can help artists hone their craft and ultimately become full-time working artists, or more simply, give them the space and tools to create great works of art without having to pay studio

What is the AIR program?

The program is the only long-term artist residency in the state designed specifically for the needs of artists living in Utah.

Utah artists are selected based on their artistic potential, commitment to working in a contemporary idiom, willingness to participate in a robust and intellectually engaging community of artists, and readiness to devote the time to advance their professional careers.

Why is UMOCA the Hosting Organization? 

Our organization was established in 1931 with a philosophical emphasis on community, education, inclusion and support of artists. It is because of this 90-year legacy of dedication to working artists, that UMOCA is the ideal organization to host an art residency program. UMOCA is one of the few museums that follows the Working Artists in a Greater Economy Guidelines when establishing honoraria for each gallery and number of artists included in each exhibitions, ensuring that all artists are fairly and equally compensated for their work. 

Furthermore, UMOCA has received nationally recognized accolades from nation-wide art institutions because of our insistence that art be relevant and address the social issues of our day. We believe that through programming, advocacy, and collaboration we can work with artists and communities to build a better world. UMOCA is a six-time recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and two-time recipient of the Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

What Does it Take to Run the AIR program?

The AIR program is ran by UMOCA’s Curator, Jared Steffensen, who brings out wealth of knowledge as an artist, educator, and curator. He earned his BFA in Intermedia Sculpture form the University of Utah in 2002, and his MFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. The AIR studio space is house in the museum and the AIR and Exit Galleries are set aside for the artists to present their work at the end of their residency.

How Can You Support AIR artists?

Each AIR artist receives a $1,000 stipend so that they can research and produce their exhibitions during their time as residences. We are always looking for generous donors to help cover these costs and support AIR artists.


Current AIR Artists


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