Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Main Street Arts is a non-profit arts organization and gallery located in Clifton Springs, NY showcasing contemporary art and fine craft from Upstate New York artists and beyond. This 3,600 square foot space has two floors offering exhibitions, workshops, and an artist residency program. The residency program is now in its 4th year with former artists in residence from around the United States and Canada. If you are interested in becoming an artist in residence we encourage you to apply!

The artist residency at Main Street Arts offers artists dedicated time and space to focus on their work — dedicated time with few interruptions and distractions.

There are only two studio spaces located in the gallery so there are only ever two artists in residence at one time. If you are looking for a residency with several other artists, this would not be the residency for you. We make every effort to get the residents together with Main Street Arts staff early in the month so we can get to know each other.

Clifton Springs is a small, quiet town which means this residency can be very introspective and contemplative. While we have visitors to the gallery during open hours, it can tend to be quiet. Please take this into account when applying to the residency.

Artists who are awarded residencies at Main Street Arts should plan to work on their proposed project while in residence. A major part of the selection process involves looking at the projects artists are proposing to work on during their time at Main Street Arts. Residencies are awarded based on these proposals so artists should generally be working on what they proposed.


While there is no set schedule for artists in residence, they are expected to be present during opening receptions for gallery exhibitions so visitors can talk to them about their work.


Artists in residence are also expected to participate in a 2-3 hour event about their work such as an artist talk or open studio at some point during their residency.


We encourage artists in residence to explore the surrounding area if possible and if they are interested, however we do expect residents to be working in their studios most of the time they are in residence. There is no time requirement for residents to be in their studios, just the expectation that they will be working on their proposed projects for a majority of their time at Main Street Arts.

Artists 18 years or older living in the United States.

Three- week and seven-week residencies are available.

They begin on the 1st of the month and end on the 21st.

Yes, the residency program is open year-round.

The residency runs all year, January through December.

Applications are reviewed quarterly. Apply here.

Studio only: $200 for three weeks, $450 for seven weeks

Studio and housing: $400 for three weeks, $900 for for seven weeks

Artists can apply as frequently as desired, but can only be awarded a residency once per year.

You will need to supply you name, current email address, website (if applicable), which month(s) you are applying for, a statement of intent for your time at the residency, samples of your work with descriptions, your resume/CV, and if you will need housing during your residency.

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Residents are selected by gallery staff based on the quality of their work and their goals for the residency/proposed residency projects.

Housing is available, contact the gallery for more information.
Bring any art supplies you’ll need for the residency. The closest art supply store is a Michael’s in Canandaigua, about a 15-minute drive from the gallery. Rochester Art Supply (35 minute drive), located in Rochester, offers finer materials and more selection.

Studios spaces include easels, one large table, a drop cloth, a side table, and a two-tiered wire shelf.

Residents can also use:

  • Electric Kiln–Amaco (Model: AH 25 SF) 7 cubic feet, front-loading
  • Electric potters wheel
  • Printing press (Jack Richeson & Co. 23” Large Press)

Each studio is approximately 200 square feet. The studios have large windows that let in natural light. There is also adjustable track lighting.

Residents are given a key to the building and will have 24-hour access to their studio.

Clifton Springs is a historic, Victorian-era village in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of Western New York. The village of Clifton Springs was founded from the sulphur springs running through the downtown area. These springs were thought to have healing properties, and thousands of visitors traveled to Clifton Springs for its “water cure”.

Modern day Clifton Springs is a small but flourishing village with eateries, shops, parks, and more. The village is a peaceful place to focus on yourself and your artwork. The gallery is 35 minutes from downtown Rochester where you can visit many other galleries and cultural institutions, or just enjoy a fun night out!

Yes, students are encouraged to apply!

No. However, if there are extenuating circumstances you can
discuss alternative arrangements with the gallery.

While the village is small and walkable, a car is recommended.
Clifton Springs does not have widespread public transportation and residents will need a car to get to nearby points of interest.

While we make every effort to accommodate residents without a car, there are instances where a resident will need to arrange their own transportation. Uber is available in the area.

Pets are not allowed in residency housing and in most cases are also not allowed in the studio. If you have special circumstances, please contact us.

We do not allow partners/friends to stay for the duration of an artist’s residency. However, short-term visits are acceptable. Please contact us for more details.