We think our residency program is pretty special, but you don’t need to take our word for it. Watch our video documenting experiences from 54 past residents from spanning June, 2013 – April, 2019. You can also read about the experiences of many residents below.
This residency is really nice because you structure it yourself, you set your own schedule, you have a key and 24/7 access. There’s another resident artist while you’re here which is great because you can interact with them, get to know them, critique each other’s work, make coffee for them! Clifton Springs and the Finger Lakes region are really beautiful—the sunsets and sunrises were breathtaking. The landscape and skies I saw during my residency will inform my oil paintings in the future. I visited Sonnenberg Gardens and went to the Corning Museum of Glass. Part of coming to a residency is to recharge, see a new land and explore what’s out there. If I had locked myself in my studio the whole time I don’t think I would have had the same experience.
"The residency allowed me to try more things with my work. Sometimes when I am at home, I am afraid to make a mistake because I have such limited time to work. It gave me freedom to explore—make something I didn’t like, put it aside, start something else. I could push myself in different areas and try new things."
"Coming to a small town—where I’m not bombarded with friends, family, jobs and other things to do—gave me the chance to really pay attention and has changed the way I think about dedicating time for my work. I developed a lot of positive practices during my residency that I will take back with me which isn’t necessarily something I foresaw would happen when I came to Main Street Arts."
Main Street Arts was my first artist residency. I was warmly welcomed by the gallery director and staff, who were always friendly and helpful during my stay. The gallery space is exceptionally beautiful and the studio I worked in was filled with natural light. One of the best parts about my time at the gallery was the unique opportunity to interact with gallery visitors each day. Many of the visitors were local artists, from which I was able to learn about their experiences making art around the Finger Lakes region.
I especially enjoyed being surrounded by the art in the gallery and watching as two new shows were installed. The gallery regularly hosts artist talks and movie nights, which were inspiring ways to engage with art on a deeper level. This was a great experience to learn about how a professional art gallery is run, while also having time to work in a wonderful studio.
"The moment I pulled onto Main Street in Clifton Springs New York I knew the following two months would be some of the best in my entire life. Here's why...
Stepping into Main Streets Arts was like walking into your home, it is more than just an upscale art gallery but a unique niche built towards nurturing the creative minds soul. Words cannot express the professionalism the gallery hosts towards resident artists. I not only successfully created some of the best art in my life, but I got to experience the 'new' such as; geography, climate, autumn, flora and fauna, and most importantly the local culture. It is people that give a place more meaning, reflecting beauty in everything they think and see. From their classic architecture to the incredible food. I fell in love with a place and its people and tried my best to represent myself and where I come from. You cannot feel more at home then when staying at Main Street Arts.”
"I spent two months in a fall residency at Main Street Arts. What a wonderful space—tall windows with sun streaming through, shiny wood floors, balcony, and plenty of wall space to hang work. The gallery staff supported with constant cheer, efficiency, and encouragement. They took care to provide security and lighting, immaculate work space, and anything needed. Housing was B&B-worthy—with thoughtful supplies, and fully equipped kitchen. The staff made sure to touch base, and responded to questions immediately. They showed sincere concern for the gallery, the town, and guest artists.
Visitors to the gallery spoke of such interesting backgrounds: gallery management, professional art, education, years at MOMA, acting, and growing up in Clifton Springs. People from my childhood appeared, and one of my first students. A Chamber of Commerce representative visited, and offered to print maps for a topographic project I was working on. The museum historian gave a thorough individual tour. The bookstore owner collected fascinating art books, one which described a process I'd wanted to try. Everywhere I went in town, from hardware to gift store, gas stations and churches, restaurants and library…people were thoughtful and friendly.
It's worth a visit, and certainly worth trying an artist residency."
"Standing on a sidewalk in Manhattan 3 years ago, an old instructor of mine detailed how throughout the country, small towns are supporting artists in a way that New York City no longer does. At the time I had yet to get out into the messy world of professional art, so it went a little over my head. But after my residency at Main Street Arts, I get it. The gallery, the town, and the patrons that came through the space have all been so genuinely involved in supporting what goes on in the studio.
During my stay I was able to experiment to my heart's content, and given free reign to develop my work as was needed. I was also afforded the opportunity to teach a workshop, show my work, and was given an excellent tour of Rochester’s art scene from one of the locals. The gallery staff was right there for anything I needed, from interviews on their blog to promotion of my work and endless coffee in the kitchen. It’s been a fantastic experience."
When I first heard about Main Street Arts, I thought “what’s this gallery doing in this quaint little town?” After completing my residency, I know! The director and staff are all highly professional and most important, they are friendly. The studio and gallery are very spacious and with a wonderful view from the balcony—how can you not get inspired? This is also a great opportunity to get yourself out there.
The director and staff at the gallery do an amazing job promoting and advocating for their artists in residence. I left the gallery feeling a drive to take my artwork to a new level and feeling inspired to look into other residency programs. I encourage any artist to take this opportunity and explore the beautiful Finger Lakes region.
To say that I was a little nervous would be a vast understatement. I had just received my BFA in Philadelphia and was heading to a part of New York that I had never been to before, my closest acquaintance being 200 miles away. That nervousness quickly dissipated when I was greeted with a warm smile that turned into a great professional relationship with the gallery director.
After settling into the beautiful, small town of Clifton Springs I quickly learned that I was in a beautiful place that anybody would love to visit. My days spent in the studio were used wisely, with great lighting and a good amount of foot traffic each week with feedback from artists and art lovers alike. My time during the residency was great opportunity that I feel any artist, established or emerging, should take apart in.
After participating in previous shows at Main Street Arts, I knew that the chance for a residency was not to be missed. The gallery and studios are beautiful, well-lit and spacious and I was able to meet many other artists and art lovers. It was the perfect balance of quiet time to work on my paintings and exciting opening receptions where connections
and friendships were made.
I was able to gain inspiration from both the fantastic works of art in the gallery and the picturesque view of downtown Clifton Springs from the balcony. Over all it was a wonderful experience!
I woke up looking forward to my drive to Main Street Arts. It wasn't only because I knew that I'd spend some quality time with my paintbrush, or that I’d enjoy the friendly faces in town. This residency also gave me peaceful time away from the daily stresses of life. The ride through the countryside and rolling hills of the Finger Lake Region are beautiful and soothing. My time at Main Street Arts was filled with days of exploring the small nearby towns, becoming familiar with the quirks of Clifton Springs,and allowing my creative juices to flow freely!
Impressed by Main Street Arts for multiple years prior to this residency, I was surprised by the amount of activities they hosted. I was so happy to meet all the visitors who wandered through to peek into my studio, among them was my dear fellow artist in residence, Marisa Bruno! Having a fellow artist working along my side has sparked interest in a variety of new ideas and possibilities for future work. Bouncing ideas and discussing our work gave a new perspective. This was my first artist residency experience and Main Street Arts was very welcoming. I left with a fresh outlook on my work.