Artist in Residence

Artist in Residence Program

A NYC Audubon Artist in Residence works in their studio on Governors Island. Photo credit: NYC Audubon

NYC Audubon Governors Island Artist in Residence Program 2023

NYC Audubon is currently accepting applications for our 2023 cohort of Artists in Residence on Governors Island. This unique and innovative Artist in Residence (AiR) program will offer three local artists space, resources, and transdisciplinary exchange opportunities to investigate birds and wildlife conservation in the context of urban natural space and public engagement.

About NYC Audubon

NYC Audubon is a grassroots conservation nonprofit that works for the protection of wild birds and habitat in the five boroughs, improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers. Founded in 1979, NYC Audubon works through research science, engagement, and advocacy to involve all New Yorkers in appreciating, learning about, and taking action to protect urban biodiversity and ensure a sustainable future for the city.  

We believe that all people have the right to a close connection to the natural world and the right to a healthy environment. We also recognize that inequities in our society are widespread and hinder access to nature. In an effort to close the gap of these inequities, NYC Audubon provides points of entry that appeal to a variety of audiences, including public workshops and art exhibits that capture the spirit of our urban birds and the imaginations of both adults and children. 

Note that NYC Audubon is an independent non-profit organization. We affiliate with and often collaborate with Audubon New York and the National Audubon Society, but are a separate entity. 

NYC Audubon on Governors Island

Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor, just minutes from Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront by ferry. An award-winning park complements its dozens of historic buildings, year-round educational and cultural facilities, rich arts and culture program and 22-acre National Monument.
For five years, NYC Audubon has maintained a presence on Governors Island through our seasonal environmental center in Nolan Park and weekly bird outings. In a typical season, we engage nearly 4,000 Island visitors every year.

About the NYC Audubon Artist in Residence (AiR) program

NYC Audubon Artist in Residence (AiR) program is a six-month residency program on Governors Island providing commissioning support, studio space, exhibition and related opportunities designed to support the creative process of New York City-based, wildlife conservation-focused artists.

Three Artists in Residence will be provided a studio space at NYC Audubon’s seasonal environmental center on Governors Island between May-October 2023, a modest stipend, and a supportive community in which to develop ideas and focus on their artistic direction.

Artists in Residence have opportunities to present works in progress as part of Governors Island Open Studios events and finished work in the first floor gallery space at NYC Audubon's seasonal environmental center on Governors Island throughout the 2023 season. Artist applicants must be willing to lead at least one conservation-focused, art workshop for Governors Island visitors during their residency.  

Program Structure

The program is six months in length. Artists apply with a specific project they would like to work on during the program. The program is largely driven by the unique character of each Artist in Residence, organized through monthly cohort meetings: an opportunity for sharing ideas across disciplines and gathering further support among peers. 

Application Process

Three artists will be selected to participate in the 2023 NYC Audubon Artist in Residence program based on compelling online applications and work samples. A link to the online application is at the bottom of the page.

NYC Audubon's AiR Program is for emerging or established artists who are:

  • Working at a generative level in bird-focused and/or wildlife conservation-focused art
  • Interested in gaining experience engaging the public about their work
  • Committed to specific project(s) they’d like to work on during the 2023 AiR season

Most importantly, the expertise, values, and perspectives of a diverse and inclusive organization are fundamental to expanding the reach and impact of our conservation, advocacy, and educational efforts. BIPOC artists and other systemically marginalized artists are encouraged to apply.

We are able to accept art in a wide variety of media, so long as the work pertains to birds or wildlife conservation and can fit the constraints of the space. Past artists have worked in electronic music, printmaking, sculpture, projection, and various other media.

Residency Resources & Requirements

Resources provided by NYC Audubon during the course of the residency:

  • A stipend of $500
  • Unlimited use of free studio space on Governors Island, during the Island’s public hours
  • Opportunities to participate in other NYC Audubon programs and create artist’s own opportunities
  • And more...

During the residency, each AiR is required to:

  • Show work as part of NYC Audubon’s seasonal residence on Governors Island
  • Participate in monthly Artist in Residence cohort meetings
  • Lead at least one free, conservation-focused, art workshop (1-4 hours long) for Governors Island visitors between May-October 2023
  • Install and uninstall their own work


Please note, the studio and workshop space on Governors Island is on the second floor of a two story, 19th-century house within Governors Island’s Historic District. The studio and workshop space is not climate controlled, nor are there bathrooms or running water inside the building. Indoor restrooms are located inside the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Arts Center at Governors Island near Soissons Landing. Trailer restrooms are available at Yankee Pier, the west end of Liggett Terrace, South Battery and near Slide Hill. 

If you would like to discuss alternative access and accommodations, please email Jesse McLaughlin at
Bird-inspired art by past AiR Dawn Henning. Photo credit: NYC Audubon
Bird-inspired art by past AiR Dawn Henning. Photo credit: NYC Audubon
Apply to be an Artist in Residence!
Three artists will be selected to participate in the 2023 NYC Audubon Artist in Residence program based on compelling online applications and work samples.


Applications open: January 17, 2023
Application deadline:  February 28, 2023 @ 11:59pm
Notification: April 2023
Program duration: May - October 2023 (6 months)