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Planet AiR Program

Overview and Frequently Asked Questions

Program Overview

Since its inception in 2013, the Artist in Residence program has welcomed artists who work with a wide range of themes and medias. Their work takes many forms, yet always relates to new ways of understanding our changing planet and our relationship to it, new ways of making and encountering art, and new ways of fostering our collective stewardship of the Earth.

Each residency lasts for three months, during which the Artist in Residence is given studio space within the common area of the San Francisco office, and provided with a small monthly stipend. This arrangement is intended to maximize contact between the artist and the larger Planet community of technologists, scientists, and aerospace experts - to the benefit of all. The physical arrangement and equipment (wall, easel, table) of the AiRs’ workspace depends on their specific needs.

The residency is designed to be fun and productive. AiRs are encouraged, though not required, to think of ways to engage the Planet community in their work, and many artists have been “adopted” by various Planet teams and invited to be part of specific dialogs and projects.

The residency is frequently described by participants as unique, awesome, and awkward. Unique because of the distinctive interplay between the arts and the sciences. Awesome because of the solutions made and the art being inspired by these achievements. Awkward because when you put an artist in a traditionally non-artistic ecosystem, many interesting things are learned and shared. This juxtaposition forms a beautiful ground from which fresh ideas and new ways of thinking often emerge.

Each residency includes the following elements:

  • Introductory presentation: An introductory portfolio presentation is made by each artist in the first week of the residency, at an evening art making event.
  • Artmaking: AiRs are expected to produce work in the SF office studio 3+ days per week for 3 months.
  • Documentation: Participating artists documents their process and workflow with photographs, notes, and community blog posts, and archive their final works for the collective AiR portfolio.
  • Cultural participation: artists are invited to be an active part of our organizational culture, and are invited to events, launch parties and colloquia.
  • Final Presentation: - an evening art event showcasing and explaining the works produced, artist process and workflow.

Because AiR’s theme and media requirements vary widely, they are expected to provide their own materials.

How to Apply:

Each applicant is requested to fill out the online application form, located here, and submit the following:

  • A letter of intention/artist statement (1 Page)
  • CV or resume of experience (1-3 Pages)
  • Portfolio of relevant works (12 - 20 pieces, typically)

Applicants are reviewed on a rolling basis, and candidates are typically notified 2-3 months before the initiation of the residency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are residencies open to international applicants or US citizens only?

  • Currently, applicants must be US residents, 18 years or older, with a valid tax ID number (typically, a social security number). We expect to expand the program to include international participation in late 2017.

Who is best suited for the residency? Does my art need to be aerospace/earth imagery themed in order to be selected?

  • This residency is intended to be an unique professional and creative development opportunity for artists who want to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinary creative work, particularly around the themes of our changing planet and our changing relationship with it.
  • The residency is not restricted to artists working in any specific media. Very traditional artforms, and very contemporary artforms - ranging from ancient calligraphy to videogames - are potentially of interest. So are musical and performing artists, digital artists, and those in the humanities.
  • We select participants based on the quality of their work, their personal characteristics, and likelihood of a good ‘fit’ with our culture and the AiR experience. We select artists at all career stages and from all geographic regions. Professional and emerging artists, and even qualified students are all encouraged to apply.
  • We look for hardworking, kind, and self-motivated artists who are not afraid to jump in and utilize the creative licence this experience permits.

What is the duration of the residency?

  • The residency lasts 3 months. We have found that this duration is the most impactful for both AiRs and the Planet community.

What is the timeline for applying to the artist in residence? Who determines the selection?

  • Applications are accepted year round on a rolling basis.
  • A selection committee (including the director of the artist in residence, alumni AiRs and employees of Planet) meet regularly to review applications and award the Residencies.

How large is the stipend?

  • Planet provides AiRs with a $1000/month stipend.

Where is the Planet office located? How can I get there?

  • Planet is located at 346 9th Street, San Francisco, CA, in the heart of the city.
  • Parking is available, but slim and traffic is often terrible. We suggest biking or walk from public transport - BART/CalTrain/MUNI/Uber/Lyft
  • The nearest airports to Planet are SFO, OAK and SJO.
  • Many employees commute to Planet from around the Bay Area.

What are the expected deliverables of the artists during and after the 3 month residency?

  • We expect AiRs to make a good-faith effort to participate in all elements of the Residency listed in the Program Overview, above.

Who owns the works that the artists produce?

  • Residents own any original work that they produce during the residency.
  • Residents are free to sell original work or prints at anytime after it has been fully documented
  • Limited reproduction rights will be granted to Planet of the pieces produced during the residency

Are room, board and travel provided?

  • Unfortunately, no. Artists must be local or find local accommodations.

Is there a private or open art studio provided in the Planet office?

  • The AiR studio is located next to the satellite manufacturing lab in the communal working space. In the allocated space, there is a large wall for big 2D works and a table for flat works or the digital workspace. There are shelves for for the resident to keep supplies.
  • The art studio is not fully “private”; artists are asked to clean up after themselves and leave their space tidy when they are not there.

What art materials or supplies should the artists bring? What should the artist NOT bring?

  • The artist is responsible for their own digital and physical materials and supplies. Do NOT bring dangerously large, flammable, toxic or hazardous materials.

Will the Planet staff be available to advise me on my projects and goals?

  • The director of the program is available during the week to guide the artist, introduce them to the teams of interest, and help document his/her practice.

Are meals provided? Is there food available within walking distance?

  • There are communal lunches provided on Monday and Friday. Our kitchen is available and regularly stocked with healthy snacks, soft-drinks, etc.
  • There are many quality grocery stores and restaurants within close walking distance

Will Planet give me an art exhibit? Will you introduce me to curators?

  • The resident is the owner of the pieces he/she produces and is urged to show the work to his/her audience. There are many AiR works exhibited in Planet’s office, although wall space is limited.
  • We work hard to make sure that residents have a great experience while at Planet, but we do not guarantee any specific level of exposure. Planet encourages residents to interact with the vibrant museum and gallery scene of the Bay Area. Investors, collectors and art appreciators attend many of our events, and residents are urged to make his/her own connections with them.

Can more than one artist apply for the residency jointly?

  • Yes. However, due to space limitations, we limit the size to two applicants.

I have received notice that I am an application finalist- what does that mean?

  • Your materials have been reviewed and application has been approved from an artistic and conceptual standpoint. You will be invited for an interview in person or through video to meet the committee and present your work and share your intention.

Can I postpone my residency, extend or change the dates once I am accepted?

  • During the application process, Planet works hard to ensure that residencies are scheduled a manner that works for the artists who are selected, not just individually, and as an annual cohort. Given the strong interest in the program, rescheduling is extremely difficult, as it typically comes at the expense of other accepted artists.
  • Planet expects selected artists to attend the residency in its entirety.
  • All residents must formally reapply if they want to change dates or return to the program, and readmittance is not guaranteed.
  • If an artist can not attend after he/she have been selected and scheduled, the artist may not defer and must decline the award.

Does Planet meet ADA requirements for accessibility?

  • Yes. We have elevators to assist those needing to move between floors

Who do I contact with more questions?

  • Email: AiR@planet.com