Spring Residency Program

Residency Dates: Spring 2021

Residency Curator: Karla Sánchez

Applications Deadline: Closed

“Right now in the amazing moment that to us counts as the present, we are deciding, without quite meaning to, which evolutionary pathways will remain open and which will forever be closed.”

– Elizabeth Kolbert

With the generous support of Wexford County Council, Cow House Studios presents Leeward, a 4-week residency open to visual artists and other creative practitioners. Starting with the premise that the “Rural” is a cultural construction that we need to demystify and take apart; the residency will address misunderstandings about how the countryside works, what it needs, and what it can offer. It will also look into current theories about the survival of our species.

The name Leeward refers to the side of a mountain sheltered from the wind. Cow House Studios lies against the foot of the Blackstairs mountains, offering shelter from both the physical forces and prevailing cultural winds. From this refuge, we will analyze how the study of the “Rural” may offer alternative scenarios about the future of the world.

City folks regulate and dictate what, when and how things are to be done out in the country. The focus of the residency will be on the exploration of prevalent attitudes and discourses around the Rural, and its ever-changing and conflicted relationship with the Urban. We will invite the discussion of topics such as climate change (contested or not), flawed economic systems and their consequences (inequality, social discontent, alienation), and issues of connection and belonging.

While there are many definitions of the Rural, some of the common factors used to classify it are population size, population concentration, physical distance to other settlements (remoteness), travel time and population potential. We would like to bring awareness to the differences and patterns that emerge when studying both the physicality of the Rural as well as the economic and cultural effects it has on the lives of the people who inhabit it.

We aim to foster both “thinking WITH” others as well as engage in a self-reflexive mode of study. For that purpose, we will also schedule visits to sites of interest in County Wexford as well as visits from other professionals to Cow House.

In order to show the results of the reflective process that we hope to initiate at Leeward, there will be a symposium to conclude the residency at Blackbird House, an experimental culture-farm set in rural Wexford. The duration of the residency will be four weeks, from April 20th to May 17th, 2020.

Application Guidelines

The application deadline was Sunday, January 19th, 2020. Applications for additional 2021 programing will become available in the autumn, 2020.


For any further questions about the Open Residency Program, please contact Frank Abruzzese, Co-Director, Cow House Studios

Born and raised in Mexico City, Karla Sánchez has worked as a curator, teacher, program officer, strategic planner, and artistic advisor. After studying an MA in Art History & Museum Studies (Texas Christian University) supported by a Fulbright grant, she further enhanced her education by doing internships and working at various museums both in Mexico and the USA (Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Art Institute of Chicago, Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso). Since her arrival in Ireland in 2004, she has been actively involved in the arts.

She participated in several educational, research, and curatorial projects at Wexford Arts Centre, where she held the Chair of the Board and was a member of its Visual Arts Committee until December 2017. She has been on the boards of other art organizations such as Buí Bolg, and Myriad Dance Company, and was the founder of Wexford’s own Zorrofest. She has also participated in innovative performing art projects that have taken her to Denmark and Italy.

Her research interests are the environment, art education, the role of art in contemporary society, interdisciplinary collaborative practices, and existentialism. She lives on a farm/experimental culture house in Wexford with her young family; alongside her husband, they are searching for alternative modes of combining farm life and the Arts.

For our current programs please check out our gap year art program, summer art program and artist residencies

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for the residency?
Applications are open to both Irish and international cultural practitioners working in any discipline; visual artists, theatre-makers, writers, thinkers, choreographers, designers, performers, filmmakers, sculptors, photographers, etc. are all strongly encouraged to apply. The residency is also open to Irish and international visual art educators and students working in any medium.

How long is the residency?
The duration of the residency will be for weeks, scheduled for spring, 2021.

Do you offer residencies at other times of the year?
Yes, we offer several residency opportunities each year. You can find a list of current opportunities here.

How many artists are awarded this residency?
Four artists will be awarded this residency.

How do I apply?

The application deadline was Sunday, January 19th, 2020. Applications for additional 2021 programing will become available in the autumn, 2020.

What facilities are provided in the studio?
The 343 m2 (3700 ft2) open plan studio contains a darkroom, computer lab and lounge. The studios were designed for flexibility of use, the Cow House contains 4 individual spaces, and a shared open studio floor for larger group projects and alternative working methods.

The well-equipped black & white darkroom is capable of making prints up to 50 x 60 cm (20 x 24 in), and our computer lab consists of Apple Macintosh computers, a high-resolution film scanner, an Epson 4900 printer, Adobe Creative Suite and wireless broadband. We have two Nikon D3300 Digital SLR cameras with a variety of lenses, a selection of tripods, studio lights and seamless background papers. Artists may also use our various manual and electric hand tools including a table saw, miter saw, router, wood plane, circular saw, jigsaw a variety of sanders and power drills in addition to a selection of clamps fasteners and glues.

Supplies provided at the studio include a selection of papers including, newsprint, 100, 150 & 300-gram cartridge paper, 300-gram watercolor paper and a selection of colored A3 pastel papers. We also have 10 oz (339 gram) unprimed cotton canvas that measures 183cm wide. The studio is stocked with student grade watercolor & gouache by Reeves, a variety of water-based inks by Winsor Newton, Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint, student grade oil paint by Winsor Newton, solvent, gesso and a variety of mediums.

Students and artists alike may avail of disposable paint palettes, palette knives, brushes and oil dippers. Additionally, the studio is also regularly stocked to ensure we have plenty of darkroom chemicals, ink for the printers, graphite pencils, charcoal, color pencils, watercolor pencils, oil pastels, chalk pastels, markers, erasers, scissors, sharp Exacto knives, cutting mats, masking tape, drawing clips, fixative and PVA glue, A3 & A1 size drawing boards and easels.

How do I get to the Cow House?
If you do not have a car, or are traveling from abroad, you will be collected from the bus stop in Enniscorthy. Artists must arrive in Enniscorthy by 3 pm on the first day of the program. For detailed bus schedules please visit Wexford Bus or Bus Eireann.

Where is the closest town/village?
Cow House Studios is located in rural farmland. The closest village, Rathnure is three miles away. The nearest town, Enniscorthy is twelve miles away.

Do you provide transport?
Yes, there will be frequent trips into town. We also have four electric bicycles that can be used locally.


Should I bring any materials with me?
Cow House Studios have a variety of material available for use, however, if there are particular materials you are accustomed to using its best to bring them with you.

Where can I buy art materials?
Basic art materials may be purchased in Enniscorthy, New Ross, and Wexford. If you need more than what is provided we recommend that you order additional or special materials online that can be delivered directly to the studio.
Building or hardware supplies can be ordered and delivered by a local builder’s supply.

Do I have to pay for the residency?
There is no fee associated with this residency. Leeward is generously supported by Wexford County Council

Where will I stay?
Artists live in the Barn during their stay at Cow House Studios. This building lies adjacent to the studio.
Cow House Studios is located on the O’Gorman family farm. Rosie’s parents, Michael and Mary, live next door and Michael still works the land. There is a family atmosphere at the Cow House, we have three very friendly dogs, as well as three cats, a horse and a peacock, and we occasionally have family and friends visiting.

What about food?
Delicious home-cooked meals are provided for lunch and dinner. Artists may prepare their own breakfast in our well-stocked kitchen. We are happy to cater for any dietary requirements or preferences.

Do I need a visa to travel to Ireland for the residency?
EU residents and residents from specific countries such as the USA and Canada do not need a visa for travel to Ireland. Citizens of certain countries do require a visa to travel to Ireland. Visa requirements for Ireland can be found HERE. If you need a letter to assist in securing a visa, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Can I have visitors during my residency?
Yes, you are welcome to have friends and relatives visit during your stay. Your room will have extra beds if they choose to stay overnight. Guests may stay up to one week and must contribute €45 daily for meals.

Do I need to bring bed linens or towels?
We provide bed linens, but please bring your own towels.

Don't see your question here?



You may also like