Funded Open Call : Funded Artist Residency Programme. Applications close 20th April

Open Call: MERZ Funded Residencies

 MERZ invites applications from artists of any discipline, visual artists, writers, curators & architects for a two-month funded residency in 2019-2021 to live and work in Sanquhar, in rural Dumfriesshire, South West Scotland.

MERZ is a new project located around a renovated former lemonade factory in the developing ‘cultural quarter’ of the former mining town of Sanquhar.

The MERZ site consists of self-contained accommodation for 1-2 people (sharing), a large gallery/workshop, outdoor yard workspace, an orchard and a small area of woodland.

MERZ is a peaceful oasis in the heart of an historic town, providing an ideal environment for concentrated research and practice development.

The MERZ creative focus is based on ideas of Reconstruction and Fabrication in a post-industrial setting. In this, MERZ draws as a metaphor on Kurt Schwitters’ assemblages and the conceptual and protagonistic approach of Analytical Art and the early Art & Language.

We are seeking proposals from creative individuals who demonstrate an affinity with our aims (more detailed information can be found in the ‘About’ section of our website ) and who would benefit from a focussed period of time to practice in this rural/post-industrial location. 

An interest in community engagement is important; we ask that each visiting artist contributes to public events (a talk/open-studio event/workshop) and leaves behind a legacy that will continue to engage local communities.

We encourage use of MERZ to exhibit/present work created during the residency.

 A short news-film or longer documentary will be made about each visiting artist for wide circulation and/or broadcast on web-channels, social media and TV.

Facilities: Accommodation will be provided in The Bothy; a unique stone-building designed to house visiting artists with full domestic facilities. The MERZ Gallery and/or the nearby ZIPStudio will be made available for use as a workspace and as an events/performance/exhibition space. The Bothy, Gallery and ZIPStudio are wheelchair accessible and equipped with WiFi. There are a variety of open and enclosed outdoor work/exhibition spaces. Film and screening can also be made available at MERZ or the nearby community arts centre, A’ the Airts, for larger audiences.

About the area: Dumfriesshire in South West Scotland boasts a stunning and varied landscape that includes rolling green hills, lush forest, atmospheric moors and coastlines with pristine beaches. Sanquhar in the Upper Nithsdale region has a rich industrial history of mining, weaving and hand-knitting.

A fee will be paid for each 2 month residency based on SAU rates.

 A reasonable allowance will be available to each resident to cover materials for events and exhibition expenses.

Selected artists will be responsible for arranging/financing their own travel to/from MERZ.

To Apply: Please send (in one PDF document):


• Artist Statement (max 200 words)

• Portfolio of works (up to a max of 6: images/text/web links if video/sound)

• A Proposal detailing your plans for the 2 month period (max 400 words)

• Initial thoughts on public legacy, e.g. workshops/talks/events/exhibition (max 150 words)

• Indication of preferred 2 months (between mid-July 2019 and end of April 2021)

Email to

Deadline: 5:00pm Saturday 20th April 2019

Shortlisted artists will be invited for a Skype/Facetime video call.

Supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.