The MERZ Self-Funded Residencies in the Bothy are available for self-contained residencies with quarantining (if required). The Tadpole residency building became available on the same basis early in 2021. Contact us by email at

MERZ – Living Accommodation and Workspaces

In the last year MERZ has grown and now includes Museum of Model Art, Sanquhar, ZIPStudio for local and visiting artists, the art-houses dedicated to Kurt Schwitters and Hannah Höch for short stays (with kitchen, shower and toilet), a second small studio with accommodation (Tadpole), a pop up cinema/further exhibition or studio space (No 5) an unheated studio and sculpture green in addition to the work-shed and yard around the MERZ gallery and Bothy. 

The MERZ and Museum of Model Art sites are 100 metres apart and span Sanquhar Cultural Quarter, with A’ the Airts (community arts centre), Tolbooth Museum, bakers, greengrocers, hotel, art-shop and newsagents.

MERZ provides a selection of living accommodation and workspaces to suit various needs.

Our Self-funded Residencies are priced on a four-weekly basis. Appropriate studio space is available at no extra cost, and is allocated by availability and suitability. Shorter residencies may be arranged on an individual basis.

Living Accommodation includes:

  • The Bothy – A self-contained living space for up to four people. A raised double bed and storage accessible by ladder, a fold down double bed on ground level, wet-room plus toilet, living space, kitchen and utilities, TV, WiFi, wheelchair accessible. Studio by arrangement. 

£1000 per four weeks (equivalent to £36/night)

  • The Snug – A cosy room in the flat adjacent to the MERZ office  with an elevated double bed reached by ladder, an en-suite toilet with shower, desk, sitting space, TV, WiFi and access to a shared kitchen. Maximum of two people but more suited to an individual. Would be ideal for a writer/architect/graphic designer/illustrator if no studio (or only a shared studio space) required. 

£800 per four weeks (equivalent to £29/night)

  • The Tadpole – Studio accommodation with a raised bed, studio space underneath, kitchen/utility area, en-suite shower, TV, WiFi, wood-burning stove. Suitable for maximum two people. Additional studio space available on request. 

£1000 per four weeks (equivalent to £36/night)

Studios/Workspaces include:

  • MERZ Gallery/Workshop – the stand alone former lemonade factory. Indoor space suitable for printing/drawing/writing/research and for exhibition. Includes a shower room with toilet and sink and small kitchen area. Electricity provided by solar panels, heating by a wood burning stove.
  • Work-shed – There is an outdoor shed with electricity, power tools and equipment available to use, suitable for woodworking/sculpting with a lean-to and yard for outdoor working.
  • FURTH – An unheated ‘indoor outdoor’ space. A former garage with a tall ceiling, concrete floor, electricity. Would suit sculpture, pottery or other ‘messy’ creative activities. Now being prepared as a pottery for the MERZ Pottery Project.
  • ZIPStudio – a shared studio space, gas central heating – suitable for small scale work.
  • No 5 – open plan downstairs area in a former engineers’ workshop. This space is for pop-up cinema/screenings, short-run exhibitions or as a day-to-day studio. With two small bedrooms, kitchen, shower room and toilet the living accommodation is for small-group residencies at MERZ


  • MERZ Gallery/Workshop suitable for on-going and resident’s public displays and exhibitions
  • Museum of Model Art, Sanquhar – a small museum with an emphasis (as suggested!) on ‘models’, architectural and design or ‘unrealised and imagined proposals conceived in miniature’
  • Sculpture Green – for display of large outdoor work (murals, sculpture and the art-houses) in a publicly accessible part of Sanquhar’s conservation area and Cultural Quarter
  • No 5 is suitable for short term pop-up displays/screenings/exhibitions offering accommodation with studio/small- exhibition or rehearsal space

The art-houses

  • Two Polish n-126 caravans converted into art-houses (Kurt Schwitters and Hannah Höch). Sitting on the sculpture green the art-houses are suitable for an immersive overnight/short term visit with access to kitchen, toilet and shower facilities. Suitable (comfortably) for two, each art-house was reconfigured by contemporary artists Amy Marletta, Denise Zygadlo, Dougie Sharpe and David Rushton to build on these artists’ legacies into contemporary times as they reflected critically on the crisis in Europe 100 years ago.  

£40.00 per night 

For further enquiries contact

MERZ occupies the former lemonade factory in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

The site includes the self-contained Bothy residency, the adjoining 60m sq workshop/gallery, a tool shed and store set around a brick paved yard beside a small wooded area. MERZ offers a quiet setting close to the centre of a small rural town in Upper Nithsdale.

MERZ provides residencies for artists, authors, makers and architects. The Bothy is a flexible living space for two (with a mezzanine for a further two). The workshop/gallery enables artists to make new work and run workshops and seminars. The adjacent A’ the Airts community arts centre offers a fifty seat theatre/cinema with café and can be booked for larger public gatherings.

Sanquhar is on the rail line between Glasgow and Dumfries.

The area has a thriving network of artists, makers and authors. Local schools and community organisations have been engaged in projects at MERZ. MERZ can involve Summerhall TV, who film arts-news clips and documentaries for, social media and local TV channels in Scotland and abroad.

MERZ is a not for profit centre in the Sanquhar Cultural Quarter and alongside the gallery and Bothy support the Museum of Model Art, ZIPStudio and кино. The monthly fees for accommodation and use of the workshop/gallery or museum and (and filming where required) compare favourably with artist residencies worldwide.

MERZ workshop and the Bothy and Tadpole accommodation is also wheelchair accessible.

COMMENTS and FILMS : Artists in Residence in 2019


artist and curator from Australia, stayed January-February 2019

I thought I’d drop you a line to say that my work was selected for one of the satellite exhibitions in this year’s Venice Biennale … it was an honour to have been selected, and I don’t think it would have happened without the MERZ residency at the beginning of the year. So thank you again for the opportunity.


artist from New York, stayed June-July 2019

My time at MERZ was equally peaceful and productive. The facilities, town and landscape lent themselves to a restful experience, in perfect contrast to daily life in NYC. The staff were supportive in my ventures and warm in greeting me into the community. They helped supply art materials, tools and promotional material that I will continue to use after my time here. It is a great space to regenerate, create and present artistic work.


artist from London and recent graduate of the RCA, stayed July-September 2019
“We’re just too quick to throw things away. That’s what’s interesting about what you are doing here, repurposing these buildings … Fantastic community spirit!”


artist from Glasgow stayed Autumn 2019

“Studio and Bothy good live/work spaces. Sanquhar folk very friendly and welcoming. A’ the Airts is a good hub too. It was good to have time and space to concentrate on researching and developing new work. Enjoyed meeting and getting to know local folk as part of the project but also in general. I found it to be a friendly wee town. Thoroughly enjoyed my time here and benefitted from trying out new ideas for my work for public display and feedback from art and non-art audience. Lovely town and surrounding countryside and I enjoyed the school workshop too. Yes, would recommend.”

Calum Wallis & Rhona Jack

Artists from Dundee stayed March to May 2020

“The fact that a documentary film is made about your stay is fantastic. The town has a wealth of history as well as extremely pleasant locals. Being able to live and work on site with great facilities is a huge positive. David is a fantastic and enthusiastic co-ordinator with a broad practice of his own, which made for varied and thought provoking feedback. For the above reasons we would recommend a residency at MERZ.”

Julia Zinnbaeur

Artist from Germany stayed June till October 2020

“I especially liked my stay in the MERZ Gallery because Sanquhar is located in an area without much tourism but on the other hand the cities of Dumfries and Glasgow are not far away”.

Ongoing Self-Funded Residency Program

Type of organisation

  • Artist-run

Residency Conditions

  • Two weeks to two months

Number of Artists resident at one time

  • Bothy, single, couple or a small family (maximum four)
  • Tadpole, single or couple (maximum two)
  • Snug, single or couple (at a pinch!)
  • No 5 small family with studio space

Expenses paid by artist

  • Travel
  • Accommodation in Bothy
  • Supplies/materials
  • Food


  • Open call

Selection procedure

  • To achieve a balance of pursuits and local/artistic engagements throughout the year which connect with local artists and/or the local community

Description of gallery, museum and residency buildings

  • MERZ 19th century brick paved former Aerated Water factory
  • Museum of Model Art & ZIPStudio in restored 19th century brick and stone industrial building 
  • Historic rural town in Upper Nithsdale in South West Scotland
  • Bothy
    • Self-contained building
    • Kitchen with fridge/freezer, washing machine, cooker and hob
    • Living and sleeping area
    • WiFi with TV reception
    • Wet room with shower etc
  • Snug
    • Self-contained room in flat alongside MERZ offices above Museum of Model Art
    • Shared kitchen and living room with fridge/freezer, washing machine, oven and hob
    • Loft bed sleeping area with living area with desk and easy chair beneath 
    • WiFi with TV reception
    • En-suite shower & toilet
  • Tadpole
    • Self-contained studio/living 
    • Flexible kitchen and living-work space with further domestic facilities in adjacent kitchen
    • Loft bed sleeping area with living area with desk and sofa 
    • WiFi with TV reception
    • En-suite shower & toilet
  • No 5
    • Self-contained two/three bedroom house 
    • Kitchen and living-work-studio space 
    • Living room/third bedroom
    • WiFi with TV reception
    • Shower & separate toilet

Workshop/Gallery/Museum and Pop-Up Cinema/Gallery/Studio 

  • With toilet, shower and kitchen area

Activities happening in the workshop/gallery spaces

  • To be arranged with the artists in residence following booking