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)

  • No 5 – A cosy two/three bedroomed house opposite the Museum of Model Art offering an adaptable studio or living room space on the ground floor. Currently configured with studio on ground floor and living room upstairs, offering a double and a bunk-bed single.

£1240 per four weeks (equivalent to £40/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.


  • 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 No 5 with its own studio. 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/gallery, Museum, ZipStudio and Bothy and Tadpole accommodations are also wheelchair accessible.

Just across Sanquhar High Street from the Bothy, and beside the Museum of Model Art and ZipStudio, Tadpole is our recent purpose ‘re-built’ self-contained residency. While Bothy is a rural stone building from the 1830s Tadpole is an industrial brick building from the 1890s. Both Tadpole and Bothy are self-contained and close to town and countryside. Tadpole comes with shower, loft-bed and a wood-burner with options to work in the Museum of Model Art, ZipStudio or at MERZ Gallery itself. Snug provides a small self contained residency and is ideal for one person seeking a shorter residency.

Tadpole, Snug, Bothy and No 5 are equipped with WiFi and multiple TV channels.

Recent Residency Recommendations

Kym Coratin artist in residence March to May ’22

The opportunity to connect with other artists staying here – creatively, socially. Superb surroundings – inspiring/awesome landscape, wonderful walking area – a place to connect with nature – and train station 5 minutes away! Sanquhar intrigues; a small town though with hidden gems, local arts/crafts, sense of community, Charles Jencks’ Multiverse just minutes down the road, the nearby Wanlockhead Lead Mining Museum. There’s ‘magic in the air’ here’

John Quirk & Helen Woolston in residence from January to March ’22

Thanks again for your time and space at MERZ, and hello to Snowy, Kym, Ricky and all!

Laia Gimeno stayed at MERZ from September ’21 to January ’22

MERZ Residency Programme offers an amazing place to work, the installation is perfect and you can find everything that you need for work. There’s more too if your work is based on models or miniatures at MERZ’s Museum of Model Art. One of the unique features of MERZ is the relationship and commitment within the community and with the surrounding rural area. This was an amazing and beautiful experience. Thank you for everything!

Derrie Pearson ‘artitect’ in residence July to September 2021

The MERZ site, including accommodation, workspaces and the proposed location for the [tree studio] project provided an immersive environment for creativity. During the two-month residency I was able to both lead and participate in a wide range of tasks facilitated by David Rushton.

Sanquhar has a vibrant creative community and is set in a beautiful landscape.

Linda Kosciewicz stayed in the MERZ Bothy in June 2021

I’d like to thank you so much for the residency and your interest in my project, I got a great deal of benefit and satisfaction from it. I so enjoyed immersing myself in re-imagining the events at Holm Walk and Sanquhar. It was fascinating and I do hope that there will be some local interest as a result. I particularly enjoyed having the studio space and felt very much at home – which is a tribute to you and your kindness and attention. 

Michele Marcoux stayed in the MERZ Bothy in April 2021

I would (and have!) recommended MERZ! The facilities at MERZ really worked well for me. That the accommodation and studio were so close meant that I could seamlessly and easily go from work to home and back again. It felt like a wonderful art pod! The countryside is right on the doorstep which meant that I could go out and explore and make art or go for a run whenever I wanted with minimal fuss. The High Street is a stone’s throw so getting food etc was super simple – there was no need for a car. The whole thing ticked over very nicely so I could just think about work.

The creative and tech support were great. Dave is always willing to chat about how your work is going and support you with various video equipment so keeping a video diary and documenting progress was super simple. He created films and interviews so that the entire residency was captured. This is a huge thing as often you are just focused on working on a residency and fail to document what actually happened. Dave is very well connected to the creative and local community and takes an interest in connecting artists. This was really wonderful and helped me to consolidate contacts I already had and also helped me create new ones.

Olivia Irvine stayed in the MERZ Bothy in March 2021

Quirky and unusual bothy. Repurposed studios and gallery full of history, yet contemporary features.

Yes I would definitely recommend MERZ as a residency programme. It’s unique! It’s a quiet place to sleep, read and work, yet the town is friendly – everyone says ‘hello’! There is a lot of interesting history in Sanquhar and surrounding area. There are also some fantastic walks.

I felt very welcome and supported during my short stay and will definitely consider coming back. The connection to Schwitters and Höch is also a big plus.

Calum Wallis & Rhona Jack 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 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.

PAUL HOWARD 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.

JASON MARACANI 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.

CAT ROBERTSON 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!

ALLY WALLACE 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.

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