NOW open studio

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

NOW•FRIENDS ; Artist Residency, Kenya

NOW open studio in partnership with House of Friends, Kenya presents an artist residency opportunity in Nairobi, Kenya; Africa launched in 2019. 

This collaborated venture "NOW•FRIENDS ; Artist Residency, Kenya"  will give artists the opportunity to immerse themselves in real communities and obtain authentic experiences. During the 2 week residency artists are encouraged to step out of what they would typically consider their "work". We want you to step back and take a look at how you perceive making art. While in Residency artists can take the opportunity to work with community members to work on a collaborative project; such as an artist book, or visit other artists working in Kenya to better understand a new perspective. Artist are encouraged to work with materials sourced in their surroundings to expanded their ideas of media. We hope at the completion of the residency artists will walk away with meeting new friends and a new project. This can be a single work made in a collaboration or a small series of works influenced by their time in Kenya. 

For more information see;  / Residency 

Deadline for Application: MARCH 15, 2020  

Notification of Selection: MARCH 30, 2019  

Residency commences:  OCTOBER, 2020                        

Artists are invited to submit complete applications for the NOW•FRIENDS; Artist Residency, Kenya program. Applications will be reviewed on a competitive basis. One artist will be selected as the recipient. We encourage entering early judges will have opportunity to see work through out the entry submission period.

Award consisting of the following:

Individuals stay as guests for a two week residency, lodging accommodations will be at HOF base of operations located in Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. HOF home base is located in a very safe area known as Olympic.

Transport to and from airport in Kenya. 

 Studio space.  

 Immersion and networking with local artists. 

Artist receive a NOW creative stimulation guide to use during their stay, helpful exercises to redirect and stimulate creative thought. 

The ideal candidate for the residency program may be working in any media or genera 2 or 3D. The resident artist will be selected by a committee comprised of the NOW•FRIENDS Team, Academic/Professional advisors from the Portland, OR (USA) art community as well as the Kenya, Africa art community.

Primary criteria for selection will include:

  • Quality, consistency, and vision of work submitted. 
  • Motivation and potential for achievement of goals during program. 
  • The degree to which the individual will benefit from the program                    

Goals for the NOW-FRIENDS ; Artist Residency, Kenya include:

  • Provide an ideal space for creative inspiration. 
  • Greatly increase the likelihood of future success for the artist. 
  • Offer the opportunity to develop networking opportunities for the artist. 
  • Create a supportive environment  
  • Place the artist in a vital arts community with a location ideal for meeting and learning from other artists and the local community.

Basic conditions for the program:

•  International artists will be responsible for securing their travel authorization, Visa documents, etc.  NOW open studio & House of Friends, Kenya cannot secure authorization, but will provide basic documentation explaining the nature of the residency.  

 Artist responsible for all transportation expenses to and from Kenya.


 The Artist in Residence must remain in good standing, fully using the space and resources provided, for the full duration. Accepting the award constitutes a commitment to the full two week program. NOW•FRIENDS believes a two week immersion into the culture and energy of Kenya is required in order for the program to make its intended positive impact.

 NOW open studio & House of Friends, Kenya reserves the right to document the space and works made during the residency, and to use images in program and organizational promotional material, including websites and publications.

 At the conclusion of the residency, the artist must return the space to the same condition in which it was awarded to them (or better).

 The NOW•FRIENDS ; ARTIST RESIDENCY, Kenya program currently involves no cash award or payment to the artist.

 NOW open studio will not conduct the sale of the artist's work unless it is included in a NOW exhibit project. The artist may sell their own work (and only their work) from the residency on their own terms.

 House of Friends, Kenya will not conduct the sale of the artist's work unless it is included in a House of Friends, Kenya exhibit project. The artist may sell their own work (and only their work)  from the residency on their own terms.

 Submission of application indicates agreement to the terms spelled out in this prospectus. A more detailed formal agreement, further clarifying the terms, will be provided upon establishment of the award recipient.

 Request for further documentation: The NOW•FRIENDS team may request further documentation or request an opportunity to have a conversation with the jury selection finalist. The purpose of this communication is to verify and confirm the artist fully understands the residency experience.

In General:

Eligibility: Any adult visual artist can submit an application. Artists should bear in mind the criteria listed above when submitting.

Media/Genre:  Open to visual artists working in any traditional and non-traditional genre and media. (2 or 3D)

Submission Fee:  Each application must be accompanied by a $28 non-refundable submission fee. Fee paid through submittable.

How many works should I submit?: For applications we request 12-15 images of sample work be sent for consideration.

Images and Info: In an effort to conserve resources NOW open studio accepts only digital images and documents for consideration. See specifications below. NOW & HOF will retain the submitted images of the successful applicants and reserves the right to use the images in publications and program publicity. 

Digital Format:  Digital images in JPEG format only and documents in PDF format only should be submitted. All works should be submitted on  The online submission process is HIGHLY PREFERRED because it makes our process more efficient and saves postage and materials for the artists. 

Artist will need to include: Artist Statement, Vitae, Inventory list of work, 3 references and 12-15 images. NOTE: (Artist name, address, phone, website/other included on Vitae) 

The images must meet the following specifications: 

File names (for images AND other documents) = artist's last name (underscore) first name, followed by the image number as noted on the application form (i.e.Jones_Tom_1.jpg).

Detail, installation, or alternate view images must include the word 'detail' in the filename (i.e.Jones_Tom_1detail_1.jpg).

The image files should be in HIGH QUALITY JPEG format, images should be no smaller than 1000 pixels in width and 72dpi. 

Images must be oriented properly (i.e. top of image is top of artwork) and should not include text info or borders that are not part of the actual work.

Entry Checklist: (for your reference)

  • Fee paid 
  • 12-15 Digital images formatted as directed
  • Artist's Statement, Vitae, Image list, 3 references; all in PDF format 
  • NOTE: (Artist name, address, phone, website/other, included on Vitae)
  • We highly recommend applying early there will be no exceptions due to technical problems.
NOW open studio