Oak Spring Garden Foundation

2022 Interdisciplinary Residency Program Open Call
Due Jul 15 2021


In 2022 the Oak Spring Garden Foundation will host four separate five-week interdisciplinary residencies, and two two-week interdisciplinary residencies. Each session is designed to support eight artists, conservation practitioners, researchers, scholars, scientists or writers who are pursuing work inspired by plants, gardens and landscapes. The goal of this residency program is to provide individuals with the time and space to pursue their own creative projects alongside other residents who may be examining the natural world from different perspectives. By living and working side-by-side in a supportive environment with individuals of varying backgrounds and interests, we hope our residents experience interdisciplinary inspiration and interaction.

What We Provide

Residents will attend a series of events during the first week to become familiarized with the site, our staff, and the other residents in their cohort. These events will include tours of the formal garden, landscape and library, as well as an informal “meet-and-greet” with Oak Spring staff. After this introduction residents are free to work independently on their projects, explore our 700-acre sustainably managed landscape, and make appointments to visit the library during office hours (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm).

Because OSGF believes in the importance of good, sustainably grown and locally sourced food, we will provide a chef who will prepare multiple communal dinners and prepare some “grab-and-go” lunches using produce from the on-site Biocultural Conservation Farm. Residents will be expected to attend dinners prepared by the chef in order to promote interactions, facilitate interdisciplinary conversations and contribute to developing a stronger sense of community.

The only requirement placed on residents after the initial introductory events is that they participate in a Residency Showcase during the final week of the residency. The Residency Showcase is a fun, informal opportunity for staff and a small number of guests to visit with the participants, see the visual artist’s studios, and learn about what residents have worked on during their time at Oak Spring.


Applicants selected for the 5-week session will receive a $2,000 individual grant, and individuals selected for the 2-week session will receive an $800 individual grant. Residents should arrange transportation to Dulles International Airport. We will then arrange transport to the Oak Spring estate in Upperville, VA. Residents who complete this program will be able to apply to our annual Alumni Residency.


We accept applications from four broad, overlapping categories:

1. Artists and Writers:Individuals devoted to creative expression and innovative thinking that leads to new objects, movements, or ideas. This includes, but is not limited to, artists, dancers, filmmakers and musicians of all kinds, as well as writers of both fiction and non-fiction. Visual artists creating book art, drawings, fiber art, graphics, illustrations, paintings, photography, prints, sculpture or other objects have been especially prominent in Oak Spring residencies so far, but we are keen to support all forms of artistic expression.

2. Researchers & Scholars in the Humanities

Individuals devoted to traditional or non-traditional research and scholarship in anthropology, art history, history, human geography, history, language, law, politics, sociology and religion with connections to plants, gardens and landscapes. The outputs from such work may be traditional high-quality scholarship, or other work that seeks to reach a broader audience, for example through electronic media. We are especially keen to support individuals who will make use of the exceptional collection of art, manuscripts, books and other objects in the Oak Spring Garden Library.

3. Conservation Scientists & Practitioners

Individuals undertaking research, practice, or action related to the conservation and sustainable use of plants, and the ecological/environmental systems of which they are a part of. The work may be situated in environments ranging from “natural” to human-dominated, including in agricultural systems in which minimizing adverse environmental impacts and conserving biological diversity is a priority.

4. Plant & Ecological Scientists

Individuals undertaking basic or applied research in plant science at the organismal or ecological level, including the importance of plants in ecological processes of all kinds. Individuals may be pursuing research at the population or species levels, but might equally be addressing questions related to the ways in which plants participate in global systems or biome level processes. We are especially keen to encourage research on the plants, ecological systems and habitats of the Oak Spring landscape.

Residents will be exceptional practitioners who desire time and space to work on their creative projects. Awards will be granted based on excellence and merit, the applicant’s interest in joining an interdisciplinary cohort of artists-practitioners-researchers-scientists, and their work’s relationship to OSGF’s mission. Awardees cannot be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program and must reside on-site for the entire duration of the program. We do not allow pets or overnight visitors during the residency.


5-week Session I: Sunday, May 15, 2022 - Saturday, June 18, 2022;
5-week Session II: Sunday, June 26, 2022 - Saturday, July 30, 2022;
5-week Session III: Sunday, August 14, 2022 - Saturday, September 17, 2022;
5-week Session IV: Sunday, October 2, 2022 - Saturday, November 5, 2022;
2-week Cohort I: Sunday, March 6, 2022 - Saturday, March 19, 2022;
2-week Cohort II: Sunday, April 3, 2022 - Saturday, April 16, 2022

Selection Process

Preliminary vetting will be done by OSGF staff. Applicants who meet the necessary requirements will be reviewed by an external panel of established and relevant professionals working in their field. The selection committee or committees will meet in-person or via Zoom to discuss applicants and select awardees.