Painting of a woman's face blurred

About The Umbrella's Artist-in-Residence Program

The Umbrella's Artist-in-Residence program supports an emerging artist within the first five years of their career. The accepted artist is offered the free use of studio space and housing at over the course of a year. Our Artists-in-Residence create new bodies of work to exhibit at the culmination of their residency and engage the greater Concord community in their practice.

Applications for our 2018-2019 residency are now closed. Contact Jess Muise our Visual Arts Manager via email at with any questions or for more information about the 2019-2020 residency program.


Announcing our 2018-2019 Artist-in-Residence

Black and white photo of a man's portrait with beardOn behalf of The Umbrella's Screening Committee,we are pleased to announce our 2018-2019 Artist-in-Residence, Massachusetts native Nicholas Mancini.

Nick comes to us highly recommended from Boston University's MFA program from which he graduated last year. We are very excited about his work, his commitment to his craft, interest in engaging with our resident artists and developing programs for the Concord community and beyond. Now in it's fifth year, we are thrilled to support this up-and-coming emerging artist through this program. Learn more about Nick and his work on his artist profile.


Excerpt from Nick's Artist Statement:

"I am captivated by the sensation of the surreal within the ordinary. My subject matter develops out of my immediate surroundings and people closest to me. The origin of an image can be something as simple as walking through a plant shop, a newly acquired shirt, an old envelope rediscovered. More important than these catalysts is how they develop and grow through the making process. What is added, what is buried, what remains and what is finally revealed is the true subject of my work. It is this process that feels most akin to perception, a mixture of observations, memories and inventions. My hope is that my viewer questions how one sees, what information one absorbs and how one interprets space."


2017-2018 Artist-in-Residence

Elizabeth King HeadshotElizabeth King graduated in 2017 from RISD with her MFA in painting. In 2011, she received her BFA in painting from Boston University. She makes paintings that showcase her interests: ranging from printmaking to textiles. Growing up in Massachusetts, her tropical paintings rely primarily on imagination. Elizabeth drew inspiration from an oasis closer to home during her time with The Umbrella. Check out Boston Magazine's coverage of Elizabeth's work during her residency.


Don't miss her culminating exhibition, currently on view:

2017-2018 Artist-in-Residence Exhibition
June 26 – September 10, 2018

Opening Reception: June 28 from 5:30-7:30 pm
On view at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm Street, Concord, MA


Elizabeth's Artist Statement:

I make loud, shy paintings. Despite their large size and bright colors, they are constantly trying to slip as far back into the weave of the canvas as possible. I build up thin glazes of dye using wax resists, which result in areas  that feel deeply spacious next to areas that are abruptly shallow.  I weave together complex silkscreened passages on the surface to function as a speed bump, to slow down the viewer’s navigation of my paintings. A quickly read painting is the enemy. I think of my paintings as screens, allowing air to flow freely through the interlocked layers. I leave space for air to get through, as it is the only relief in otherwise claustrophobic paintings.

My paintings encourage looking. The narrative, which initially appears to be the main attraction, is only the opening act. At a distance, the scene depicted seems clear, but moving closer doesn't bring more clarity.  The image instead disintegrates, leaving only the colorful residue of the first impression. I paint marks to draw attention to the surface instead of working in service of the narrative. The ambiguity of the story may at first feel frugal, but is made up for with the richness of color and texture that sit in the surface. Once inside my paintings, the hope is that the viewer is no longer concerned with getting immediate answers and can start to adapt to the visual language of brushstrokes and color.


Past Artists-in-Residence: 

2014-2015 Nina Earley, an interdisplinary artist whose conceptual work includes cyanotpes, printmaking, photography, and fiber

2015-2016 Sarah Fagan, a realistic painter of still lives whose work focuses on the meaningful use of emptiness

2016-2017 Meghan Murray, a portrait painter interested in capturing human interactions through paint.


Meghan Murray's Testimonial

"Ownership over my creative and art-making process was a challenge and a breakthrough this year. I learned quite a bit about the limits of my technical practice.  I learned quite a lot about some wonderful people. The paintings in the Selfless series display various types of relationships, mostly from The Umbrella community. I was privileged to meet with all of these people and talk with them, or just listen to them speak to each other. I consider myself fortunate to witness these narratives, and to share them through painting."



Sarah Fagan's Testimonial

"I grew up in New England, but spent many years in Portland, Oregon. The Umbrella residency was a way for me to move back to my "roots" and establish myself and my work in the art world of the Northeast. Regional art scene aside (and it is a wonderful one), I often need to push myself to explore outside of Concord itself. The town is a wonderful place to live and explore. The Umbrella is filled with good energy, inspiring working artists, and meaningful conversation. Then there is the magical red-floored studio itself, wherein I have produced more work than at any other point in my career. I will remember this residency as one of the greatest gifts I have ever, and will ever, receive. I will remember this year as the one where I found a substantial painterly voice."




Nina Earley's Testimonial

"For an artist who has just finished graduate school, two of the most precious commodities are time and space. Leaving the structure of school, with its deadlines and feedback, and finding a way to establish a studio practice is a daunting task. This residency has given me exactly what I had been missing: a place where I can make art, complete with fellow artists with whom daily interaction is stimulating, and the time to figure out how my studio practice realistically fits into my every-day life. The opportunity to create and lead a collaborative project with fellow artists has allowed me to have meaningful conversations and learn about this historically rich area in a way that would not have been possible without this opportunity. As my work continues to change and I continue to make connections within this encouraging community of artists I am excited to see how this residency continues to impact my practice and work. This experience came at the perfect time in my life, and I would encourage anyone who is hoping to focus on his or her art, while exploring a new region, to apply." - Nina Earley, Artist-in-Residence for 2014-2015