Apply: SWAP

Deadline: TBD

SPACES is not accepting applications for the SWAP residency at this time. If you would like to be kept informed on what is happening at SPACES, please "like" us on Facebook or subscribe to our email newsletter (at the bottom of this page). Please don't email or call to ask us when materials are due.

Applications are reviewed once each year. To ensure applications are considered in a timely manner, please coordinate so your application arrives at SPACES by the posted deadlines on our website. These are not postmark deadlines.

The SPACES World Artists Program (SWAP) is a residency program for international, U.S. and local artists, founded in 2002 to foster cultural exchange between audiences in Northeast Ohio and artists from around the world. SWAP residencies are intensive opportunities for experimental artists to produce and present new work.

Steve Lambert: Capitalism Works for Me!


International and U.S. Artists: International artists and U.S. artists who reside outside of Northeast Ohio are only invited to apply to SWAP if nominated by one of our partners throughout the world. Any candidate who has not been specifically invited to apply is ineligible.

Artists From Northeast Ohio: Artists from Northeast Ohio* can apply to SWAP by filling out the application, or may be invited to apply after being nominated by a SWAP partner. Northeast Ohio artists cannot be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs at the time of a SWAP residency.

* Ashland, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne counties.

Application Details

Incomplete or inaccurately assembled applications will not be considered. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent via email.

Applications may be sent by email or mail. Each application must include:

  • SWAP application – PDF format
  • one-page C.V. – PDF format
  • 150-word artist statement – PDF format
  • 150-word SWAP statement – PDF format
  • work sample list – PDF format
  • work samples

Artist Statement

The artist statement should succinctly describe the artist's work or work process. Statements longer than 150 words will not be considered.

SWAP Statement

Include a 150-word statement on why you are specifically interested in a SWAP Residency. Find more information on SWAP please download the SWAP Brief. Statements longer than 150 words will not be considered.


Include a C.V. of up to 1 page, listing the artist's birth date, place of birth and current location, education, significant exhibitions/events and (if available) bibliography.

Work Samples

Work samples should have been completed in the last three years. Samples can consist of up to 15 still image work samples OR up to 3 two-minute segments of audio and/or video. If you wish to submit work that includes multiple formats, you can calculate the appropriate amount of material to submit by using this equation:

2 minute audio/video clip = 1 website = 5 images.

Please label all files using the following format: "number_artistslastname_title.jpg" "Number" is in two-digit format and refers to the order in which you wish the image to appear, "artistslastname" is the last name of the artist or name of the artist collective, and "title" is the title of the piece. All text should be lowercase with no spaces. An example would look like this:


Web-based work should be submitted as a URL listed in the work sample list. Please only submit web-based projects. A portfolio website that features audio/video art and still images will not be considered.

Work Sample List

A work sample list must be included, listing titles, dates, dimensions/duration, media, the corresponding file name and one explanatory note (if applicable) for each submitted work sample.

How to Submit Materials by eMail

  • Send an email to with "SWAP Application: Your Name" as the subject line. Attach all materials (except work samples) as PDF documents.
  • Sending Images: Up to 15 digital images should be submitted in JPG format, 72 dpi, no larger than 1 MB each. For files larger than 10 MB, please send them using a service like YouSendIt, SendThisFile or Dropbox to
  • Sending Video or Audio files: Send via YouSendIt, Dropbox, or SendThisFile. YouTube or Vimeo are acceptable, but include any necessary passwords to access the link. Video files should be no longer than 40MB and in .mov or .m4v format. No other formats or disc types will be accepted. Audio files should be submitted as separate MP3 files on CD. Each track should be no longer than 2 minutes.
  • Web-Based: Web-based work should be submitted as a URL listed in the work sample list.

How to Submit Materials by Mail

Send one CD-R containing digital files of your application, artist statement, SWAP statement, C.V., work sample list and work samples. Video should be submitted on a DVD. All text documents should be in PDF format and no larger than 1MB each. Word documents, RTF, TXT, and others will not be accepted. Free online services can convert most documents to PDF. Name each file according to the following format where "artistslastname" is the last name of the artist or name of the artist collective. All file names should be in lowercase with no spaces, for example:


All submitted materials (CDs and DVDs) should be clearly labeled with the artist's name and address.

  • Images: A CD-R of up to 15 digital images should be submitted in JPG format, 72 dpi, no larger than 1MB each. No DVDs or CD-RWs of still images will be accepted. Make sure all CDs are readable on both Mac & PC.
  • Video: Video should be submitted on a DVD as 2-3 segments of two minutes each. Please make sure material is Mac & PC compatible. Video files should be no longer than 40MB and in .mov or .m4v format. No other formats or disc types will be accepted.
  • Audio: Audio should be submitted on a CD-R as an audio CD, not a data CD, as separate MP3 files. Each track should be no longer than 2 minutes long.
  • Web-Based: Web-based work should be submitted as a URL listed in the work sample list.

Mail all materials to the address indicated on the application.

Application Fee

Northeast Ohio artists must pay a non-refundable application fee of $10, payable to SPACES to cover handling and processing of applications. The fee must be submitted in the form of a personal check or money order, or a payment through SPACES' site. Current SPACES members may apply for free. If you are unsure of your current membership standing, please call SPACES.

All nominated artists are exempt from the application fee.

Application Evaluation

Applications are evaluated by a selections committee of artists, curators, community members, board members and SPACES staff. Applicants will be notified via email as soon as possible after selections have been made in early April, 2012. Please do not call or email to follow up. Materials will not be returned. Please do not include a SASE.

FAQs (or the questions we assume you'll ask)

Q: What does a SWAP Residency do for me?
A: A SWAP residency offers you time, space and resources to dig into making new, experimental work. Have an idea you've wanted time to develop? SWAP helps make it happen. We offer SWAP Residents honoraria, studio space, a materials budget, and dedicated time and support to produce and show new work. We also help you build relationships that can help you further your career. And then, you get a unique opportunity to interact with artists from around the world who you probably haven't met before. Sounds good, right?

Q: How long are SWAP residencies?
A: Residencies range in length from 2 weeks to 2 months (or more). The length varies, depending on the scope of work a resident would like to complete during a residency. We negotiate this after an artist is accepted to SWAP. Honoraria amounts also vary depending on the scope of the work and length of the residency.

Q: I am a traditional landscape/figurative/still life painter/photographer/sculptor/performer. Should I apply to SWAP?
A:SWAP supports artists who explore and experiment. If your work doesn't have strong conceptual grounding and isn't striving to test boundaries, we may not be a good fit. It's not you, it's us.

Q: I am a landscape/figurative/still life painter/photographer/sculptor/performer, but I make my work as an examination of these histories and methods, and my work is firmly based in contemporary theory. Should I apply to exhibit at SPACES?
A: Bring it on.

Q: What media can a SWAP artist work in?
A: Artists can work in any media, but no matter what you use, SWAP looks to support artists who are innovating and whose work has a strong conceptual center.

Q: In my artist statements, I really like to use phrases like, "My pieces function as the nexus of post-modern theories of consumerism and environment through the use of ephemeral materials that hint at the sublime." Is that an appropriate way to talk about my work?
A: We have no problem with work that deals with complex issues, but please keep fancy art-speak to a minimum.

Q: It sounds like you're not interested in older artists. Is that true? A: That is patently false. We are interested in all artists, 21 and over, who are doing thoughtful experimental work, and we welcome artists at any stage of their careers.

For International and U.S. Artists Outside of Northeast Ohio

Q: How do I apply to SWAP?
A: International and U.S. artists can only apply if they have been nominated by one of our partners.

Q: OK, I have nominated. How do I apply?
A: If you have been nominated for SWAP, you will receive an invitation from SPACES to apply. The invitation will spell out your next steps.

Q: I have not been nominated. Can I still apply?
A: If you haven't been nominated, we cannot accept an application from you.

For Artists in Northeast Ohio

Q: I am an artist from Ohio. How do I apply for SWAP?
A: If you are a Northeast Ohio artist living in one of the following counties (Ashland, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne), you may apply for SWAP without being nominated for the program. Simply follow the instructions for filling out the application and send all needed materials.

Ohio artists who live outside these 17 counties must be nominated for SWAP by one of our partners, in order to apply for the program.

Q: You don't accept students from Northeast Ohio for SWAP?
A: Sorry. We can't. Our funding doesn't allow it. If you will be finishing a degree prior to the residency season you're applying for, you can apply. If you will be an undergraduate or graduate student during the season, your application can't be considered. However, students can apply to the R&D program.

Q: I live in Ohio. Do I need to be nominated?
A: No, there is an open call if you live in one of the following Ohio counties: Ashland, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne. See website link for the special Northeast Ohio artists' form.

Q: But wait, I live in Ohio but not in one of listed counties. Can I apply via the open call?
A: Artists living outside those 17 counties must be nominated for the program in order to apply. See "How do I apply? "under For International and U.S. Artists Outside of Northeast Ohio for details.

Q: What happened to SPACELab?
A: SPACELab has been folded into SWAP, which is great news for you. Due to generous support from the Ohio Arts Council, Northeast Ohio artists can now participate in a residency program that offers far more resources than we were able to offer through SPACELab.

Q: Can I drop off my application at SPACES in person?
A: Yes. Just make sure to drop it off with an actual person, and specify it's a SWAP application.

Q: I exhibited at SPACES in _____. Can I apply again?
A: Give it at least a two year rest before you apply again.

Application Questions

Q: You just want a 1-page C.V.?
A: Yes. Please edit your C.V. down to the highlights, so that our selections committee can make it through all the applications.

Q: What is dpi?
A: It stands for Dots per Inch and is often used synonymously with ppi or (pixels per inch). It refers to the resolution of an image, or how many ink dots, or pixels appear inside one linear inch. The higher the dpi number, the more dots or pixels will appear resulting in higher resolution and a better picture. Most computer screens only handle 72 ppi.

Q: I don't know how to format images/video/sound digitally for submission. What should I do?
A: Rely on the kindness of friends... and Google.*

Q: What is a work sample list?
A: This is a list that the selection committee uses as a point of reference while viewing your work samples. A good work sample list includes the following information: artist's name (usually listed at the top), place of birth and where you are now, filename, title, year, media, dimensions/duration and a brief explanatory note for each piece (as needed). A good work sample list is legible and easy to read. Keep in mind that each image is up for only a short period of time. Lengthy explanations of each piece will not be completely read before the image disappears from the screen.

Q: What is a PDF?
A: PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is our preferred format for two-dimensional information.

Q: Should I send a contact sheet of my images for reference? Should I send postcards/catalogs/reviews of my work along with my application?
A: Please send only what we ask for.

Q: When will I be notified of acceptance/rejection?
A: Reviews of work for 2015-16 will occur in March, 2014. We then have some clerical/boring things to do after that. We will contact all applicants after selections have been made.

See Also:

How to Submit Applications for Exhibitions: Part 1
How to Submit Applications for Exhibitions: Part 2

Image above: Steve Lambert, Capitalism Works for Me!, 2011, aluminum, LED lights & scoreboard, courtesy of the artist

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