Skip to contentSkip to site navigation

Catwalk Art Residency

Catwalk Tower

Yi Xin Tong, To Die For, Installation in the Tower, Catwalk, September 2014

The Art Residency Summer Program at CATWALK, a historic estate in Catskill, NY.

About the Catwalk Art Residency Program

Catwalk Art Residency is an artist residency program established in 2004 by James and Purcell Scheu Palmer ’62 at their historic residence, which was originally the home of Hudson River School painter, Charles Herbert Moore. 

Catwalk Institute welcomes proposals from artists and collaborative teams for 2-4 week residencies. Participation is exclusively for faculty and alumni from Columbia University, New York University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Vassar College. Applications are by recommendation through each institution.

Situated on a magnificent historic site of 70 acres on the Hudson River, Catwalk sits across from Olana, the home of Frederic Edwin Church, America's first environmentalist and just north of Thomas Cole's home, Cedar Grove. Residencies are space/time grants designed for reflection and personal artistic growth.  Spaces include a fully outfitted kitchen and individual studio spaces, the quiet solitude and surrounding nature create an idyllic atmosphere for visual artists, performance artists, writers, and scholars to rejuvenate and recreate their own personal vision.

The Palmers were drawn to the Hudson Valley by the rich arts legacy of the area and the collaboration that the proximity to New York could provide. After spending over 30 years in Chicago pursuing careers in finance and sales, a three-year search lead them to CATWALK, an estate that they found too wonderful not to share with others. They have long supported artists and arts organizations and find the perfect balance in the world they are now developing.

The mission of the Catwalk Arts Residency is to establish Catwalk as a special retreat for art making, collaborative projects and scholarly discourse in a visually stimulating part of the country that has historically provided and continues today to provide significant inspiration to artists, cultural historians, writers, and scholars.

The Palmers envision this as a developing concept and intend for participating institutions (Vassar College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, NYU and Columbia University) to have wide latitude in developing the program in a manner that is meaningful for the participants and enhances the recognition of the excellence of the institutions involved.

Purcell Scheu Palmer ’62: Making Room for the Arts

The Opportunity

Vassar alumni with an MFA, or equivalent level of professional experience, will be granted residencies to pursue art making, collaborative projects and scholarly pursuits focusing on art including (but not limited to) sculpture, installation, video, poetry, performance, film, opera, drawing, and painting.  Ideally, residents’ projects should be ones that expand and enrich their current artistic perspectives and endeavors.  Residencies will be granted for a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of four weeks depending on the time required for the project being explored, and the availability of space.  Residencies typically begin on Tuesday and end on Sunday.  Residents will live in private residences attached to the main house on the CATWALK property with separate studio spaces. There will be opportunities to interact and collaborate with the other artists who are also in residence at the same time. 

While in residence, the Catwalk Fellows will be encouraged to take advantage of the rich resources of the Hudson Valley.  Residents will receive accommodations but must provide their own food, transportation, and supplies during the residency.  

Please note project stipends are not available. Full use of the grounds is encouraged along with the exploration of the Catskill and Hudson area, which is not served by public transportation. Residents are encouraged to bring/rent a car during their stay. Projects that connect to this region specifically are especially appropriate for selection.

Residencies will run from September 1- November 1, 2020

Deadline to apply is July 17

  1. Use the Recommendation Registration Form to register one person to serve as your reference. You must register your writers before you submit your application and inform them that the letters are due by the campus deadline. 
  2. Complete the Catwalk Application and submit it by the campus deadline.

For Applicants: You must submit your application through the online system as indicated above. Please note that you cannot save information in the application and return to it at a later date. You should save your work in a separate document and enter it all at once when you are ready to submit. 

For Letter Writers: Candidates should register their references through the online application. Once registered, writers will receive a link to this form Recommendation Registration Form. If you haven't received an email please follow up with the applicant to ensure that you have been registered to write on his/her behalf. You may access this form at any time through this site, however you cannot save information and return to the form at a later date.

Vassar's Previous Artists in Residence

Check out the grounds

Frequently Asked Questions

Catwalk Institute welcomes proposals from artists and collaborative teams for 2-4 week residencies April-October at Catslair. This newly acquired 1980 residential complex is situated on a magnificent historic site of 70 acres on the Hudson River across from Olana, the home of Frederic Edwin Church, America's first environmentalist and just north of Thomas Cole's home, Cedar Grove. Catslair residencies are available to artists, writers and scholars in all media exploring subjects related to place, landscape, and environment investigating universal aspects of nature embedded in the Hudson Valley landscape and ecology. Residencies are space/time grants including a fully outfitted kitchen, individual and group studio spaces with three bedrooms.  Please note project stipends are not available and residents must have access to a car during their stay.


Photos by Philip Loheed and Earthos Institute, summer 2014 residents