Open call for Submissions for the year 2016

1. Artist In Residence Programme (Self-Funded )

Kuona Trust is a not-for-profit organisation set up to research, support, innovate and promote contemporary visual art in Kenya and East Africa. The Trust does this by nurturing local talent through international exchange, workshops, residency programmes, exhibitions and innovative outreach projects. Kuona’s mission is to generate greater public appreciation of visual arts by advancing skills and opportunities for artists and strengthening local audiences.

Over the past 5 years, Kuona Trust has run a very successful residency programme, hosting over 50 artists from various countries across the globe. It has recently been voted as one of the top 15 residencies in the world by Fathom Away online Magazine.

The programme is unique in that it offers resident artist, curators, researchers and professionals within the visual art sector an opportunity to immerse themselves into the Kenyan Art scene, experiment with new media, work within communities and collaborate with other local artists for a period of 4 to 8 weeks.

Key features of the residency include:

– A single studio space located within the Kuona Trust Art Centre in Kilimani

– Full Access to ground facilities such as heavy metal working area, open grounds and gallery

– Guided tour of the National Museum, all the major art spaces, galleries, art centres and selected personal artist studios within Nairobi

– Access to an artist community of 36 artists based at Kuona Trust and others based at satellite  locations across the city.

– Resource centre with full access to the Wifi and over 2500 art books

– Video documentation of the residency capturing the working process, final output as well as exhibition or community project engaged in during the residency

– Kuona Trust staff will assist in the publicity, planning and organizing of an open studio or exhibition at the end of the residency

– Self catered accommodation (home stay, a few minutes’ walk from the centre

This opportunity offers preferential space for art professional who are able to finance their own residency. The price for an AIR is *USD 250 per a week/ USD 1000 per month.

*The amount is exclusive of the cost of air rickets, art materials, meals and local transport.

Application requirements:

  1. A comprehensive portfolio of art work produced over the past three years containing at least 10 images
  2. An artist biography with full names, references, list of previous workshops and exhibitions participated in.
  3. A brief letter of motivation, not more than one A4 page long, outlining reasons for wishing to join the programme
  4. Details of sources of funding
  5. Preferred period of residency (date and year)

All applications should be sent to sheila(at)

Click on the names below to view sampled videos of previous residencies.

Josefina Munoz (Chile)

Moses Maramele (Botswana)

The Zwo ( Uzbekistan)

Harrirt Riddle (U.K)


  1. Tafaria Artist Residency (Sponsored)

This AIR Residency programme is housed at the Tafaria Castle and Country Lodge on the Nyeri-Nyahururu highway, Laikipia Plains.

The Tafaria cHub (creative hub) artists-in-residence programme is a reflective community based residency.The programme acts as a creative incubator that identifies local talent in the community and provides mentorship through a paired residency programme with established visual and performance artists, crafters, designers and writers.

The artists are encouraged to create community-based arts projects and work with the targeted local community to facilitate a creative process that enables participants to express their needs, aspirations, inspirations, identity or sense of place. The residency programme is aimed at introducing art and creativity as alternative means of livelihood in this rural community.

Each residency lasts for a period of 4 to 8 weeks with a materials budget of Ksh 10,000 per month.


The Artists-in-Residence are housed in the cHub residency quarters with access to the staff cafeteria.

Some basic tools are available but any specialist materials or equipment will need to be brought in by the artists who will also be responsible for their safety and upkeep.

AiRs have access to Wifi, a shared studio studio space, library, amphitheatre, on-site recreational and fitness facilities and the substantial grounds.

How to apply

Applicants should provide the following information:

  1. A one page statement describing your current artistic practice (visual or performance art)
  2. Five- ten images of recent work (JPEG format)
  3. An application letter stating the reasons for your interest in the residency, the particular project you will be developing during the residency and how this project will addresses current economic, social and environmental concerns in the area
  4. A current artist biography containing your email and telephone contacts and the names, email and telephone contacts of two professional referees (we will only contact your referees if your application is shortlisted for interview)


Where to send the application

Programmes Officer: sheila(at)

Please read the guidelines carefully before applying


© 2012- Webdesign By Ewamak Designs LTD