Artist In Residence Program & Artist Retreats


River Ridge Institute’s Artist-in-Residence program provides a secluded, natural and tranquil space for creative pursuit. Artists will be provided housing in our off-the-grid Pasture Cabin that is set amid towering oaks on our 100-acre pasture. That, in turn, is set within the 722-acre nature preserve that is River Ridge Ranch. The North Fork Tule River runs through the land and many miles of hiking trails are on the property. 

River Ridge is in the Southern Sierra Nevada of California and is simultaneously a working ranch, event venue and community gathering spot. River Ridge Ranch is also home to River Ridge Institute, a 501(c)(3) that demonstrates and disseminates sustainable and regenerative land practices. 

The tiny Pasture Cabin (120 sq. ft. + loft) has kitchen space, hot water, cooking/bbq facilities, minifridge, outside hot shower, free wifi, ATT cell area only, an outside deck/studio space, outside composting toilet, sleeping loft and storage space. 

Artists can choose to remain apart or traverse the 1/3 mile to our public compound and share in various community events offered on the ranch. For example, we host concerts in the Spring and Fall during which locals BYO dinner and drinks and attend a free musical gathering. In Spring, 2020, River Ridge Institute will present the Sunday Series of concerts featuring female-fronted talent. On Saturday, November 7, 2020 is our 4th Annual  Foothills Festival in which live music, local art, great food and beverages will pair with nature walks, ranch tours and demonstrations. Resident Artists are provided free access to the Institute’s public offerings. 

The town of Springville (93265) is 2 miles away and Porterville 20 miles. Bakersfield is an hour to the south and Fresno an hour and a half north. Up the road (State Highway 190) 16 miles lies Camp Nelson at 5,000’ and entrance to a host of Giant Sequoia groves and the delights of the Middle Fork Tule River. Keep going to The Ponderosa at 7,200’ and fabulous rock climbing, mountain biking, swimming and hiking. If you continue the loop, you can visit California Hot Springs and soak in the natural waters, have lunch and hang out before descending west to the grasslands bordering the San Joaquin Valley and then back to Springville. 

In the other direction, north on Balch Park Road, you’ll encounter Mountain Home State Forest, Balch Park, various public campgrounds in the Sequoia National Forest. Or, turn onto Yokohl Drive and explore Yokohl Valley, Exeter, Visalia, Three Rivers, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. 


Pasture Cabin amid our pasture and oak grove. 


We host only one artist or artist couple at a time. Artists must work in areas that do not require studio, equipment or material support, i.e. something akin to 2-D Art. Examples include literature, poetry, drawing, painting, photography and music. Sessions run from 10 days to one month, at the artist’s choice, and are priced at $250/10 days to $750/month. For couples, we require both individuals to complete an application and provide references. The cost for a collaborative couple is 1.5 that of an individual. Partial scholarships are available. 

A refundable Damage Deposit of $500 is due in advance of residency. Artists will be required to sign a contract. 

Stays run from mid-September to mid-November and April, May and June. 

Resident Artists are expected to participate in a public presentation of their work, e.g., a show, class, performance, workshop, etc., to be determined in collaboration with the Institute. 

Selection Process: 

  • The application deadline for the Fall Artist-in-Residence Program deadline is April 15, and must be submitted via email using the attached application form. 
  • The application deadline for the Spring Artist-in-Residence Program deadline is October 15 and must be submitted via email using the attached application form. 
  • Notifications to applicants/recipients for the Fall program will be made by early July. 
  • Notifications to applicants/recipients for the Spring program will be made by early January. 
  • River Ridge Institute reviews applications to ensure completeness and eligibility. 
  • Submissions are reviewed by a jury of knowledgeable and esteemed artists and arts professionals 
  • The jury evaluates each artist’s materials and selects finalists. 
  • Finalists are invited to present their work and discuss insights into their plans for their residence on the ranch in a 20-minute phone or Skype interview to determine the final award selection. 

Please note that all applications and work samples must be submitted in, or translated to, English. 

Applicants must provide: 

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae 
  • Letter of interest, outlining your specific interest in working at River Ridge Institute and how program participation will affect your practice. 
  • The names and email addresses of three personal or professional references; please note, we do not want letters of reference. 
  • Documentation of recent work (see specifications below for guidelines according to discipline) 
  • $25 processing fee made out to River Ridge Institute. 


Please select from the following list materials appropriate to your practice. The category headings are guidelines; please submit whatever type of materials best represent your work. 

Visual (painting, printmaking, photography, installation, conceptual) 

  • Submit up to 12 images, or up to 20 minutes of video and/or DVD. Images must be accompanied by an image list with title, date, size, media, and, where applicable, conceptual intent. 

Writing (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting)

  • Submit up to 20 pages of poetry, 30 pages of prose or one to two full-length plays/scripts. 

Performance / Dance

  • Submit 30 minutes of video, along with any other material that adequately describes your work. Please note: the first 10 minutes will be used for primary review. 

Film / Video / New Media

  • Submit up to 30 minutes of video. Please note: the first 10 minutes will be used for primary review. 

Music / Sound

  • Submit up to 30 minutes of audio and/or video. Please note: the first 10 minutes will be used for primary review. 

Arts Professionals (art writers, administrators, and curators)

  • Submit sufficient material to evidence the breadth of your work and interests, including reviews, essays, and catalogs. 

Architecture / Environment

  • Review documentation requirements for Visual. 

Interdisciplinary Arts

  • Review other categories to determine what materials you should submit. 

Foothills Festival

River Ridge Foothills Festival Poster 2019

Trout in the Classroom


River Ridge Institute - 501(c)(3)
P.O. Box 879
Springville, CA 93265
Phone: (559) 539-0207
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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