PLAYA is located next to the ancient inland sea in the high desert, basin and range area, of central Oregon.
PLAYA’s residencies are open to the global community of scientists, naturalists, biologists, designers, sustainability leaders, social practice artists, musicians, visual artists, writers, performing artists, and collaborations and individuals engaged in interdisciplinary work or other forms of creative work. PLAYA welcomes a range of applicants – from emerging scientists and artists to those with an established history of accomplishment. However, applicants must exhibit a recent history of focused work within the discipline for which they are applying. In addition, they must address, in the application, their ability to thrive in a remote, isolated, rural community and be self-directed in their work. Residents with experiences living alone preferred. All residents onsite must be 18 years old or older. Residents’ work must be compatible with PLAYA’s available studio spaces, facilities, and resources, and with PLAYA’s rural setting and community (see below).
WHAT WE DO
PLAYA offers residencies of space, solitude, and community in Summer Lake, Oregon. Artists and scientists from all over the world apply through a blind-juried application process for two- to three-week stays in private cabins in an oasis setting on an ephemeral lakebed, or playa. Those accepted through the competitive process reside free of charge, enjoy communal meals provided by PLAYA twice weekly, converse or remain private as suits their work needs, and explore the surrounding high desert when desired.
PLAYA takes pride in creating a growing community dedicated to collaborating in arts and sciences to advance systems thinking and the problem-solving necessary to bring about positive change in our environment and world. During their stays, residents are inspired to tackle today’s toughest environmental issues—issues such as climate change and water scarcity—and challenging social issues, including diversity and equality. We strive to elevate each resident’s work, knowing that it is critical to our planet’s survivability. We continue to support art and science, especially in times when their value is questioned.
PLAYA nurtures innovative thinking in the arts and sciences through its residency program on the edge of the Great Basin, to promote dialogue and positive change in the environment and the world.
We will transform the world through creative inquiry by providing a model residency program that encourages investigation, immersion, and exploration in the arts and sciences.
We strive to be a role model for the larger community. To that end, we are updating our processes to reflect an organization that at each turn lives and communicates with fairness, sensitivity, and inclusivity. We are also updating our facility to live lightly on the land and its resources.
Duration of residency
Residencies depend on the preset schedule, but we offer two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, or six weeks for international applicants.
Each resident is provided private housing with a kitchen, and a place to work, either a studio or a desk area in their cabin (including one shared living quarters cabin). Except for twice-weekly group dinners, all meals and provisions are the responsibility of the resident. Living, work, and studio spaces have standard utilities, abundant natural light, open vistas in an expansive landscape, and are free of telephone, television, and internet. The Commons building has a commercial kitchen, a space for yoga or dancing, a ping-pong table, a loft work area with a projection screen, library, telephone with free long distance (USA only) and an iMAC with internet service and printer. PLAYA provides:
Cabins with bathroom, beds, dining area, and full kitchens
Linens, blankets, towels, washcloths, pillows and a warm duvet
Pots, pans, dishes, silverware, glasses, etc.
A drip-style coffee pot and paper filters
Dish soap, paper towels, and toilet paper
All natural, biodegradable laundry detergent
Regular mail delivery and pick up
Phone for local and long distance calls within the US
A shared iMac desktop computer for email and limited Internet access
A safe, peaceful, quiet working and living environment
A beautiful landscape
Two dinners per week
Disciplines, work equipment and assistance
We are open to a variety of disciplines. Please see our website or profile for the complete list.
Studio / Workspace
We make every attempt to ensure that your living quarters and workspace are suitable for your needs. However, we cannot guarantee absolute satisfaction. PLAYA’s private living quarters and studios are unique and variable, and assigned with the intent to balance the needs of the residents with available space. Switching spaces is not possible. If your residency’s purpose or specific project requires overnight excursions off-site, these must have been described and explained in your application.
The Commons building is available to all residents 24 hours a day. There, residents share living, lounging and dining areas, kitchen, and laundry. The Commons building has a commercial kitchen, a space for yoga or dancing, a ping-pong table, a loft work area with a projection screen, and a library. PLAYA provides an iMac desktop computer in the Commons for the exclusive, shared use of residents for email and limited Internet access (please see the section on Internet Access in this document for details). In addition, a telephone is available in the Commons for residents to use, with free long-distance calls within the United States.
Studio Work Spaces
Sandhill Studio – Printmaking, Book Arts, and Visual Arts – Well Equipped Print Studio can work up to “22 W X 30” L
3 Manual Etching Presses (Small, Medium, Large)
Small table top 26’’ W X 48 ‘ L
Takach table top 29 7/8 “ W X 48 1/2” L
Large floor Model Flywheel bed size 32’’ W X 72” L
A paper cutter
A book press
4 printing boards
Large tub for soaking
Avocet Studio – Multi-Purpose Visual Art Studio
Outdoor Ceramic Studio – We have one wheel, and one kiln with manual controls – Duncan – Not to go over Cone 06
Wildcat Studio – Multi-Purpose Studio
Diablo – Multi-Purpose Studio
#10 Studio – Multi-Purpose Studio
Movement Studio in Commons
Moonglade: Music & Multipurpose Studio (When in doubt, bring it)
One keyboard stand
One Keyboard 61 key M-Audio Keystation 61 II | 61-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Pitch-Bend & Modulation Wheels
One mic stand
Two Rokit 6 Speakers with stands
RCA or 1/4’’ adapter
Various Adapters for Rokit Speakers
Baby Grand – available on a schedule (in common space)
Upright Piano – available on a schedule (in common space)
To see the dimensions of the space please reference the PDF below
PDF of studio specs – Click to download
Studios are available to accommodate printmaking, dance, music composition, visual and video arts, and certain areas of scientific research. Studios are equipped with worktables, chairs, stools, a utility sink, cabinets, shelving, and track lighting. Blinds allow individuals to control the amount of outside light. Several walls in each studio are covered in fiberboard; nails, staples, etc. and metal stripping for use with magnets may be used to hang work-in-progress on these surfaces. Standard, stocked items for each studio are cloth rags, stepladders, disposal bins and individual toolkits including hammers, pliers, wire cutters, a straight edge, levels, and an assortment of nails and brads. T-squares, heavy-duty extension cords, and a variable speed drill are available. A few easels and additional worktables are also available upon request. Upon arrival, PLAYA staff will orient each artist on proper hazardous waste disposal.
Residents are urged to bring an adequate stock of materials and supplies for their session. Please bring any tools or pieces of equipment needed on a continual basis. Bring your favorite art or tool supply catalog as well in case you need to mail order additional specialized supplies while at PLAYA. UPS, Fed Ex, and USPS are prompt in delivery.
Writers’ Work Spaces
All cabins have a desk and an office chair. Standard stocked desk items are: a stapler, push-pins, paper clips, a bulletin board, and a small bookcase. Writers are responsible for bringing their own writing tools, materials, and equipment, such as legal pads, laptops, printers, and plenty of paper.
Residents using electronic media to view, generate and print work need to bring their own hardware and software.
Safety and Security Precautions
The main door to each private living area has a lock, and each resident will be given a key upon request. PLAYA does not carry insurance on residents’ personal property. We urge you to have your own coverage if you feel that you need it, as well as adequate health insurance.
Fees and support
Application Fee – 35.00 USD
Deposit – 150.00 USD
Residents are responsible for transportation, food and travel costs. We don’t offer stipends for international artists at this time.
Expectations towards the artist
Generally, there is no expectation, but we do have opportunities to engage with the community by being interviewed at the radio station. We ask that residents clean up after themselves.