Residency Program

Residency at Mainframe Studios

Established with funds from Brown’s estate and donations from family and friends, the Alex Brown Foundation & Residency Fund in partnership with Mainframe Studios is happy to announce our residents for 2024.

Mission

The aim of the residency is to provide emerging and established artists of exceptional merit with an experience of the working conditions that artist Alex Brown (1966-2019) found in Des Moines, IA—the ability to make the work you want to make, free from the daily influence of being immersed in a major metropolitan scene but without the isolation of a rural residency, in an exceptional studio environment and a relaxed and pleasant living environment. 

Residency Term

There are two 8 week and two 12 week residency terms in 2025.

 

 

Choose to be in residence for no less than 8 weeks, or as long as 12 weeks (3 months). Applications are accepted from artists working in any medium.

artist alina perez

Amenities included

The residency is designed to provide the artist with an opportunity to focus entirely on their work for an extended period of time, in a comfortable work and living environment, and in a city consistently ranked in recent years as one of the best places to live in the U.S.—the city David Byrne called “beyond cool.” A residency at The Alex Brown Foundation is ideal for those looking to work in a spacious private studio with little distraction.

Studio


Dedicated use of a 1400 sq. ft. studio space at Mainframe Studios, a renovated 1970s telecommunications building in downtown Des Moines. 

Research Allowance

A monthly expense allowance of $1,000, plus up-to $1,000 airfare or reimbursement for other travel to and from Des Moines. 

Research Allowances are adjusted according to the agreed residency duration.

Housing


The foundation provides a fully furnished one bedroom apartment situated in a quiet centrally located neighborhood, just a 3-minute drive and a 14-minute walk from the studio.

The studio

The 1400-square foot studio space at Mainframe Studios, a renovated 1970s telecommunications building in downtown Des Moines operated on a 501(c)(3) nonprofit basis, provides permanent affordable workspace to artists of all disciplines. Originally built out to Alex’s specifications, this spacious and quiet studio has great natural light from a northern exposure, in a secure facility occupied by local artists and designers.

Mainframe Studios has recently installed building-wide improvements including an Air Purification system that proactively attacks airborne contaminants and better humidity controls. Mainframe also houses its very own art store, The Blok, to aid our artists creative endeavors. 

mainframe studios
Mainframe Studios, downtown Des Moines

Des Moines

For a city of its size and regionally rooted culture, Des Moines has a remarkably strong arts community. At the root is the Des Moines Art Center, a world class institution with a remarkable collection and diverse program housed in tremendous facilities with wings by Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, and Richard Meier. The main Art Center facility is complemented by other public art throughout the city, most notably the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden at the west end of downtown, and by a rich municipal architectural heritage. In recent years, the city has become an increasingly attractive permanent base for artists, with a wide array of outstanding and affordable studio space and housing.

The residents

By the end of 2023 The Alex Brown Foundation will have hosted fourteen artist since beginning the artist-in-residence program in 2021. Four of those artist traveled internationally to participate in the program marking their first ever visit to Iowa. In 2024, The Alex Brown Foundation and Residency is pleased to announce the invitation of four individual artists and one artist collaborative to participate in the program, with each in residence for three month periods beginning in January of 2024 and leading into 2025.

 

2025 Residency Application Is Now Open

The Alex Brown Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2025 artist residency program. Applications will be accepted from artists working in any medium. $10 USD application fee, with an increase on March 8th to $20 USD. We will be accepting applications until March 15, 2024 for residencies beginning January of 2025. If you are interested in participating, complete the form below and compile your application materials into a single PDF, including

2025 Residency Application Deadline: Friday, March 15, 2024 (11:59 CT)

2025 Residency Application

Name(Required)

Residency Terms

Choose a term to be in residence for no less than 8 weeks, or as long as 12 weeks (3 months.) Arrival and departure dates can be adjusted according to individual needs and the residency's resources. Applications are accepted from artists working in any medium.
The residency requires artists to share their work with the Des Moines community by providing at least one opportunity for education, mentorship, a lecture, performance, and/or open studio event. Please confirm your willingness to do so by letting us know the form(s) of public engagement you prefer.

Additional Application Information

  • Applications that are missing any of the three required elements (Portfolio, Statement, and C.V.,) will not be reviewed.
  • Although documentation of certain artistic forms and projects requires some explanation and context, please exercise discretion, and avoid extensive work descriptions.
  • Non-functioning links/URLs in the Portfolio and/or online content such as Vimeo or YouTube files that are inaccessible due to incorrect (public) permissions will disqualify those works from consideration.

* The Alex Brown Foundation will accept international applicants (non-U.S. citizens) in accordance with Residency guidelines and U.S. visitor, visa and tax laws. Artists currently living and working in the U.S. with a valid visa are eligible and encouraged to apply. Artists are responsible for managing their visa status if accepted to the residency. The Alex Brown Foundation cannot currently assist in any visa related issues.

To be eligible*, your singular PDF must include [1] your Statement of purpose about your work and how you will use your residency in Des Moines (Not exceeding 600 words,) [2] a Portfolio of 12-20 images, including work titles, medium, and dates (including links/URLs to moving image work, or time-based and performance work if desired,) and [3] your C.V.
Drop files here or
Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 100 MB, Max. files: 1.
    Please click "submit to be taken to our secure checkout to complete your application.