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Roman J. Witt Residency Call For Proposals

The Roman J. Witt Residency Program, developed with the support of alumna Penny W. Stamps and named in honor of her father, is an annual international competition that awards one residency per academic year to a visiting artist/designer who proposes to develop a new work.

The mission of the Roman J. Witt Residency Program is to support the production of new work at the University of Michigan. The program awards one residency per academic year for a visiting artist/​designer to develop a new work in collaboration with the Stamps School and University of Michigan community. To make visible the creative process through the creation of a defined work from concept to completion, is a central tenet of the residency. The residency is expected to culminate in the realization of the proposed work, as well as its presentation.

The 2024 – 2025 Witt Residency is organized in partnership with the Stamps Gallery, a public center for contemporary art and design in downtown Ann Arbor, part of the Stamps School of Art & Design, at the University of Michigan. The Stamps Gallery opened in 2017 after years of being located in three disparate campus spaces. Building on the school’s strong tradition of excellence, thought leadership, and community engagement, our goal is to develop innovative and scholarly exhibitions, publications, and public programs that foster inclusive platforms for presentation, discussion, and inquiry into the urgent questions and concerns of our time. The Gallery is an incubator and lab for contemporary artists and designers to explore ideas and projects that catalyze positive social change. A commitment to social justice informs the work of developing exhibitions, programs, and publications with a goal to inspire new ways of looking, making, and thinking. Stamps Gallery also partners with faculty and students to develop and present exhibitions and programs that examine the potential role of art & design to create a more just and equitable community.

The residency will consist of a making period of up to 12 weeks in residence during the 2024 – 2025 academic year, followed by an exhibition period. The culminating exhibition will open early in the fall of 2025 and will occupy the Stamps Gallery— with possibilities for additional programming to extend beyond the gallery space. Plans should show consistency conceptually regarding the inherent overall structure of the project, have a strong visual impact and potential for engagement. This, along with the proposed work, will strongly determine selection of the artist/​designer.

It is expected that a significant portion of time during the residency will be spent in direct interaction with students. Ideas for student interactions include but are not limited to: allowing students to work with the artist/​designer; be in dialogue with the artist/​designer; provide critiques on 

student work; engage in student-led interviews; or allow for student observation of artist/designer’s process. Creative methods of engagement to animate the gallery space as a focal point of campus activity are highly encouraged.

The 2024 – 2025 resident will conduct planning sessions remotely during the fall 2024 academic semester; they will be on-site in Ann Arbor during the winter 2025 semester, with student participation unfolding January 6‑April 20, 2025, with the exhibition opening in summer/​fall 2025. Curatorial and installation support will also be provided. The work created is the property of the artist. Please see gallery plan and protocols.

Guidelines for Witt Residency Proposals


The Witt Residency is open to both established and emerging artists/​designers. The residency provides students an alternate learning opportunity to engage with practicing artists/​designers who can make use of resources across campus, therefore the ideal candidate must value collaboration, have good social and communication skills and be interested in generating creative partnerships across disciplines. It is the goal of the Witt Residency to foster an atmosphere of inventive creative activity that extends throughout the University community. 


Witt Residents receive an honorarium of $20,000 for up to twelve weeks in residence served over an academic year. In addition to the honorarium, residents will be provided with housing, studio space, and up to $5,000 funding support for project materials. The School encourages applications from individuals as well as from creative teams however, please be advised that the resources listed above are finite, including the travel budget. If teams apply the expectation is that the award will be shared between its members. 

Application Instructions

The 2024 – 25 application cycle is now closed.

Application Schedule

  • Proposals Due – February 15, 2024
    All applications must be submitted by this deadline.
  • Selection Committee Review – February/​March, 2024
    The Stamps Selection Committee reviews materials and selects a shortlist of candidates for further review, and from the shortlist selects a slate of finalists to present their projects and interview.
  • Finalist Presentations and Interviews – April/​May, 2024
  • Notification – June 12024

Within five years of opening in its current location, Stamps Gallery has emerged as a leader and vital center for contemporary art & design discourse and practice. It has been awarded with prestigious grants including the Andy Warhol Grant for Visual Art (20202022) and the Michigan Council for Cultural Affairs Project Grant (20202021). Every year Stamps Gallery presents and develops 2 – 4 exhibitions with artists working nationally and internationally, while also facilitating important curriculum-based exhibitions with students and faculty. The Gallery is an expansion of the classroom — a creative pedagogical space — and vital resource for students at Stamps school and U‑M to benefit from an opportunity to obtain hands-on experience and curatorial, research and installation skills working with and learning from leading-edge artists, designers, curators, and writers. Stamps Gallery also serves the broader cultural and artistic community in Ann Arbor, Southeast Michigan and beyond who are active participants in its exhibitions and programs. 

The curatorial framework and program goals are addressed through the following questions:

  1. How can art institutions better support and build a robust and inclusive society?

  2. What can art and design contribute to urgent debates around environmental sustainability and climate change?

  3. How can art and design promote understanding and empathy towards the everlasting phenomenon of migration and statelessness?

  4. How is the growing dependence on artificial intelligence, automation and digitalization transforming and influencing contemporary art discourses and practices?

  5. What can we learn from decolonial and feminist practices in art and design in the 21st Century?

Download a PDF floor plan of Stamps Gallery here.

About the Stamps School of Art & Design

The undergraduate and graduate programs in the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan each offer a non-media specific degree at the intersection of art and design. Free of traditional concentrations, the undergraduate program challenges students to define their own pathways and undertake robust, self-defined culminating projects in their final year. Our dynamic two-year MFA program integrates creative production with rigorous academic studies, international study with regional community engagement, and theoretical grounding with skills development. It is structured to expand the intellectual reach of creative work and utilize a comprehensive process for bringing creative work into the world.

Stamps has a current enrollment of 700 undergraduate and 24 graduate students. Forty-one full-time faculty, a cohort of part-time faculty, and a strong administrative and technical staff to support the School’s programs. Additional information about the School and its programs is available at stamps​.umich​.edu.


The Stamps School’s facilities are geographically distributed in Ann Arbor and Detroit. The main facility is located on the University’s North Campus, and includes well-equipped media studios for drawing, painting, printmaking (lithography and intaglio), clay, wood, fibers, hot metals (welding, casting, brazing), cold metals (machine tools), video, and photography (large and small format printers), and a wide variety of digital fabrication tools. The school also maintains faculty/​graduate studio facilities off-campus at 1919 Green Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. This 33,000 square foot facility accommodates all of the school’s faculty and graduate students in one building, with 66 private studios, large, shared working and meeting spaces, wood, metal and multi-purpose shops and a digital media studio. 

Engagement with the extensive scholarly, human, and technical resources of the University of Michigan is encouraged and facilitated. Comprised of 19 schools and colleges, Michigan is one of the world’s foremost public research universities. Current enrollment on the Ann Arbor campus totals 43,651 graduate and undergraduate students. Additional information about the University is available at http://​www​.umich​.edu/.


Ann Arbor, located 40 miles west of Detroit on the Huron River, is an intellectually and culturally rich community, with a current population of 117,082. Additional information about Ann Arbor is available at http://​www​.annar​bor​.org/.

Contact Information

Address: Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, 2000 Bonisteel Boulevard, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 – 2069
Phone: 734.764.3464
Email: chrissti@​umich.​edu