|I was so excited to be accepted to be accepted to the Arctic Circle Residency and the geography of the trip is very beautiful. However, there were so many things wrong that I wanted to let others know. First of all, the Arctic Circle residency does not provide any funding at all; it is completely self-funded – they charge $6,500, but additional costs run another $3,000; gear, travel, hotels, etc. This is probably the same cost if you got some friends and organized a similar trip yourself, something that the shipping company offers.
The worst part is that the director was very abusive to many people. Participants (each trip has about 25) were not allowed to ask any questions. If they did, they were met with a tirade. My heart went out to a 22 year old who “had the audacity” to ask him a question.
The trip is billed as a two weeks on a ship but is actually 10 days. That comes out to about $950 a day. 3-4 days were spent on land in a bunkhouse. It makes sense to get there one day early, but not at all interesting to waste time on land for $950 a day. People who left early were harassed and made fun of. That part could have been optional or they could have been up front about the actual itinerary.
I understand not wanting to waste- everyone was assigned one cup only and cups were only washed once a day, if that. Of course that was hard to keep straight so when one person got sick, many people got really sick.
The program also claims it is for artists and scientists, but there are no scientists are on the trip. That would have been very interesting.
Participants are invited to stay up as late as they like drinking – that’s how the ship makes extra $$. Not to be a fuddy-dud, but if you want to make use of the time s studio time, that is not realistic. Why not close the bar at midnight for example? The bar is in the studio space/dining room – maybe convenient for some!!, but makes it hard if you really want to use the time well.
The boat crew members were very nice, but smoked liked chimneys. Though they only smoked on deck, smoke got everywhere. However, to close on a nice note – the other participants were great.
A user submitted the following;
I would like to report and warn all of an artist residency retreat business called Starry Night Artist Retreat. Be very careful. They offer you a special opportunity called Exposure, to exhibit in Miami, USA or Venice, Italy at art expos. They charge you thousands of dollars and then they pay themselves to fly from where they are to the expo and then if you do something slightly so wrong (in their eyes!) such as converse with an art gallerist (which you should be allowed to do!!!!) they go off at you and run off with your money. The promises they made to support artists like myself for one whole year which they did not honour, breaching the contract I had signed. I also won a scholarship to do one of their courses (which I must mention was nothing but cheap silly point form information and no real content!), and then was selected to be in an art expo, which then they charged me $6000 for, and promised me ongoing support. Later when I went to dispute the breach of contract by them, they told the gallerist that I had paid for the course – after telling me I had won it. So effectively they told lies to get out of paying me my money back which still has not come back to me three years on.
This person Monika Proffitt is the person you need to watch out for. An awful temper, a great jealousy of good artists, and will take your money and run! Do not give Starry Night Artist Retreat your business, no matter how glowing reviews may be on their site, they are not honest! And their prices are ridiculously high! Just another Vanity type of art service! I make no apologies for exposing this horrible company.
Can you set up a residency category? Lots of problems there is you are just beginning. I traveled to India last year to this place: http://tvakstudios.blogspot.com/ Owner did not connect me with sculptor after 10 days. I went with a local friend and set it up with said sculptor in under an hour. When I got back to Tvak, owner kicked me out and kept $700 USD. She is notorious for doing the same to local artists. She also tried to derail my connection with the sculptor. Mean person. In April 2017, a poet came from UK and she said she’d get him a place to stay in town. Never did and he had to rely on another organization. Steer clear.