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As a research and development laboratory for the arts in all disciplines, the Wexner Center has offered significant support to artists in myriad ways since its inception in 1989. Residencies and commissions sponsored by the Wex have allowed hundreds of artists working in all disciplines from around the globe to create new work or explore new creative directions. The center’s support for artists underscores a core commitment to inspire cultural curiosity and fuel the creative expression of our time, while complementing Ohio State’s mission as a leading research institution. Works produced under the auspices of Wexner Center residencies and commissions often premiere here and then travel the globe, and they virtually always allow for meaningful interaction among the artists, the university community, and the public at large.
Among the diverse artists who receive production assistance each year, recipients of the Wexner Center Artist Residency Award constitute a special category. A handful of artists spanning all creative disciplines are selected annually by the center’s director and curators to receive this distinction. The Artist Residency Award program (previously known as the Wexner Center Residency Award program) offers the most substantial support: considerable financial resources, along with technical, intellectual, professional, and moral support to develop new work. A total of $200,000 annually is earmarked for distribution across the center’s disciplines—visual arts, performing arts, film, and, soon, education. Each residency is specifically tailored to the particular needs and rhythms of the artist. We in turn bring the full resources of the Wexner Center and Ohio State to their pursuits, often brokering collaborations across campus—not only with faculty, staff, and students in the arts and humanities, but with those in the sciences, as well as in business, law, and medicine—and in the broader local community.
Wexner Center Residency Artist Award recipients to date have hailed from four continents and numerous countries, including China, Argentina, France, Germany, Iran, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, in addition to the United States and Canada. Frequently, the work produced under the auspices of the Wex travels on to major national and international venues. Wexner Center Artist Residency Award recipients have gone on to receive MacArthur Foundation fellowships, National Medal of Arts awards, Tony Awards, "Bessie" Awards (New York Dance and Performance awards), Oscar nominations, Cannes Film Festival awards, Film Independent Spirit awards, and the Wexner Prize, among other recognitions.