St. Elmo Arts Residency

grounds at The Wildflower Center in Austin

St. Elmo Arts Residency

The St. Elmo Arts Residency is a joint project of the Department of Art and Art History and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin that offers one fellowship each academic year to a newly minted MFA artist in painting, drawing, print, photo, sculpture or multimedia.

The residency includes a beautiful house and studio in a small artist compound in the St. Elmo district of South Austin, located midway between the university campus and the Wildflower Center.

St Elmo house and studio compound

House and Studio Compound

grounds at The Wildflower Center in Austin

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Current Fellow

Zalika Azim, 2023–24

Past Fellows

Marianne Hoffmeister Castro, 2022–23

Armando Cortés, 2021–22

Dawn Kim, 2020–21

Merideth Hillbrand, 2019–20

Katy McCarthy, 2018–19

Residency Period

Early-August 2023 through Mid‑May 2024


  • 24-hour access to a private 1800-square-foot studio
  • Private furnished house capable of accommodating the fellow and a partner *

  • $30,000 stipend

  • Access to health insurance and benefits

  • Part-time teaching experience at UT Austin

  • Part-time teaching experience at the Wildflower Center

  • Solo exhibition at the Wildflower Center

* The house cannot accommodate children or pets.

Fellow Responsibilities

  • 9½-month commitment
  • Teach one class per semester (two classes total) in Studio Art in the Department of Art and Art History

  • Teach one workshop per semester (two workshops total) at the Wildflower Center

  • Public lecture on your work

  • Solo exhibition

Studio and House

Please note that not all furniture pictured is currently in use, but studio and house are fully furnished.

studio space for St Elmo residency
house for St Elmo residency
house for St Elmo residency
house for St Elmo residency


  • For the residency beginning early August 2023, only artists graduating from an MFA program in August 2022 through July 1, 2023 are invited to apply.
  • If you graduated prior to August 2022, you are not eligible to apply.

  • If you will graduate after July 1, 2023, please apply in the next application cycle. This is a hard deadline.

  • Only artists graduating from US graduate MFA programs are eligible to apply.

  • UT Austin MFA students and alumni are not eligible to apply.

How to Apply

The application deadline for the 2023–24 fellowship has passed. Check this page in early 2024 for information about applying for the 2024–25 fellowship.

Artist Materials

The following four items must be submitted.

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Artist Statement (500 words max)

  3. Teaching Statement (500 words max)

    Regarding your general interest and ideas about teaching a college course in your specialty and your ideas about teaching a workshop to adult learners at the Wildflower Center.

  4. Portfolio (20 images with additional information about date, size, materials and anything else relevant)

    For video: Supply link(s) on Slideroom. Include additional information about date, method of presentation, running time and anything else relevant. Note: Total running time for combined video clips must not exceed three minutes.

Academic Materials

The following three items must be submitted.

  1. List names, email and phone number for two references.

    When a candidate is selected for the second round, references will be contacted. At that point, we must receive their letters within 10 days. Please ensure that your references understand and agree to this time frame.

  2. Upload a PDF copy of your unofficial transcript.

  3. Upload a PDF copy of a letter or email from your faculty committee chair or department head confirming that you will be graduating between August 2022 and July 1, 2023. The letter or email can be addressed to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many fellows do you select?
Just one.

Is there a particular type of artist for which you are looking?
We are looking for compelling work by an artist with significant potential. That artist can be a painter, photographer, print artist, sculptor, media artist — or anything in between.

I graduated with my MFA in summer 2022 or before. Can I apply?
No. Only artists who graduate between August 2022 and July 1, 2023 are eligible to apply. This will need to be reflected on your transcript.

I graduated from a school in a country other than the USA. Can I apply?
No. Only graduates of American schools are eligible. (This is because there is not enough time to process a work visa application and obtain approval prior to the start of school.)

What’s an “unofficial” transcript?
That is the version of your transcript that you can access online. Save the most up-to-date version of your transcript as a PDF to upload. (We will require an official transcript from our fellowship winner.)

Do you need a transcript from my undergraduate school(s)?

I went to graduate school at more than one school. Should I send copies of my transcripts from each of those schools?
If your other graduate school was for art, then upload an unofficial copy of that transcript as well. If your other graduate school was for something else, then we do not require a copy of that transcript.

Why do you need a letter from my committee chair or department chair?
We need her/him to confirm that you will be graduating from your MFA program between August 2022 and July 1, 2023. This is not a letter of recommendation, rather, it is confirmation of your expected graduation date. The note can be an email or letter addressed to you and saved as a PDF.

I don’t have a committee chair and the department chair does not know me. What should I do?
Ask the faculty member with whom you work most closely to write the note instead.

I have a partner. Can she/he join me?
Yes. They are welcome.

I have a child/children. Can she/he/they join me?
No. There is not enough room in the apartment for children.

I have a pet. Can she/he join me?
No. Only service animals are permitted in the residence.

What classes will I teach at UT?
This is dependent on your skills and our needs. This is to be determined if you are offered the fellowship.

What workshops will I teach at the Wildflower Center?
This will be based on your skills. You will collaborate with the Wildflower Center to create a mutually agreeable workshop. This is to be determined if you are offered the fellowship.

How will my references be notified that you need their letters?
If you are selected for the second round, you will receive notice from us and be asked to submit a second Slideroom application (at no additional cost) in which you submit the names of your 2 references. Once submitted they will automatically be asked for their letters. We need to receive their letters within 10 days after you receive notification you’ve been selected for the second round. Please be sure that your letter writers understand and agree to this time frame.

I can’t start until September.
Don’t apply then. Our fellow must arrive in Austin between August 1st and 15th.

When will a decision be announced?
You will hear from us in May.

What is the Department of Art and Art History like?
We have a super interesting undergraduate student body, the top 7% from Texas high schools. Our grad program attracts talented artists from around the US and world. We have committed faculty with significant practices. It’s a vibrant and generous community.

What’s so great about Austin?
Austin is a city known for its obsession with the arts, its aural and edible delights. Oh, and did we mention Barton Springs?

Additional questions?

Reach out to residency director Annie May Johnston.