Deadline is October 26 

by Dorothy Puch Lillig

Attention area artists! The application cycle for the second annual Zócalo Artist-in Residency Program (ZAIR) is now open and closes Oct. 26 at midnight. U.S.-based artists and artist teams interested in deepening or developing a community-engaged practice are welcome to apply.

Located on the residential campus of Zócalo Apartments in the Spring Branch District, three residency positions are available including two 6-month and a single one-year term that starts April 1, 2021.

Selected artists are awarded no-cost housing in a private apartment studio, a monthly stipend, exhibition space and hands-on support from Zócalo’s full-time residency staff. This year, due to COVID-19 and the unprecedented economic impact the pandemic has had on the arts community, the application fee has been reduced and is only $10.

Artists are selected by a rotating panel of Houston-based curators, artists, and arts professionals representing a diverse range of expertise and leadership within the local arts industry. This year’s panelists include Houston interdisciplinary artist, curator, and current artist-in-residence, Theresa Escobedo; public visual artist, curator and muralist, Angel Quesada;  and Sixto Wagan, the inaugural Director for the Center for Art and Social Engagement (CASE) at the University of Houston.

The Zócalo Artist Residency, one of the nation’s first artist residency programs sponsored by a multifamily real estate firm, is a fully funded program dedicated to building community through dynamic art and ideas. With a focus on the intersection of art and community enrichment, the program strives to strengthen the connection between residents and the living spaces they share through the power of art and creativity.

“Zócalo,” which means “town square,” was previously known as the Hammerly Walk Apartments, but — following a $10 million renovation — 8787 Hammerly now boasts a highly colorful exterior with resort-like amenities and lush landscaping.

The Houston Chronicle said the Zócalo renovation “has the potential to inspire profound change” with one of the nation’s first commercial artist-in-residence programs.

“The ideal candidates for this program are open-minded, multifaceted artists who are self-directed, motivated, and passionate about creating new work and engaging communities throughout that process,” said Ileana Yordan, Zócalo’s Residency Program Director.

Zócalo’s current artist residents include Billy Baccam and Alex Ramos from creative media lab duo, Input Output, and artist/curator, Theresa Escobedo.

“The Zócalo Artist-In-Residency program has been a fantastic experience.” said Baccam. “The support and resources from the program have given us the space and time to refine our artistic process, explore unfamiliar technologies, and engage the Zócalo community with new art installations and experiments that spark conversation. To be fully immersed in an environment that gives complete artistic freedom and the ability to share that creativity with a curious community has been a dream come true.”

Input Output and the Zócalo AIR program were featured in the Houston Chronicle earlier this year

For more info on the Zócalo Artist-In-Residency program, visit or find ZAIR on Facebook or Instagram @zocalo_air. To apply, visit

Do you have questions about the Zócalo Artist Residency program and/or how to apply? Join the Program Director for a virtual info session Tuesday, September 15 at 6 p.m. on Zoom to walk through the application guidelines, get tips and advice for submitting a strong application, and answers to any and all questions.

Registration is required. Visit the link below to register:

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