Blue Sky Project is an internationally-competitive summer artist residency and youth collaborative. Founded and operated from 2005 — 2008 in McHenry County, Illinois, the program is now housed at the University of Dayton, in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences and ArtStreet.
Under the leadership of Founder & Executive Director, Peter Benkendorf and Program Designer & Director, Mequitta Ahuja, Blue Sky selects artists based on proposed projects that extend their personal artistic investigation to include the active participation of young people. We encourage projects to include identifying and addressing a community need through art. Small teams of 8 youth participants work with an artist to undertake that project over the course of eight weeks in the summer. The perspectives and insights of young people have a tremendous amount to offer artists and we are interested in seeing what happens when they collaborate.
Blue Sky Project is designed in a non-hierarchical fashion to foster real cooperation. Our objective is that everyone involved comes away from their summer having been both leaders and participants. Ultimately, we believe that this process has the potential to create truly innovative and significant new works of art that will gain meaning and importance having been made by these otherwise unlikely alliances between artists and young people.
While Artists-in-Residence, artists live in provided housing at the University of Dayton. Local teens work together with parents and one another to establish transportation to and from UD.
Because of the collaborative nature of our program, additional activities and structure vary from summer to summer.
To apply to be an artist in residence, click here…
To apply to be a youth participant, click here…
40 Youth Participants from the Dayton-area, aged 14-18
5 Resident Artists
5 Student Artists / Artist Assistants
Youth Participants will be selected on the basis of passion and a demonstrated interest in creative expression, with an emphasis on economic, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity.
Resident Artists will be selected through a project proposal process that emphasizes both extending artistic practice/investigation, originality of work and the project's impact on the youth participants and the community.
Student Artist positions, paid assistants to the Resident Artists, are open to college students studying in any creative field. They will be developed in partnership with the University of Dayton, with selection based on faculty recommendations and interviews. Students from other schools in the area, or who are from Dayton, are also encouraged to apply.
Blue Sky Project is offered without cost to youth participants. This is not art camp, rather a rigorous studio-based experience, with the youth collaborating with a professional artist.
University of Dayton
Arrive Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Youth & Parent Orientation and Artist Introductions
Sunday June 12, 2011
1:00 — 3:30 PM
June 13 — August 4, 2011 (8 weeks)
Monday through Thursday
10:00am — 3:30pm
Final Exhibition :
Wednesday August 3 — Saturday August 6, 2011