Fifth-Year Emerging Artist Application

DUE:  Wednesday, April 28, 2021 by 3 pm

Email to Peter Nelson (nelsonp)

The objective of the Fifth-Year Emerging Artist program is to offer studio art graduates of St. Olaf College a fifth year intensive studio experience in their area of expertise to better prepare them for graduate school or a professional career in the arts. Liberal arts college graduates with art degrees need to develop strong, cohesive portfolios of independently conceived artwork to compete for places in graduate school, the work place, and professional galleries. The Fifth-Year Emerging Artist program is designed for gifted and self-­motivated art students who wish to make visual arts the core of their professional future.  You need not be a studio art major to apply, but you must be enrolled in ART 343 and participate in the 343 show with being a major a priority.


  • The department will provide studio space appropriate to the media and scale of your work.
  • The department will provide a stipend of $1000 each semester. The Semester II stipend is dependent upon successful development of work during Semester I.
  • Faculty members will offer informal, critical feedback at the request of the Fifth-Year Emerging Artist.
  • The department will provide access to studio equipment with permission of instructors. (Students enrolled in classes will be given priority for equipment use.)
  • The department will provide a professional exhibition opportunity and support for Fifth-Year Emerging Artists in the Virginia & Jennifer C. Groot Gallery, Flaten Art Museum, and/or another twin cities venue from approximately mid-­January to mid-­February.


  • In accepting this position you commit to remain in the Fifth-Year Emerging Artist program for the full term of the appointment (September 1, 2021 -­ June 1, 2022).
  • Fifth-Year Emerging Artist must have completed their B.A. degree by September 1.
  • Fifth-Year Emerging Artists will adhere to studio rules, safety guidelines, and model good work habits throughout the year.
  • Fifth-Year Emerging Artists will work closely and informally with a professor in their chosen area of studio interest.
  • Fifth-Year Emerging Artists will work approximately 20 hrs/week in their studios. Informal critiques should occur regularly, upon the initiative of the Apprentices.
  • Fifth-Year Emerging Artists will assist with studio classes relevant to their areas of expertise, help with general department needs and events such as the fall picnic, the juried show, the drawing co-­op, offer informal critiques and assistance to senior studies students for an average of 5 hours per week.
  • Fifth-Year Emerging Artists will assist with Flaten Art Museum exhibition prep and installation, including but not limited to Senior Shows (April-­‐May), and will attend museum openings and events.
  • Fifth-Year Emerging Artists will loan artwork for display in the Cage.
  • Fifth-Year Emerging Artists will participate in group exhibitions in the Virginia & Jennifer C. Groot Gallery and/or Flaten Art Museum approximately mid-­‐January to mid-­‐February and the Northfield Arts Guild in the spring (with Carleton apprentices). These shows, while considered a responsibility, are also a privilege that may be revoked if other responsibilities are not met.
  • Fifth-Year Emerging Artists do not pay tuition but must register for Art 398 Independent Research: Studio Art, fall, interim and spring. Fifth-Year Emerging Artists will receive 3 credits at no cost. Course work will be the research for and preparation of two bodies of work for exhibition. Register to take the course S/U.
  • Fifth-Year Emerging Artists are part-­‐time students, not employees of the college.


Senior art majors wishing to apply for the Fifth-Year Emerging Artist program should meet with their Art-­‐343 advisor to discuss their application. Advisors will recommend candidly whether or not the student should apply and may provide feedback on a draft of the letter of application.


The letter of application should include a description of your work and how you hope to develop your work during the course of the Fifth-Year Emerging Artist program. The letter should be no more than 600 words.

  • What are your goals for the Fifth-Year Emerging Artist program?
  • How will the Fifth-Year Emerging Artist program contribute to the development of your work?
  • Include a resume.
  • Include five images of your work.

Usually there are four Fifth-Year Emerging Artists chosen each year but this does not mean that four FYEA are always selected. The studio faculty will make selections after the opening of the last senior show. Selections are made based on the quality of senior work, the student’s work ethic, (self-­‐motivation, ability to work without supervision), studio work habits (regarding safety, housekeeping, studio policy) and previous contributions to the life of the department. FYEA must have a record of good citizenship, good stewardship of materials, and responsible use of the spaces in the Center for Art and Dance.

Email your PDF letter of application, resume, and 5 images of your work to Chair, Peter Nelson – Department of Art and Art History.  

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 3:00 pm, Wednesday, April 28.

The department chair will notify students who are selected by May 4.