Images from 2018 residency by photographer-in-residence, Robin Michals


The Works on Water Residency and Project Space provide a space for diverse investigations of water in the urban environment. Underwater New York is partnering with Works on Water to bring together artists, writers, designers,  scientists, and policy-makers working on, in, and with the water, from May through October 2019. Visual, performing, and literary artists (individuals, collaborations, collectives), and scientists, designers, and policy-makers, are invited to apply for our Residency or propose completed or prototype works to present within the Project Space.  

The Works on Water Residency and Project Space is housed  in one of the historic Nolan Park houses on Governors Island. With views of Buttermilk Channel on the east and overlooking Nolan Park on the west, its own interior marked by water — peeling walls, revealing the strata of time — House 5B is a singular home for Water Art: work made on, in and with bodies of water.


Building on a successful pilot year in 2018, Works on Water and Underwater New York are seeking applications for both the 2019 Works on Water Residency and Project Space from  those whose interest, research, or practice involves a deep investment in working on, in, and with bodies of water.


The Residency: Artists, Writers, Policy Makers and Scientists-in-Residence will have access to a private studio in House 5B for a month-long non-residential residency during open season on Governors Island, May through October, 2019. Residents will be welcome to make work in studio and to make use of outdoor space on Governors Island, and will be encouraged to collaborate with one another across disciplines. Works on Water and Underwater New York are specifically looking for those whose interest, research and practice will deepen and advance dialogue in the field of Water Art, and who bring a community-mindedness and spirit of collaboration to their work. Looking ahead to 2020, Works on Water will curate the second Water Art Triennial, and our hope is that 2019 Works on Water Residents will contribute to that process in some way.  

The Project Space: We also invite applications from writers, researchers and artists interested in engaging the public with completed or prototype work through project space in Nolan Park 5B.

As we continue to develop our presence on Governors Island, Works on Water and Underwater New York will expand and nurture our Water Art community through other activities during the season, including:  

  • Several residents’ convenings for networking and sharing your respective practices in an informal setting -- with food!  

  • Opportunity for residents to create public programming and workshops on-site

  • Public conversations and other events with artists and practitioners working on the waterways

  • Participation in ongoing documentation of the emerging field of Water Art, including portraits by photographer-in-residence and an interview-based project facilitated by Underwater New York

  • Open studios on Saturdays and Sundays, 11 - 5, with opportunities to interact with visitors to Governors Island

  • Interaction with a dynamic and growing community that has a deep investment in water and wide-ranging practices and areas of expertise      

  • Opportunity to publish work made during or emerging from the residency on Underwater New York

Through open studios, performances, public conversations, and  exhibition of work in our Project Space, we will invite the public into a dialogue about the emerging field of Water Art, building toward the second Works on Water Triennial in 2020. Please join us as we work to strengthen the community of artists and practitioners working in water-based planning, science, policy, and art to define the future of our waterways.