Aims and objectives
Artists’ residence Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral in Bad Ems was founded in 1995 and is a place of reflection, artistic production, discussion and meeting. It supports visual artists from all over the world by awarding artists-in-residence fellowships.

The Künstlerhaus is publicly presented through lectures, concerts and exhibitions. Works by the fellows are regularly shown in ‘Made in Balmoral’, the Künstlerhaus’s exhibition space in the Bad Ems city centre. Schloss Balmoral sees itself as an interface between artistic work and theoretical reflection and as a point of contact between former and present fellows. Balmoral intends to build a bridge between the artists' present and their future.

Since 2013, fellowships are offered in one artistic genre or one theme each year. This offering, which is unique in Germany, is intended to intensify the content-related artistic exchange among the artists present. It will also lead to a more intensive specialist exchange of ideas with external artists, speakers, teachers, curators, etc.

If possible, a final exhibition for all fellows of a vintage, will be realised following the fellowships.

The annual theme for the residential fellowships in the Kuenstlerhaus 2024 is

»Immersiones. On Immersion to the Point of Vanishing in Different Spheres«

This year’s theme involves on the one hand the artistic arrangement of immersive situations, spaces and images and, on the other hand, an examination of the mental implications of immersive experiences and the preconditions they require.

A central role is also played here by (critical) reflection and definition of the concept of the immersive, which in the context of contemporary art is primarily associated with technical developments and possibilities (such as AR/VR).

The main focus is on experiences of being completely immersed. It is intended that immersion in something and interaction with that something should ideally be illuminated, tested and felt out by artistic means.

What is immersion?

Historically, the experience of immersion ranges from the wall fresco to the interactive image space and often has to do with the principle of illusionism. Mostly, immersion in a sphere is conditional on a separate field appearing to be isolated from the real environment and that this field emanates a (sensual) attraction.

We have not just been experiencing immersion since Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have existed, since there have been virtual museums and gallery spaces or since the Metaverse (Facebook) has been knocking at our doors. It goes all the way back to the 360° fresco room, which found successors and exegetes in the panorama, the stereopticon, cinéorama and IMAX cinema. Today we have a complex array of media and possibilities available to us. Smartphones that have taken root in our hands are the most obvious. But reactive image and sound worlds have long been gaining ground as well. And by means of avatars, with which we can conquer new worlds, a sheer infinity of expanding zones and immersive experiences are beckoning to us.

Notwithstanding any critical exploration of the theme – immersion also offers spaces of power outside the routine of daily life. Places in which we rise above the trivial (transcendence) and can place ourselves in relation to something (such as a great oneness).

The potential of the theme in art: among other things, situations of tension while experiencing the work, oscillation between fake world and self-reference, shedding light on states of being such as “homeless” (unhoused/displaced) or “worldless”.

Eligible to apply for a Balmoral fellowship are visual artists of any age from Germany and around the world.

The preconditions for applicants for the residential fellowships for visual artists are a completed course of study in art (M.F.A. or comparable) and at least three years of continuous artistic work after the conclusion of studies until the beginning of the fellowship. Applications are also possible for autodidacts distinguished by special artistic achievements, as documented by exhibitions and prizes.

Knowledge of English is expected.

Benefits and requirements
Balmoral fellowships are residential fellowships; continuous presence is obligatory.

The fellowships are endowed with 1,400 € a month plus subsidy to the travel costs for arrival.

Three fellowships are awarded for the period of four months and three fellowships are awarded for the period of eight months. All residential fellowships run from April each year.

All artists invited will have their registered residence in Bad Ems for the time of their stay (compulsory registration). Artists must be free of all professional commitments for the period of their fellowships.

The fellowship holders are provided free of charge with a furnished room in the artists’ residence for living and sleeping, with shower/WC and a studio. Due to the historic nature the building is not barrier-free and the apartments and studios in terms of their size and equipment are normally only suitable for one single person. The conditions of use are governed by the House Rules, which the fellowship holder must observe. The artists’ residence bears all ancillary costs including water, electricity and heating. The lounge, the dining room and the kitchen are for joint use. Pets are not admitted.

The fellows may use free of charge a in-house library containing approx. 6,000 books, mainly on modern and contemporary art, and the major art magazines.

After the fellowship acceptance, the applicant will receive an agreement concluded with the Künstlerhaus and the house rules. Once the contract has been signed by the fellowship holder, the award of the fellowship is legally binding.

Fellows are required to write a report about their stay in the Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral afterwards.

Selection procedure
The decision on the award of the fellowships is made by a jury of experts taking into special consideration the potential of the artistic work for development. The members of the jury make their choice according to the quality of the work samples applicants have to hand in together with their application (for more details see »application«).

The selection committee normally consists of one chairperson and eight members of the jury who are expert representatives of the following professional groups:

• the manager of the Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral as chairman/chairwoman
• an art critic
• a museum director or curator
• the chairman/chairwomen of the Balmoral Committee of the Council of the Mainz Art School
• another member to be nominated by the Art School Council
• a member of the artists associations in the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate
• a visual artist
• a former fellow
• the desk officer of the Ministry of Science, Further Education and Culture of Rhineland-Palatinate, Mainz

An application form is available for download during the application period for each fellowship and must be completed and submitted with the application. Applications without a filled application form will not be accepted. More details to the application you find here.


The application period for the 2024 fellowships runs up to and including May 5, 2023 (date of postmark).

Application form
4-month residential fellowship

8-month residential fellowship

Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral
Villenpromenade 11
56130 Bad Ems
Telephone: +49 (0) 2603 9419-0

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