Jail Cell Residency ||||


The Jail Cell Residency at Alter Space supports artists, writers, and curators by providing a unique, provocative, and distraction-free studio space located in the basement of Alter Space Gallery in San Francisco’s SOMA district. The studio comes well equipped with an endless supply of metaphors for the tortured artist. Within the 22′ x 25′ space sits a 9′ x 12′ jail cell, the most prominent remnant from the building’s former occupants, Stormy Leather, once the city’s premier leather and bondage space.

Alter Space aims at maintaining this dungeon-like atmosphere as an exciting, risk-provoking, and supportive environment. We seek one week to three month proposals that take into consideration the aural, architectural, or historical qualities of the studio itself. At the culmination of the each residency, the artist is awarded a public reception of their work to be held within the Jail Cell studio.

At your disposal: a Jail Cell, a private studio, and access to a basement workspace that includes a six color screen printing press along with numerous tools and supplies. The resident artist may schedule time with the gallery Director and Assistant Director for studio visits, discussion, and/or hands-on assistance with the project during the length of their stay.

Residents from outside the Bay Area may request free off-site living quarters located within a garage, just twenty minutes walk from the studio. This new living quarters recently served as a project space for Artist-In-Residence, Elise McMahon, and comes outfitted with her functional art pieces. At the beginning of 2015, the Jail Cell Residency / Garage Project received support from Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Grant.


The submission deadline for the 2016 Jail Cell residency is September 1, 2015.

-Applications should include a full description and duration (from 1 week to 3 months) of the intended project.
-Let us know which season you prefer: spring, summer, fall, winter. We will do our best to accommodate.
-Please include images, cv, bio, and any relevant links or information about you and your practice & interests.
-For out of town applicants, indicate if you will need housing accommodation.

Email completed application material to contact@alterspace.co or send a link via Dropbox to a folder labeled in the format JCR-YOUR-NAME.

Please note there is a non-refundable $25 application fee to be submitted via Paypal to the email address below or by mail to:
Alter Space, 1158 Howard Street, San Francisco CA 94103

For questions regarding the application process, please email contact@alterspace.co

We look forward to hearing from you!


Alter Space Jail Cell Residency

Current resident:



Nightmare City
Dimitra Skandali
Rachel Dawson


Elise McMahon (Mar – Apr 2015)
Sietske Tjallingii(Feb – Mar 2015)
John Moore Williams (Nov-Jan 2015)
Matthew Gottschalk (Oct-Nov 2014)
Amanda Quiroz (Jul-Oct 2014)
Shiri Mordechay (Feb-Oct 2014)
Nellie King Solomon & Jenny Muskopf (Apr-Jun 2014)
Yulia Pinkusevich (Feb-Mar 2014)
Melissa Wyman (January 2014)
The Something (Oct-Nov 2013)
Bex Freund (June-Sept 2013)
Melissa Dickenson (Feb-Jun 2013)
Joshua Hagler (Sept 2012-Jan 2013)
Matt Silady (May-Aug 2012)