Suzie Viemeister Emerging Artist Residency Program

"Suzie on Bedford Time"
Pat Dougherty

Philanthropist and Art Collector Suzanne "Suzie" Viemeister long inspired many in the Bedford community with her unlimited enthusiasm and commitment to helping and supporting the Arts.

As a generous champion for artists of all disciplines, Suzie acquired one of the most extensive and eclectic art collections in the region.

Her keen eye for exceptional talent and magnificent masterpieces was only surpassed by her generosity to ensure a thriving arts environment.

A significant portion of Suzie's collection was generously donated by the Viemeister family, and the Suzie Viemeister Emerging Artist Residency Program Fund was established through an auction held in November of 2018.

Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Viemeister family, Bower Center for the Arts is able to grow Suzie's legacy as a major contributor to the arts and culture in the Bedford region.

Now Accepting Applications! Deadline: Nov. 22, 2019

Program Description & Application

View Photo Archives of Suzie's Collections 




The Suzie Veimeister Emerging Artist Program provides artists the opportunity to further develop artistic skills and the business behind art while being supported by creative and professional local businesses and artists.




Once a year, a Bower Center for the Arts Emerging Artist Panel will award an Emerging Artist participation in a four-month residency. The panel consists of Susan Martin, Executive Director for the Bower Center for the Arts; Revelle Hamilton, Board of Directors; and Katie Viemeister, daughter of Suzie Viemeister. Selection of the artist is based on artistic merit, commitment and eligibility as listed below. Awarded residency will be publicly announced.



Resident artists will have 24-hour access to a private rent-free studio. The Residency concludes with a one-month solo exhibition at Bower Center for the Arts. During the residency, artists benefit from opportunities for professional development and collaboration with peers. A dedicated schedule will be available for the emerging artist with representatives of the community, commercial businesses, artists and other mentors ensuring a complete program is available. Artist will learn all aspects of business management, exhibit preparation, hands on experience by collaborating with other studio artists, commercial considerations, marketing and social media to name a few.


Residents actively contribute to Bower Center artistic and educational programming by participating in Second Friday, being available for studio visits and tours, and working a minimum of 15 hours per week in their studio during Bower Centers business hours. Residents are also required to give a presentation, artist talk and/or demonstration to the public to coincide with their residency or exhibition.


The program is funded through the endowment established through the Gala and Art Auction of Suzie Viemeister’s collection on November 3, 2018. The extent of the program is based on funds raised at this event at this time. The selection committee will review each emerging artist program event through questionnaires and interviews to determine future program changes or development of funding requirements.


Bower Center’s facilities are fully accessible to the handicapped and we encourage all artists to consider submitting for our residency of opportunities. Bower Center for the Arts is committed to diversity and inclusivity, welcoming all regardless of age, ethnicity, gender or religion.




1. Emerging Artist Residencies are available to promising artists in their formative years committed to advancing their own work and professional careers.


2. Artist may not have had previous exhibits or sold his/her work in a gallery or gallery environment. Artist may have been active 5 years or less.


3. Artists working in most visual mediums will be considered, including experimental media; however, artists working with toxic materials, hazardous machinery, etc. will not be considered due to limitations within the building.


4. Artists must not be enrolled in an institutional program of study, including instructional museum programs, during the residency period due to time required in studio as indicated below. (Applicants may be in school during application process.)


5. Artists must be ready to enjoy working in an open studio setting where the public is able to interact with the artist during public hours. Artists must work in the studio a minimum of 15 hours per week during public hours.


6. This program is focused on emerging artists living in Bedford and the Central Virginia region.





1. Resume

2. Artist Statement (Not to exceed 200 words)

3. Letter of Recommendation

4. Images and/or Videos (See criteria below)

5. Image List in PDF. An annotated image list accompanying digital images/videos with title of work, media, size, and year completed. File titled Lastname-Firstname_List.pdf



Video submissions should adhere to the following criteria:

1. 5-minute maximum.

2. A minimum of 3 videos (can be segments of longer works) completed within the last 2 years.

3. MPEG-4, AVI, or MOV file formats only.

4. All videos must be saved using a file name and number that corresponds to the annotated image list.

5. Files titled Lastname-Firstname_Video#




Images submitted should adhere to the following criteria:

1. 10 digital images of works completed within the past 2 years. 3-D/installation artists may submit up to 20 digital photos, documenting 10 works in all.

2. Images must be in JPEG format. 300dpi maximum, 1600 pixels on longest side.

3. All images must be saved using a file name and number that corresponds to the annotated image list.

4. Files titled Lastname-Firstname_Image#



All images and videos are considered property of the artist and will not be used by the Bower Center for the Arts without written consent of the artist.

Submit completed applications to Susan Martin at

Deadline: November 22, 2019.

Announcement of Awarded Emerging Artist Residency: January 10th, 2020.

HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-4pm

Gallery admission is always free.

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305 N. Bridge St. Bedford, VA 24523

540-586-4235 ​​​​    Contact Us