In what seems like another lifetime, I was a documentary photographer. Now when I travel there is really only shoot one thing, street art. A broad term to be sure, the street art I capture represents a union of the Mexican muralist movement with the hip-hop inspired New York graffiti explosion in the 1980s. Seeing ubiquitous boring gray cinder blocks transformed into large-scale canvases is my visual porn. Yes, I saw Exit Through the Gift Shop, the Frenchman’s hijinks and the sheepish nature of his public irked especially when viewed in reference to the amazing artists whose public art projects I have had the pleasure of viewing.

One day while I was wandering around Casco Viejo in Panama City with a friend, I came across an engaging triptych mural of stylized women signed Rolo de Sedas. When I got back to the hotel I immediately looked him and friended him on Facebook.

I often find myself in Bogota, Colombia and Rome, Italy where one of my favorite things to do is to pop in my earbuds and walk instead of Ubering to my destination. According to my phone’s pedometer, it’s not unusual for me to clock upwards of four miles in a day—giving me ample opportunity document the vibrant renderings that dot the cityscape.

Like many visitors to Palestine, I marveled at the wall or should I say the number of artists who lent their talents to turning the symbol of Israeli oppression into a vehicle of expression and solidarity.

In keeping with our globalcreating mission, I found a few international residency programs for muralist and street artist. These opportunities invite artists to break away from the known for a short period of time while challenging them to create in a new environment. Taking a residency in a foreign country gives the artist time to reflect and incorporate transcultural themes into their existing medium. The following residences are situated across the globe, yet all encourage a deeper and more meaningful cultural exchange than what could be experienced on a simple vacation.

  1. The Campos de Gutiérrez Foundation in Medellin, Colombia is an international artist residency program and ceramics studio.
  2. Zona Imaginaria in Buenos Aires, Argentina is a non-profit organization—an open and active space, designed to enable research and exchange of experiences for artists, who pose a strong inclination towards the exchange and interpersonal relationships.
  3. Residencia Corazón in Buenos Aires, Argentina offers a complete international Artist in Residency Program.
  4. The Sacatar Foundation in Bahia, Brazil brings together creative individuals from all nations, working in all disciplines, in order to promote increased intercultural understanding and global interconnectedness.
  5. Greatmore Studios in Cape Town, South Africa has a long and proud history of supporting Art Making and the development of an artists’ professional practice.
  6. The Digital Arts Studios in Belfast is devoted to the development of in-house production and artist training.
  7. Terra Vivente Art Studio in Guardia Sanframondi, Italy offers its residency program to small groups of artists each year with the goal of generating discussion and engagement within the group and the community.
  8. Flaggfabrikken – Center of Contemporary Art in Bergen, Norway is an artist run non-profit organization established its international artist residency program in 2006.
  9. Dar Slimane in Marrakech, Morocco encourages artists to develop and experiment in their medium while creating works that could contribute to the functionality and aesthetic of the property.
  10. Skovde Art Museum in Skovde, Sweden offers an artist residency program committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all.