Dane County Board of Supervisors Chair Scott McDonell highlights the opportunities the European experience could bring to a local artist. He said this year’s camp theme will revolve around the Seven Years’ War, and as such, applicants should submit work that demonstrates power and responsibility.[/media-credit]

In an effort to preserve and further the quality of the artistic culture in Madison and enrich the community and city, Dane County officials have created what they are calling a unique and prestigious opportunity for a Madison artist to study his or her craft abroad.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, in conjunction with the county Board of Supervisors, announced that one Dane County artist will be selected as one of a total of eight artists from around the world to attend Eurarca, a European art camp.

Also at the press conference were other local art leaders, including Martha Glowacki, director of the James Watrous Gallery, who celebrated the announcement.

“This is an amazing opportunity for any artist, and my hope is that various artists and various media apply because it sounds like this is open to anyone,” Glowacki said.

Eurarca will be held during the summer of 2012 and will include both international artists and representatives from Dane County and other areas of the U.S., a Cultural Affairs Commission statement said.

The event is being held in conjunction with Documenta 13, a celebrated exhibition of modern and contemporary art that occurs only once every five years, the statement said.

The selected artist will take up residency in Espenau, Germany, from July 6-20, 2012, with a host artist’s family. All expenses will be paid for, including transportation, housing and materials.

According to a statement from the Board of Supervisors, the entire cost of this trip for the selected artist will be covered by Landkreis Kassel, Dane County’s sister county since 2007.

This year’s participating artists hail from Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, France and now Dane County and the U.S.

Scott McDonell, Dane County Board of Supervisors chair, said this year’s theme is based on the Seven Years’ War and that the work of art should revolve around the use of power and responsibility.

“I’m pleased to announce a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some artist from Dane County to showcase their skills as an artist,” McDonell said.

Scott Foss, Cultural Affairs Commission chair, said the focus of the Cultural Affairs Commission at this point is to establish a special commission to do an initial review of all the applications, which are due Feb. 1.

The application itself includes a four-point process, including information regarding the applicant’s background, art experience, why they are interested in being a part of this event and their idea for an artistic project that will speak to the community in some way.

While at Eurarca, the participating artists will suffer no limitations to their creative ability, and no materials will be denied at their expense, McDonell said.

“I believe one year, a participant asked for boulders for his project. They take materials very seriously there, and it will all be covered,” McDonell said.

The artist will be selected at the end of March.