mission statement

Bubo Arts Collective will be a unique, multi-purposed art center with a focus on its artist-in-residency program, designed to bring together international and local artists in an atmosphere that is welcoming, communal, and exciting.



Bubo Arts Collective is the dream project of Hilary Emerson Lay, a Western Massachusetts artist.

In 2012, Hilary decided that she could no longer put her art career on the back burner and decided to change the direction of her life. She left her ten-year-long position as the manager of an independent bookstore and applied for a summer art residency at Elsewhere Studios. The experience had such a profound and lasting effect, she decided she wanted to offer this transforming and magical experience to other artists.

Hilary and her husband Isaac, a ceramicist, make their home in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts: an area rich with culture. An area blessed with incredible natural beauty. An area which is home to a vibrant and extraordinary arts scene. In short, an area which would be perfect for an artist-in-residence program.

Every month, Bubo Arts Collective is moving closer to becoming a reality. Along with a small group of creative movers and shakers, Hilary is working towards finding a physical home for Bubo Arts.


To avoid confusion, let us explain that we do not yet exist in physical form. We hope to have a location, and be up and running and ready to accept residents, as soon as possible.

Bubo Arts Collective residency program will be open to visual artists, both emerging and professional. Artists will be free to create their own self-directed residency experience, be it working alone in a private studio space or collaborating with fellow residents or local artists on projects. The hope is that our visiting artists will leave a lasting impression on our community, making our program mutually beneficial to both Bubo Arts and the Pioneer Valley.

We are thrilled to have already received many applications from around the world for our artist-in-residency program. Although we are not yet ready to host artists, receiving applications is extremely helpful for us as we make decisions about what Bubo Arts will look like. To (pre)apply, click hereAs soon as we are ready to host artists, we will reach out to you!


What exactly is an art residency?

An art residency (or an artist-in-residency program) is a place that provides artists the time and space to create new work. Some residencies host one artist at a time; some host 50. Some are in the heart of a bustling metropolis; some are on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. There are around 1,500 art residencies around the world, and there really is no one-model-fits-all.

Wait, so does Bubo Arts actually exist, or not?

On paper, yes. In physical form, not yet. In January of 2018 we filed for our 501(c)(3) status with the IRS and will receive a verdict by June.

Check back here for updates, or join our mailing list at the bottom of this page to be kept up to date.

Why are you accepting applications if you don’t actually exist yet?

We’ve received a lot of applications from interested artists. We created a submission form to get a sense of what kinds of artists would be interested in coming, how long they would want to stay, what kind of projects they would want to work on, and generally how much interest there is in the idea of Bubo Arts. We’re pretty excited to have generated this much interest already.

What does “bubo” mean?

Bubo is a genus of owl (and also the name of the mechanical owl from the original Clash of the Titans). Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war, always had a small owl on her shoulder. The exact meaning behind this has been lost over the centuries, but this is believed to be how the owl came to be synonymous with knowledge and wisdom. Also, bubo is just a fun word to say!



email: buboartscollective@gmail.com

postal address:

Hilary Emerson Lay
Bubo Arts Collective
POB 360
Montague, Massachusetts
United States of America

facebook: Bubo Arts Collective

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