Watershed’s summer sessions provide time and space for small groups of up to 15 artists to step away from their daily routines, immerse themselves in their work, and make new connections within the clay community. During a residency, artists work independently in our large communal studio. Most of the summer sessions are organized by artists—who propose a theme related to clay and recruit four to eight other artists to join them. The balance of participants in a session (seven to ten more artists) register here on our website, drawn by a shared interest in the session theme. Once in residence, all of the session’s artists work side-by-side in the Watershed studios.
During a summer session, you will have unlimited time to work and dialog in the studio alongside other artists-in-residence, delicious farm-to-table meals prepared for you, and comfortable accommodations in shared or private housing. When reviewing session options, consider choosing a theme that resonates with you, whether you want to delve more deeply into that focus or follow your own path of inquiry once you are here.
Watershed residencies are filled on a first-come, first served basis. Simply fill out the registration form and submit your deposit. Visit our housing and fees page to review the costs of attending a residency. Please note that all artists are required to live on campus during a session. For those interested in applying for merit-based or need-based financial aid, the yearly application deadline is February 15 with awards announced in mid-March.
View details below on each of our 2018 summer sessions and register early to reserve your spot.
Session I: Breaking Tradition, June 3-15
Explore new ways of designing, creating, and marketing your work during Watershed’s first 2018 summer session. Social media, design-focused boutiques, and pop-up events have become primary methods for some ceramists to gain recognition and sell pieces. Many artists have become savvy marketers as well as makers, which has led to a rapid change in how work is viewed, shared, and sold. Participants will have time to create in the studio and to talk with other artists, designers, curators, and shop owners about how the ceramics field is evolving to reach a new and broader audience. The session will also include a guest presentation by Ayumi Horie.REGISTER
Session II: Ceramics in a Transdisciplinary Studio, June 17-29
With: Wynne Greenwood, Keiko Narahashi, and Janine Polak
The relationship between clay and other artistic media provides fertile ground for exploration. Artists who work in a variety of disciplines—from photography and video, to portraiture, painting, installation, and social practice—will come together to explore how clay can integrate with other methods and materials. Participants will have ample time to experiment in the studio and will meet for several brainstorming sessions in order to foster exchange and inspiration among group members.REGISTER
Session III: Collective Makers, July 8-25
Session Leaders: Members of Kansas City Urban Potters: Chandra Debuse, Paul Donnelly, Rain Harris, Meredith Host & Alex Watson
With: Tommy Frank, Kyla Toomey, and Kyle Triplett
After completing formal training, many artists discover that finding a creative community may become a challenge. Artistic collectives can provide support, encouragement, and visibility for those with independent studio practices. Join members of Kansas City Urban Potters to create work in the studio and discuss how collectives enhance your artistic growth and sense of connection. Salad Days, Watershed’s signature summer celebration, takes place during this session, and participants will have the opportunity to meet more than 500 ceramics enthusiasts during the event.
This session is full, but we will contact those on the wait list if a space becomes available.WAIT LIST
Session IV: Women, Ceramics, and Community, July 29-August 10
This session will use Jenni Sorkin’s book, Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community, to examine how women clay artists have influenced and shaped the ceramics field over the last seventy years. In addition to time spent together in the studio, participants will discuss women’s collective history in clay and how the current political and social climate plays a direct or indirect role in their work. The ceramists anchoring the session represent a wide range of experiences, ages, and perspectives.
This session has filled. Click the button below to add your name to the wait list. We will contact you if a spot in the session becomes available.WAIT LIST
Session V: The Surface Exchange, August 12-24
Join a group of functional and sculptural artists to explore new ways of developing the surface of your work. Participating artists will brainstorm image generation, consider successful composition, experiment with creating depth through layering, and participate in collaborative art-making. During the two weeks together, artists will gain a wealth of information through informal sharing in the studio and will be encouraged to share processes and materials.REGISTER