2020 Summer Residency

Watershed’s summer sessions provide artists with time and space to step away from daily routines and be immersed in creative practice. Any artist who is comfortable working independently in a clay studio is welcome to participate. During a session, you have unlimited time to work alongside other artists-in-residence, delicious farm-to-table meals prepared for you, and comfortable accommodations in shared or private housing. For more information on how a residency session works, visit the residencies page of our site.

Sessions are filled on a first-come, first served basis. After selecting a session that resonates with you, fill out the registration form found below the session description and submit your deposit. The 2020 summer session descriptions and the core group of artists anchoring each session are listed below. Visit the housing and fees page to review the costs of attending a residency.

For those interested in applying for merit-based or need-based financial assistance, the yearly application deadline is February 15 with awards announced in mid-March. If you are interested in participating in a session only if you receive financial support, please fill out the scholarship application only.

Session I: Material Intersections, June 7-19

Session Organizers: Suzanne Dittenber & Susan Klein
With: Julie Alexander, Anna Buckner, Alison Hall, Philippe Hyojung Kim, Alison Owen, Nicholas Nyland, and Thomas Schram

Join a group of artists to explore the parallels and intersections between painting and ceramic work. Organized by artists originally trained as painters who have broadened their practices to include sculpting in clay, the session provides an opportunity for collaboration and independent work focused on process, surface, materiality, and deepening an understanding of color interaction.

Watershed welcomes artists with a background in clay and in other media to join the session. Comfort working independently in a clay studio is necessary. Contact us if you would like more information regarding the session and working in the studio.


Session II: Biomorphic Idyll, June 21-July 3

Session Organizer: Meaghan Gates

With: Luis Avalos, Sara Catapano, Angela Cunningham, Sasha Koozel Reibstein, Leo Stansbury and RJ Sturgess

Using Watershed’s 54-acre campus as a backdrop, this session brings together artists whose biomorphic work has a strong connection to the natural world. During two weeks together, participants will explore their practices that may include representational, abstract, functional, and performance-based work with strong ties to nature and place.


Session III: Resisting: Surface and Form Explorations, July 5-17

Session Organizers: Naomi Clement & Shalya Marsh
With: Marianne Chenard, Adrienne Eliades, Mike Gesiakowski, Arthur Halvorsen, Jill Oberman, Lindsay Rogers, and Adero Willard

From analog methods such as wax and hand-cut stencils to digitally cut vinyl and decals, resists take many forms in contemporary ceramic practice. Explore new ways to create rich and layered surfaces using a variety of techniques during this session that prioritizes idea sharing, collaboration, and exploration.

Participants can plan to experiment with tools and materials such as laser and die cut paper and vinyl stencils, shellac, latex, and wax resist. A Klick n Kut die cutter capable of cutting a wide range of materials and a Thermofax for easy screens for printing will be also be available for use.


Session IV: Agents of Change, July 20-August 1

Session Organizers: Margaret Kinkeade
With Members of the Kindred Clay collective: Christina Erives, Bech Evans, Roberto Lugo, and Brooks Oliver
Can a handmade pot change the world? How can we implement meaningful social change in the field of ceramics? Join a diverse group of artists interested in expanding the boundaries of contemporary ceramic discourse to explore these questions (and many others) inside and outside the studio. In addition to making work alongside one another, participating artists will take part in three half-day discussions focused on developing strategies and skills to build inclusive and multicultural creative spaces within the clay community.



Session V: Soda Pop! August 9-21

Session Organizers: Trudy Chiddix & Tara Sartorius
With: Eliesa Bollinger, Jan Schachter, Marion Toms and guest artist Nancy Selvin

Through a combination of chemistry and artistry, explore how ceramic surfaces may “pop” when applied color reacts in an atmospheric kiln. Expand your vision of traditional soda firing through experimentation with slips, clays, engobes, glazes, oxides and stains, as well as the use of encaustic wax. This session will involve multiple firings of Watershed’s cone 10 soda kilns; participants are encouraged to bring small to medium-sized bisqueware and tiles to jumpstart the test firing process.