Watershed summer sessions are starting to fill but there is still space available in most sessions! Over the coming weeks, each session’s leader will be guest blogging about the upcoming 2016 residency that they have organized. Our first post comes from Lisa Conway, leader of Summer Session II: Ceramics in Nature, from June 19 to July 1.
I grew up in Michigan, went to grad school in Louisiana, and have progressively made my way west over the past twenty-five years. I’ve lived in Alaska and Canada and spent beautiful summers in Colorado and Montana, but have made Portland, Oregon my home since 1999. I’ve completed many residency programs over the years and was lucky to be invited by Lynn Duryea to participate in a Watershed Artists-Invite-Artists (AiA) session in 2007. I feel even luckier to be going back this summer and to share the experience with a whole new group of people.
For me, Watershed offers just about every aspect I could want in a residency program. The setting is beautiful and the food is great. There are few distractions and the staff really know how to anticipate all your needs so you can make the most out of a two-week session. The studios have a calm, quiet energy to them. I love the way light filters in through the rustic wood buildings there. I’m not a very “techie” clay person, so Watershed is just right for me with a natural, secluded, almost romantic atmosphere.
I chose the theme “Ceramics in Nature” for this session as it sums up my personal relationship with clay and is broad enough to encompass many different ways of working. I love that we have potters and sculptors and installation artists all coming to this session. I’m especially looking forward to seeing how others relate to the theme and using that as a launching pad to expand my own practice. I hope everyone else coming feels the same way!
To get participants in this session kick started I’ll be sending out a list of readings in the upcoming weeks around the theme. I also hope we can all participate in a test-tile and a surface-texture swap exchange. I want to take advantage of the fields around Watershed with outdoor drawing sessions and see how those drawings may translate back into the studio. Mostly, I want everyone to have the opportunity for their own personal Watershed experience and come away inspired with new ideas and new friends.