Executive Director: Liz Seaton
Liz Seaton (they/them) is a lifelong potter, experienced non-profit executive, and long-time civil rights leader, who brings deep experience in translating vision into strategy and reality. Serving most recently served as Policy Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force in Washington, D.C., they worked for racial, gender, economic, disability and social justice. A recent huge victory was working in broad coalition to win the long-awaited federal Respect for Marriage Act to protect the marriages of interracial and same-sex couples. Prior to that, they served District of Columbia residents through the D.C. Department on Disability Services, helping the advocacy community win a new civil rights law for people with disabilities. Seaton brings an equally passionate interest in the arts and has been a potter for more than 40 years and more recently a painter (watercolor and gouache) and an emerging children’s book illustrator. They’ve participated in two artist residencies: Alaska’s Alderworks (non-fiction writing) and Chulitna Lodge (painting), served as a panelist with the Maryland State Arts Council, and volunteered with the Alliance of Artist Communities’ Emerging Residencies conference. Their spouse is Dr. Patricia Evans, whose passion is pastels with watercolor, and their grown daughter Ryan is an emerging sculptor.
Outreach & Communications Director: Claire Brassil
Claire directs Watershed’s marketing and messaging, photographs artists at work, and designs digital and print collateral. Additionally, she works with artists to organize Watershed’s residency sessions, workshops, and exhibitions.
Before joining the Watershed staff, Claire created the art program and served as lead art teacher at Girls Prep, the first New York City charter school for girls. Additionally, Claire worked as the studio manager for the Supporting Women Artists Project (SWAP) artist collective in Brooklyn, NY, managed a gallery that showed work by emerging international artists, and collaborated with a pioneering art lawyer on projects for Christie’s, the World Monuments Fund, Alliance for the Arts, One Laptop Per Child, and a number of private clients. Claire earned an A.B. in Women, Feminist, and Queer Studies from Vassar College and an M.F.A. in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Additionally, she has taken part in residencies at Vermont Studio Center, the Lerman Trust in Laceyville, Pennsylvania, and Kloster Bentlage in Rheine, Germany, and has exhibited work nationally and internationally.
Courtney assists with major gifts and the capital campaign, helps strategize fundraising efforts, and manages gift processing and the donor database. She has been working in the non-profit arts sector for more than fifteen years. With experience ranging from studio manager for the art department at Bowdoin College, to development and fundraising for MacDowell, the country’s oldest artist residency, she has always worked to support artists and the creation of new work.
Courtney graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Visual Arts, and earned an M.F.A. in Painting from Hunter College, CUNY. At Hunter, she received the Leeman Boksenbaum Scholarship for foreign study and in 2008 studied painting at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen, NL. In 2017, after 11 years in New York City, she returned to Maine to settle in the Mid-coast. She lives with her husband and two children in Camden.
Studio Manager: Reeder Fahnestock
Among his many duties, Studio Manager Reeder Fahnestock acts as an interface between the resident artists and the facilities by maintaining the kilns and equipment and providing safety and technical information and oversight for staff, assistants, and volunteers.
He received his B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute. He also attended Kansas State University, where he studied with Yoshiro Ikeda, was awarded the Strecker-Nelson Gallery MFA Scholarship, built a new wood kiln, and taught beginning and advanced ceramics. Most recently, he was the inaugural artist in residence at Pinon Hill Pottery in La Veta, Colorado. He was also an artist-in-residence for two years at Pope Valley Pottery in the Napa Valley in California. His son, Ri, is studio shop manager at the University of New Hampshire in Durham and recently came in second in a hotly contested National Wife Carrying Competition in nearby Sunday River.
Associate Director of Development & Special Events: Courtney Norian
Courtney joined Watershed in June of 2015, bringing with her experience in fundraising, event planning, and marketing. Courtney manages Watershed’s fundraising efforts and organizes Salad Days and other fundraising events.
Prior to coming to Watershed, Courtney worked in Boston for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as member of the development marketing department and then as the associate director of the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk. During her time at Dana-Farber, she helped the Jimmy Fund Walk become the highest grossing, single-day, fundraising walk in the nation, raising nearly $8 million in 2013. Early in her career, Courtney also worked for a small advertising agency outside Philadelphia and produced television shows for Warner Bros./Telepictures in New York City.
Courtney is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Communications. She hails from Wyndmoor, PA and currently lives in Bristol, ME with her husband, Matt, and her children Peter, Nate, and Harper.
Finance & Operations Manager: Tamsen Brooke Warner