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.
Session II still has several spaces available for any artist to join the session. Click here to register for the session or apply for a scholarship to attend.
In 2015, how many…
…cords of wood did Watershed burn?
…dozens of eggs were eaten by resident artists?
…pounds of clay got used in the studio?
Click here to learn what happened at Watershed by-the-numbers last year.
On Friday, December
brought together twenty-five Maine art educators for a workshop on ceramic surface printing techniques to use in the classroom. Workshop leader (and Watershed
alum!) Hope Rovelto
shared low-tech, cost effective methods for image-transfers and direct printing onto clay that educators can easily incorporate into their curriculum.
Support for the workshop was underwritten by a grant from the Belvedere Traditional Handcrafts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. In-kind support came from Lincoln Academy and ceramic artist & teacher Jonathan Mess
, who provided studio space for the daylong session.
Next summer, Watershed will host a one-week residency session for K-12 art educators. Art teachers with experience working in clay will learn from one another and from guest artists who will offer mini-workshops on studio techniques appropriate for K-12 classrooms. Maine educators are eligible to apply for $500 scholarships to offset their expenses. Space is limited and the session is filling quickly, so interested educators are encouraged to register soon.
Residency Dates: Session IV, July 24-29, 2016
Watershed is the proud recipient of a three-year award from the Belvedere Traditional Handcrafts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. Grant funds are supporting outreach and marketing efforts, especially for local events that connect ceramics with locally sourced food and our neighboring farms. Funds are also supporting new educational programs for K-12 art educators interested in expanding their own ceramic practice and opportunities for their students. This includes scholarships to Watershed’s 1-week Summer Residency session in 2016 for K-12 Art Teachers.
The Davis Family Foundation has supported a number of important facility improvement projects at Watershed in recent years. In September, Watershed was awarded a new grant for $14,600 to complete an updated property survey and engineering analysis of our campus that will help with the planning process for new studio and community buildings.
We are grateful for this important foundation support and look forward to sharing the results of these initiatives in the months to come.
Welcome to Watershed’s new blog! We’ll use this space to keep you up-to-date on Watershed-related news and events. The 2016 season holds great promise both in and out of the studio and we look forward to sharing developments in the months to come.
Right now, the cabins and factory are empty and a quiet stillness blankets the campus as leaves fall from the trees. It’s hard to believe that just a couple of months ago the studio was bustling with activity and we were wearing shorts and relaxing on the lawn. Here are a few photos from the summer to reminder you of warmer days. We hope to see you here next summer!