Watershed NOW

Watershed’s founders, board president & director celebrate completion of the Windgate Studio with architect Jane Gleason.

It’s time for Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts to enhance the artist residency experience by improving our campus facilities. The Watershed NOW campaign is creating new spaces that inspire bold artistic practice and community.

Why NOW?

Watershed’s programs offer a powerful combination of time, space, and community that has changed artists’ lives and work for more than thirty years. The campus facilities play an integral role in facilitating the “Watershed magic” by providing an environment that sparks growth and connection. Artists share meals, live alongside one another, and enjoy 24-hour studio access in open-concept spaces that inspire informal sharing. 

However, some of our current buildings pose a host of challenges, including a lack of full accessibility or security, and no weatherization. While the rustic nature of the studio—which was originally a chicken barn—added a certain charm to the campus, the outdated structure left artists at the mercy of the elements and constrained our program season to late May through September.

NOW is the time for this to change. While residential programs were on hold due to COVID-19, Watershed’s leadership took the essential step to pursue building a new state-of-the-art studio, and to further develop plans for improved dining and staff quarters. The Watershed NOW campaign supports these necessary upgrades which will encourage the growth of artists and our programs for years to come.



Campaign Phases

Watershed has created a master plan for campus improvements that includes fully accessible, sustainable, and cost-efficient facilities.


Phase I: Project planning, feasibility study and conceptual facility designs, 2015-2017

Phase 2: Purchase and renovation of the Joan Pearson Watkins House, 2018-2019 

  • This restored historic home holds Watershed’s Barkan Gallery, which offers year-round exhibition, lecture, and event space. Watershed’s administrative offices and retail shop are also located in the house.

Phase 3: Construction of the Studio Annex, 2020

  • The Annex includes flexible space for adjunct programs, material storage, and maintenance work. 

Phase 4: Windgate Studio, 2020-2021

  • The 7,500 square foot studio is weatherized and ADA-compliant, supporting an expanded residency and workshop season. Features include a state-of-the-art filtration and ventilation system, spacious glaze area, custom spray booth, plaster room, and a single-level floor plan offering a seamless transition between studio and kilns. 

In Development: 

Phase 5: Campus Commons design and construction, 2022-2023

  • The Commons will replace the existing Thompson Hall. The plan includes comfortable dining facilities, a commercial kitchen, and weatherized housing for staff.

Help Watershed continue these important projects!

Studio 2.0

After years of planning and a winter of construction, Watershed is pleased to announce that we have opened our new studio and welcomed artists back to campus! Join the donors who have helped kick start this project and give today to help fully fund this transformative space.

As the cornerstone of the Watershed NOW Capital Campaign, the Windgate Studio is transforming Watershed Center for the Ceramics Arts’ ability to meet the needs of artists and better nurture creative practice. 

Take a video tour of the Windgate Studio with Watershed Executive Director Fran Rudoff or click on the large image below to scroll through the gallery featuring the studio’s highlights. At this time, the campus is closed to the public in order to ensure the comfort and safety of our resident artists during the pandemic. We look forward to welcoming the public to campus later in the fall. Stay tuned! 

The former studio, a chicken barn turned brick factory, was limited to the warmer months of the year due to lack of insulation, heating, and winterization. It was also located on the second floor of the building and only accessible via stairs. The new 7500 square foot studio building offers artists a state-of-the-art, open-concept studio space to work and connect with other makers, improving on what Watershed residencies are known for: the sense of community and camaraderie they foster.

Windgate Studio features: 

  • A single-level floor plan designed for ceramic work with easy access to raw materials, kilns, a glaze room, plaster room, and spray booth
  • Temperature regulation in all seasons 
  • Full accessibility and ADA compliance
  • 4800 square feet of studio space
  • Energy efficiency 
  • A footprint that can easily expand to incorporate additional studio and programming space in the future.

The Windgate Studio also provides Watershed with flexibility to grow programs and plans that: 

  • Support artists working on commissions or large scale projects
  • Bring (inter)nationally-known guest artists to lead workshops 
  • Provide opportunities for student groups to make and fire work
  • Enable us to collaborate with partner organizations
  • Offer space for artists to create and connect throughout the year
  • Tap into our limitless potential! 

If you would like to learn more about naming opportunities or help to sustain Watershed’s studio needs through an endowment, please contact Fran Rudoff at Frudoff@watershedceramics.org for more information. 

Support Watershed’s new studio!


Watershed’s vision to offer year-round programming in fully accessible, cost efficient, and sustainable facilities has been years in the making. We are immensely grateful for the support of individuals and foundations whose gifts and pledges to the Watershed NOW capital campaign have helped bring this vision to life.

Click here to see the list of capital campaign donors.