Organize a Residency

Many of Watershed’s residency sessions are organized by artists—who propose a theme related to clay and recruit a handful of other artists to join them for a session. We call these Artists Invite Artists (AIA) Groups.

An AIA session provides an opportunity to gather with colleagues you know or to spend time with artists whose work you’ve admired from afar. The lead artist and group of invited artists collectively shape a creative thematic retreat. The balance of participants in each AIA session register independently, often drawn by a shared interest in the session theme. Once at Watershed, all artists form one community as they work side-by-side in the Watershed studio. While clay is core to the Watershed experience, some AIA artists work in other media as well.

Watershed’s staff is happy to talk with prospective AIA Organizers about this leadership role and how it has been approached by others. Please read through the details below and contact us if you have further questions. Proposals to organize a residency session the following year are accepted from April 15-June 15 annually.

Watershed’s plans and timeline for 2022 programming have been impacted by COVID. At this time, we are not accepting 2022 AIA proposals. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for updates.

How does an AIA Session work?

  • One artist* proposes a theme for a summer residency session at Watershed and serves as the AIA Organizer.
  • The AIA Organizer participates in the residency free-of-charge; the fee waiver includes studio space, lodging and meals. The AIA Leader is responsible for personal travel costs to and from Watershed, as well as material and firing costs.
  • The AIA Organizer is responsible for inviting 4-8 additional artists to form their AIA group. These participants receive a 15 percent discount on their residency fee. Invited artists pay for lodging and meals at the regular rate (see fee schedule below), as well as materials and firing costs.
  • An additional 7-9 available spots in the session are filled by additional artists on a first-come, first-served basis. Many artists join the group because of an interest in the session theme or interest in the work of the AIA participants.
  • During the residency, all artists-in-residence work side-by-side in the Watershed studio, forming one community.

* Occasionally, two artists may propose a theme and share the role of AIA Leader. In this case, the two artists must determine how to share one free-of-charge residency slot (e.g., each might pay 50 percent of the cost of one residency).

What is the application process to organize an AIA?

Applying to organize a residency happens a year in advance. Interested artists are encouraged to contact Watershed to discuss their plans. Online applications are accepted each spring until June 15 in the year preceding the residency.

Application requirements include a proposed session theme, preferred session dates, and confirmation/contact information for the AIA organizer, along with contact information for at least four and up to eight additional artists invited by the organizer who have agreed to participate.

 

 

What are the fees for participants?

The AIA organizer participates in the residency free-of-charge; the fee waiver includes studio space, lodging, and meals. The AIA leader is responsible for personal travel costs to and from Watershed, as well as materials and firing costs.

The AIA invited artists receive a 15 percent discount on their residency registration fee. Invited artists pay for lodging and meals at the regular rate (as well as materials and firing costs. (See chart of 2020 residency fees below, prices for 2022 may be subject to change.)

 

 

Organizing Artist

AIA Member, 2-Week

Regular Participant, 2-Week

AIA Member, 3-Week

Regular Participant, 3-Week

Registration

$0

$745

$950

$1,150

$1,375

Lodging & Meals

$0

$650-$1,200

$650-$1,200

$950-$1,750

$950-$1,750

 

What are examples of successful past AIA themes?

We have found that a wide range of themes have resulted in successful AIA residency sessions.  A few examples include:

  • Groups that focused on figurative sculpture
  • A group of artists with clay backgrounds, who now primarily work in other media, revisited their roots to work in clay
  • A session that focused on artistic influences and how time in shared exploration at Watershed impacted the participants’ work
  • Virtual or online collectives who formed a residency to work together in person
  • Sessions focused on a particular collaboration or project that included all resident artists (both AIA and non-AIA session members)

Is financial aid available?

In addition to the 15% discount on residency fees, AIA invited artists are eligible for scholarship awards of up to $500. AIA organizers are not eligible for additional financial support.

Read more about our merit-based and need-based scholarships.  

Apply to lead an AIA

  • The annual deadline is June 15 of the preceding year.
  • Proposals are accepted from April 15-June 15 annually.

Watershed’s plans and timeline for 2022 programming have been impacted by COVID. At this time, we are not accepting 2022 AIA proposals. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for updates.