Salad Days Artist Residency

Watershed’s annual Salad Days fundraiser draws hundreds of art appreciators to campus for a summer celebration of handmade ceramic work and local food. For each year’s event, a Salad Days Artist-in-Residence produces hundreds of plates or shallow bowls from terracotta clay. During the celebration, guests choose a plate to take home and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. The Salad Days Artist’s plates serve as the primary feature of the day and many event attendees return year after year to collect each new design.  

Watershed selects a Salad Days Artist annually to create plates or shallow bowls for the following year’s Salad Days. See below for more information. Watershed is currently accepting applications from artists interested in being the 2025 Salad Days Artist. The application deadline is March 15, 2024.

The deadline to apply has passed.

Residency Details

The Salad Days Artist spends seven months at Watershed – from September to April – producing 500 plates or shallow bowls for the following summer’s Salad Days. The Artist is also commissioned to create approximately thirty small functional or decorative pieces for Watershed’s sustained giving donors. 

During the residency, the Salad Days Artist receives:

    • Housing in a private room
    • Meals and/or a meal stipend
    • A large dedicated studio space
    • Free materials and firings
    • A $4,000 stipend
    • Accommodations and meals during Salad Days weekend

The residency runs on campus during Watershed’s quieter programming season. While the Artist works closely with studio staff to fine-tune their plate design and making process, much of the work is completed independently. Strong self-management skills and comfort working independently in a rural area are essential.

All work is fired in Watershed’s kilns and is produced in terracotta clay. While Salad Days plates or shallow bowls should have a diameter of 8″ to 10″ and be stackable, the Artist has considerable creative license regarding the form and design. If the Artist completes their commissioned pieces early, they may stay at Watershed through the end of the residency period working on personal projects. 

During the second weekend of July, the Salad Days Artist returns to Watershed to take part in the Salad Days celebration featuring their plates. Hundreds of guests visit the campus to select a plate of their choice, enjoy a delicious lunch, shop for pottery, and watch artist demonstrations. The Salad Days Artist often gives a talk on their work and has the opportunity to connect with the people who purchase their plates during the fundraiser.

Application & Eligibility

To apply, artists submit the Salad Days Artist application, linked above. The application includes:

  • Questions related to your experience and interest in the Salad Days Artist role
  • A proposed design for the Salad Days plates or shallow bowls which includes a written description and a visual prototype (sketch, drawing, photo of finished work, etc.) 
  • Images of work

Artists who are comfortable working independently in a clay studio with experience working in series are encouraged to apply. The Artist is selected annually by Watershed staff in consultation with other practicing studio artists, as needed. Consideration is given to the feasibility of applicant’s proposed design, quality of work, and experience working independently on functional production work. Applicants with promising proposals will be interviewed by Watershed staff to discuss their ideas and plans. 

The 2024 application deadline is March 15.. Artists are notified of their standing by mid April. The residency begins in mid September and runs through the following April. 

Because of the length of the residency, applicants must be American citizens. At this time, Watershed is not able to support work visas or study visas for international artists. 


Additional Information