Watershed’s summer residency sessions offer artists uninterrupted time to focus on their practices in our state-of-the-art ceramics studio. During a session, up to sixteen artists form a creative community while living and working on campus. Participants enjoy 24-hour studio access, comfortable accommodations, and delicious meals.
Organizing artists develop the themes for each session and invite a small group of artists to anchor the session with them. Additional artists with an interest in the session theme then apply to join them for two weeks at Watershed.
Find the 2024 summer session descriptions and the list of artists anchoring each session below. Access additional details on the summer residency, application process, scholarships, housing, food, and campus life via the sidebar links. The annual summer residency application deadline was February 1. Applicants will hear of their status by mid-March.
Session I: Embodied Perception, June 3-14
Our bodies are designed to thrive in the natural world but many of us spend the majority of our time indoors tethered to devices. By intentionally connecting with surrounding environs, artists in this session will re-engage their senses and mindfully interpret their resulting experiences via studio-based and site-specific work. Watershed’s 54-acre campus of fields, forests, and streams provides an ideal setting for this embodied exploration. The supportive group of participants will take open-ended approaches to the session theme through individual work and collective activities, including forest bathing, readings, and discussions.
Session II: Digital Clay, June 17-28
Organized by: Tasha Lewis
With: Audrey An, Eliza Au, Jackie Brown, Bryan Czibesz, Wade MacDonald & Mark Meier
From scanning and modeling programs to 3D printers, digital technologies are enabling artists to interface with clay in new and exciting ways. This session offers an opportunity to explore the convergence of digital and analogue clay practice through experimentation and idea sharing. Artists drawn to digital clay processes will gather to share, augment, copy, paste, extend and translate aspects of their individual research into new hybrid objects, collaborative projects, or even novel software/hardware. Opportunities for individual work during the session will be punctuated by mini tutorials where participating artists will share techniques and learn from one another.
The extended goal of this residency will be to generate, gather, and document new applications for hybrid digital fabrication with clay. This will result in a dynamic open-source wiki-site with images, links, recipes, and tutorials created by participants and available to both the Watershed community and beyond.
Session III: Red-Handed, July 1-12
Celebrate playfulness and humor within your work and studio practice during this session. Lighthearted approaches to tackling both amusing and serious subjects can enable artists to more freely experiment with materials, imagery, and narrative. The cohort will explore ways to balance technical know-how and craft with the spirit of digging into meaty, silly, and joyful subject matter. Red clay naturally lends itself to playful work because of its potential for layering and its expedient firing process. Whether you’re experienced with using red clay or you want to try your hand at exploiting its playful qualities, this session offers time and space to explore. Participating artists will gather daily to share their experiments, knowledge, and, hopefully, a few laughs.
Session IV: Beautiful Community, July 22-August 2
Organized by: Trisha Kyner
With: Wesley T. Brown, Morel Doucet, Marina Kuchinski, Nadia Lezcano, Mario Mutis & Kourtney Stone
Join a group of artists interested in creating accessible, representative, diverse, and socially engaged spaces in the studio, classroom, and the world beyond. Artists anchoring the cohort either teach at or have attended a community college and represent the diversity and communal spirit found in these institutions. With work that ranges from sculpted allegories to functional pottery and public art, the group will engage in varied types of creative practice while connecting with one another. Discussions will center on how memory, history, myth, and humor feed and inspire our art, and ways that the desire to include multiple – and sometimes contradictory – voices or referents in our creative work impacts the outcome.
Session V: Cross Pollination, August 5-16
Over time, botanical ecosystems evolve in response to ecological change. Species rarely thrive in isolation but rather coexist in symbiotic relationships that promote growth and development. In this spirit, Cross Pollination welcomes clay artists inspired by the botanical world who are interested in sharing their experiences, techniques, processes, and research. While many artists anchoring the session focus on functional ware, the ideas behind this residency align with sculptural and installation work as well. The cohort will gather to share ideas while gaining fresh inspiration from Watershed’s bucolic campus.
Session VI: Queering Mud, August 19-30
Organized by: Mérida Etty Anderson
With: Dustin Barzell, Ninon Choplin, Marina Lespérance Lopez, Tory MacKay, Marita Manson & Kasia Sosnowski
Artists who identify as queer and/or trans and/or femme – and who share a love of color and wild ideas – will spend two weeks together exploring how our ceramic techniques and connections develop differently when community is close at hand. Together, the group will engage in a collective creative experience among those who often form strong ties online but rarely have opportunities to connect in person for a sustained period.
This session aims to offer space to build rich, sustaining bonds that will serve our creative practices and spirits long after the residency. We will co-create opportunities for experimentation and play while sharing studio techniques and atmospheric firing methods. Our time together will culminate with a celebratory meal served on and intermingled with our ceramic work.