Residency Details & Application Guidelines

Watershed’s two-week Summer Residency sessions provide artists with time and space to step away from their daily routines, immerse themselves in their creative practices, and connect with other artists. Any artist who is comfortable working independently in a clay studio is welcome to apply.

Applications open in late fall for the following year and the deadline to apply is February 1. Scholarship awards and session placements are finalized in mid-March.

See below for details on application guidelines, eligibility, housing, fees, and financial support.

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Application Overview & Eligibility

Any artist who is comfortable working independently in a ceramics studio may apply for a Summer Residency. Watershed is committed to creating an equitable and welcoming space for all to explore creative practice.

Applications are reviewed by a panel of practicing artists. 2023 panelists include Paul Donnelly, Linda Lopez, and Malcolm Mobutu Smith.

Selection Criteria: 

  • Watershed endeavors to create sessions that include a mix of emerging, mid-career, and established artists, with preference given to those who have not been to Watershed before. 
  • Consideration will be given to how strongly an artist’s portfolio, practice, and interests relate to the theme(s) of the session(s) for which they apply.

Please note: Instruction is not provided during summer residency sessions. Artists must feel comfortable working independently in a clay studio. Watershed offers workshops for artists looking for instruction in clay.

Application Requirements

In addition to contact information, applicants must submit ten images of recent work, a CV or written description of their experience related to their creative practice, a statement about their work, and a statement of interest explaining why they would like to take part in a Watershed session. 

  • Annual Application Deadline: February 1
  • Application Fee: $25

 

2023 Residency Fees

All residency fees are subsidized thanks to generous support from our donors. The total cost to support an artist at Watershed for a two-week residency session is more than $3500. Watershed does not require any resident artist to pay this cost in full. The donor-subsidized fee that artists are asked to cover is the combined total of the residency fee and the room and board fee. See below for details.

2023 Residency Fee

$1,350

This fee covers 24-hour access to the kilns and studio, including the glaze lab, spray booth, and plaster room. Artists receive a dedicated workstation in the communal studio and have unlimited use of studio equipment, including tables, wheels, ware boards, slab rollers, laser cutter, extruder, clay mixers, a pug mill, and plentiful shelving.

2023 Room & Board Fees: 

$700 – $1,600, depending on housing selection and placement. Read more about our housing options in the “Housing and Meals” tab below.

Housing Type Cost Per Person
Double Room / Shared Bath $700
Single Room / Shared Bath $1,000
Double Room / Private Bath $1,300
Single Room / Private Bath $1,600

Material & Firing Fees

Artists pay material fees on a per-use basis. Firing fees are divided among those using the kilns. Artists pay their material and firing fees on the last day of the residency session. Typically, an artist can expect to incur about $200 in material and firing costs. However, this figure varies based on usage.  

Payment Due Dates

  • $200 deposit: due upon registration after acceptance to a session. The deposit is applied against the residency fee. This is not an additional charge.
  • Half of the remaining balance: due April 15
  • Final payment for Sessions I, II and III: due May 15
  • Final payment for Sessions IV, V, VI: due June 15

Payment methods: Watershed accepts personal checks and credit cards. You may mail a check to 103 Cochran Road, Edgecomb, ME 04556.  Payments via credit card can be made through our online portal.

Refund policy: For cancellations 30 or more days prior to the start of the residency session, a full refund will be given – less the $200 deposit and a $50 processing fee. For cancellations less than 30 days prior to the residency session, no refunds will be given but tuition and fees may be applied to a future residency or workshop within the next year.

Financial Assistance

SCHOLARSHIPS

Watershed offers a limited number of merit scholarships to provide support for artists attending a session. Funds cover residency fee-related items, including housing, meals, and studio use.

Applications are reviewed annually by a panel of practicing ceramic artists. Reviewers consider applicants’ dedication to their practice, appropriate fit for the session theme, evidence of artistic merit, and, for applicants who are newer to clay, the degree of promise demonstrated by their work and submitted statements.

Full scholarships cover all residency fees, along with room and board charges. These awards also include a $100 credit toward material and kiln firing costs incurred through Watershed. All applicants may apply for full scholarship Kiln God Awards. Watershed also offers full scholarship awards specifically for artists of color, international and/or multicultural artists, and emerging artists. Award recipients are responsible for travel expenses, any material and firing charges accrued through Watershed above $100, laundry fees, and packing/shipping of work.  

Partial scholarships cover up to two-thirds of the session fees. Award recipients are responsible for the remainder of their charges. Awardees cover their travel expenses, materials, kiln firings, laundry fees, and packing/shipping of work.

WORK EXCHANGE DISCOUNTS

Occassionally, Watershed needs artists to join a session who are able to help in the kitchen for approximately twelve hours each week. In exchange for work washing and putting away dishes after meals, work-exchange artists receive a $360 discount off their residency fees.

The work requires standing for two to three hours at a time, lifting and washing racks of dishes, pots, and pans, and putting away cleaned and dried items.

HOW TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Applicants may request award consideration and work exchange consideration with their residency application and provide supporting materials to determine eligibility. Applications are due February 1 and recipients are notified of their session placements and awards by mid March.

Housing & Meals

Watershed offers double occupancy rooms and a limited number of single rooms.

During a session, artists live on campus in modern, rustic cabins. Options include single or double occupancy rooms with shared or private baths.

For shared rooms, artists may request a particular roommate or have Watershed assign them a roommate. Please contact us if you have individual questions about roommate assignments and options.

Typically, three to five resident artists share an all-gender bathroom. Bathroom facilities have locks on the doors and can be used by one individual at a time, much like a bathroom in a home.

Rooms are furnished with twin beds. When feasible, participating artists should bring their own sheets, blankets and/or comforters. Those who need to rent bedding may do so for a fee of $25. Watershed provides mattress pads and pillows. All rooms have armoires and additional storage for clothing and personal belongings.

Watershed staff do their best to accommodate residents artists’ housing preferences but single rooms and private bathrooms are limited.

Meals

During a session, the Watershed kitchen prepares three meals daily for all resident artists Monday-Friday, breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and brunch and dinner on Sunday. On Saturday nights, artists enjoy dinner off campus.

We source much of our food from nearby organic farms and strive to serve healthy, seasonal meals. For those with dietary restrictions, the Watershed kitchen can prepare vegetarian, gluten free and/or dairy free meals with advance notice. Please note any special dietary needs on your application.

Additional Information

The following links provide further details on how to prepare for and what to expect during a Watershed session: