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10 Ceramic Residencies in North America That You Should Apply To

If you read last month’s post about the benefits of going to artist residencies and were left wanting more, then today’s article is for you!

We’re starting off a short series giving an overview of ceramic residencies around the world! We’ll include some you’ve likely heard of before, and others that are lesser known but that we think are worth checking out. We’ll also give you the main details of each one, so you can decide if they’re a good fit for you. We’re going to start off this series with a look at 10 ceramic residencies (in no particular order) based in North America. 

https://www.banffcentre.ca/programs/current-programs/visual-arts

1. Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity

The Banff Centre has been running artistic programs for 90 years, and is the largest and best known artist residency center in Canada. It hosts facilities for a breadth of media, including a large and well equipped ceramics studio. The Visual Arts Department typically hosts 2 concurrent residency programs, one self-directed, and one thematic. These change regularly, so be sure to sign up for their mailing list if you want to be notified of any ceramic-specific thematic residencies that may be coming up. Each program typically accepts around 12 artists at a time.

Where: Banff, Alberta, Canada

When: Year-round

Duration: Typically 6 weeks, though it can vary

Facilities: Full ceramic studio, including a large gas kiln, 3-4 top-loading electric kilns, raku kiln, wood kiln, and soda kiln. There are also a slab roller, extruders, a full glaze kitchen, a number of wheels, and a plaster room. In addition to the ceramic studio, as a resident you will also be given your own private studio space. 

Technical Support: Yes, there is a ceramics department head, along with a Ceramics Practicum (a recent graduate on a work/study program). Both are available to help you with any technical issues.

Accommodation included: Yes, the Centre has hotel-style accommodation on site. You can opt for private or shared options. They also include a meal program for their onsite restaurant.

Cost: $6,324.71CAD (~$4684USD) for a 6 week thematic residency.

Expectations: You’ll be expected to give a 10 minute presentation to your program cohort at the beginning of the residency, and to participate in an open studio day at the end of your residency. You’ll also be expected to attend artist talks by any mentors for your program. And if you are attending a thematic residency, you may be expected to participate in group talks and activities.

Open to International Applicants: Yes, for programs up to 6 weeks. Longer programs are open to Canadians only due to Visa restrictions.

Extra Benefits: Banff Centre is located in Canada’s oldest National Park, Banff National Park, in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. You’ll have regular encounters with wildlife, and access to many hiking trails, some starting right from the campus. Also, due to the Centre’s size, you’ll have ample opportunity to meet artists from all disciplines, including writers, musicians, stage actors, and more. Depending on what other programs are running at the same time, you’ll likely have the opportunity to see live music, poetry readings, and theater productions. Banff is truly a meeting ground for artists in Canada.

https://resartis.org/listings/haystack-mountain-school-of-crafts/

2. Haystack Mountain School for Craft

Established in 1950, this craft school offers weeklong workshops along with a summer residency program. The campus features award-winning architecture by Edward Larrabee Barnes, and hosts visiting artists from a range of fields, not just within craft, but from science, literature, and music as well. The residency selection is based on work samples, the nature and scope of the project that will be done during the residency, and the ability to work in a creative community. You’ll have access to six studios (ceramics, blacksmithing, fiber, graphics, metals, and wood) to develop ideas and experiment in various media, with the ability to work in one particular studio or move among them depending on the nature of your work.

Where: Deer Isle, Maine, USA

When: In the Summer only

Duration: 2 weeks

Facilities: Ceramic-specific studio with full glaze room, a number of wheels, extruder, slip casting table, and more. There is also a test kiln available, along with a number of electric kilns, an 8 cu ft train raku kiln, a 40 cu ft downdraft reduction kiln, and a 40 cu ft salt kiln.

Technical Support: Yes, each studio has a dedicated technician.

Accommodation Included: Yes, Haystack has a number of cabin-style housing options available. They also have an on site chef providing communal meals. 

Cost: Free, but with a $60USD application fee

Expectations: Independent research. No presentation requirements

Open to International Applicants: Yes

Extra Benefits: Haystack is set up as an artist retreat, and due to its somewhat isolated location, has minimal wifi connections. It’s a great place to go if you’re looking to disconnect from outside distractions, connect with nature, and immerse yourself in an artistic community. 

https://resartis.org/listings/emmanuel-college-artist-residency/

3. Emmanuel College Artist in Residence Program

Located in the heart of Boston, Emmanuel College hosts a number of academic programs, and during the summer months, its Art Department opens its doors to 4 artists in residence. The residency supports a diverse group of artists, providing time and space for established and emerging artists to develop their work. The program also plays an important role in advancing the visual arts on the Emmanuel campus, providing an important educational program on contemporary art accessible to students, staff, and faculty. 

Where: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

When: Mid June – Mid August

Duration: 6 weeks

Facilities: The art department consists of 7 studio spaces including a ceramics room with 4 electric kilns and a 3D printer, wood shop, printmaking studio, dark room, photo studio, and graphic design lab. It also has three multipurpose studio spaces.

Technical Support: Not specified

Accommodation Included: Yes, you’ll be provided a room in the student dorms.

Cost: No fee, but you’ll be responsible for your material costs and transportation (travel can be reimbursed if international up to $1000USD). A $1000USD stipend is provided. 

Expectations: Artists must give one presentation discussing their own process and must donate one art piece to Emmanuel College at the end of the residency. 

Open to International Applicants: Yes, but you must obtain a visa to participate.

Extra Benefits: Artists may be invited back to give a presentation or demo during the following academic year, depending on academic needs. This is a great opportunity if you are interested in teaching in a post-secondary environment.

https://www.travelalberta.com/listings/medalta-in-the-historic-clay-district-2066/

4. Medalta

Medalta is an innovative, industrial non-profit museum, contemporary ceramic arts facility, art gallery, and community hub that features artist residencies at the heart of its programming. Located within a converted century-old factory, it’s a place steeped in ceramic history, and full of inspiration. Artists from all over the world come to Medalta for lengths of time from one day to one year to make in a community that encourages risk and nurtures creativity. 

Where: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

When: Year round, with programs always starting at the 1st of the month. 

Duration: 1 month-1 year

Facilities: A soda kiln, salt kiln, large gas car kiln, Blaauw gas kiln, and seven electric kilns, along with a fully stocked glaze kitchen, wheels, blunger, spray booth, and much more.

Technical Support: Yes

Accommodation Included: Newly built accommodation is available at $600-750CAD/ month (~$445-555USD). 

Cost: $515-750CAD per month (~$380-555USD), plus material and firing costs

Expectations: No specifics listed

Open to International Applicants: Yes

Extra Benefits: In addition to immersing you in ceramics history and community, Medalta offers work opportunities to help you support your stay. These include working for the museum, hosting workshops, and teaching courses.

https://www.arquetopia.org/

5. Arquetopia

Now in its 14th year, Arquetopia is a residency that’s invested in approaching artistic practices with critical perspectives, aiming to challenge preconceived notions of history and place. They offer an array of unique residency programs with mentoring, research-based and academic content that’s customized to each resident, and have spaces for productive art professionals, writers, academics, and researchers. They now offer four different residency locations, with their site in Puebla offering Mexican Ceramics and Pre-Columbian Ceramics programs that are truly unique. 

Where: Ciudad de Puebla, Puebla, Mexico

When: Various

Duration: The Mexican Ceramics program is 6 weeks, while the Pre-Columbian program is 5 weeks.

Facilities: Their Puebla location offers a shared workspace, with a medium-sized gas kiln (2ft x 2ft x 2ft interior chamber) and a drying room. An on-site darkroom and two on-site printmaking studios are also provided, as well as a unique, on-site laboratory for their Organic Painting and Gold Leafing instructional residency programs.

Technical Support: Depends on the program. Arquetopia has both self-guided and instructional residencies available. With both types of programs, the emphasis is on support in critical thinking and reexamining your practice from new perspectives. You’ll receive mentoring through weekly dialogues and readings with directors and curatorial staff to support your creative growth.

Accommodation Included: Yes, you’ll have a private room with a shared bath, kitchen, and common spaces.

Cost: USD $3309 for the 5 week Pre-Columbian program, if covered by 1/3 deposit upon selection notification and balance by 90 days before the residency start date; or reduced to USD $2979 if covered in full upon selection notification.

For the 6 week Mexican Ceramics program the rate is USD $3970 if covered by 1/3 deposit upon selection notification and balance by 90 days before the residency start date; or reduced to USD $3599 if covered in full upon selection notification.

Expectations: Critical engagement with your practice. No specific output requirements or presentations required.

Open to International Applicants: Yes

Extra Benefits: You’ll be immersed in a city overflowing with ceramic history, so it’s impossible to go without being inspired. Add to this the invaluable guidance of the Arquetopia team, and you’ll leave with brand new perspectives on both ceramics at large, and your own practice.

https://archiebray.org/residencies/studio-facilities/

6. Archie Bray

The Bray Resident Artist Program provides an exceptional chance for artists to engage in both summer and extended studio experiences while collaborating within a diverse global artist community, all actively producing new artwork. Often referred to as “The Bray,” the center was established in 1951 with the primary goal of providing a stimulating environment and fostering connections among dedicated artists to encourage creative work in ceramics.

Situated on the grounds of the former Western Clay Manufacturing Company, the historic 26-acre brickyard campus now comprises over 17 buildings. These include a 12,000-square-foot studio facility for resident artists, a recently constructed educational and research center, multiple galleries for sales and exhibitions, renovated administrative offices, and a space for ceramic retail and production. 

Where: Helena, Montana, USA

When: Various

Duration: Short-Term and Summer Residencies are 3 months, and long term residencies are up to 2 years.

Facilities: Extensive. Long term residents will have one of 10 private studios, while shorter term participants will have a workspace in a large shared studio. Kilns include 6 gas kilns of varying size and purpose, including 2 computer automated Blaauw kilns, one 110 cu. ft Bailey sculpture kiln, 2 smaller Bailey kilns and one Geil kiln, 2 wood kilns, 12 electric kilns, 2 soda kilns, and 1 salt kiln. You’ll also have access to a plaster lab, photo studio, glaze lab, fab lab, metal and wood shop, and of course wheels, slab rollers, extruders, etc. 

Technical Support: Yes

Accommodation Included: No. There is no on-site housing for long-term or short-term residents and you are expected to make your own travel and living arrangements. Average monthly rent in Helena is about $750 USD.

Cost: There is no residency fee, however, you’re responsible for the cost of all materials and firing, and organizing additional assistance. 

Expectations: You’re expected to help out with various tasks around The Bray. This may include taking turns cleaning shared spaces such as the hallway, bathroom, and kitchen; removing recycling and garbage; working in the Sales Gallery; and pulling weeds or shoveling snow. You’re also expected to meet as a group once a month, twice a month in summer, to discuss upcoming events and any issues that need to be addressed.

Open to International Applicants: Yes, but a visa is likely required for most programs.

Extra Benefits: The Bray is all about ceramics, and is steeped in ceramic history. With impressive facilities and a worldwide reputation for excellence, you’re bound to be inspired and to push your work forward. 

https://www.andersonranch.org/programs/artists-in-residence-program/

7. Anderson Ranch

The Artists-in-Residence Program at Anderson Ranch supports both emerging and established visual artists, promoting creative, intellectual, and professional development. Residents enjoy the use of exceptional studio facilities without the usual distractions of daily life. They have the opportunity to collaborate on cross-disciplinary projects within a community of fellow artists and receive valuable input from visiting artists and critics. The ranch’s environment is carefully designed to assist artists in creating their work, and the residency is structured to encourage artists to explore fresh ideas and take creative risks.

Where: Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA

When: Various

Duration: 5 weeks or 10 weeks

Facilities: Extensive ceramics facilities, including 12 electric kilns, a 3 chamber Noborigama wood kiln, soda kiln, wood kiln, and hybrid kiln. They also have electric and kick wheels, extruders, clay mixers, and slab rollers.

Technical Support: Yes, Each discipline has an Artistic Director and a Studio Coordinator, all of whom are practicing artists who are working on their own projects alongside residents. They are available to consult with residents regarding work throughout the residency.

Accommodation Included: Residents will be staying in the Wyly dorm. Each resident will be provided a private room, and most rooms have a shared bath.

Cost: The 5-week Spring Residency is $750 USD and the 10-week Fall Residency is $1,500 USD. Both also include a $100 studio fee, and you’re responsible for all material costs.

Expectations: You’re expected to have the skills necessary to work independently when using the equipment in their respective departments. You may also be required to help for 1 hour per week with duties that include grounds, buildings, and café cleanup.

Open to International Applicants: Yes

Extra Benefits: You’ll have access to world-class facilities and a rich artist center. The Ranch also offers you the option to submit artwork to their store for sale, and you can sign up for studio visits with visiting critics.

https://www.rocklandwoods.com/facilities-1

8. Rockland Woods

Rockland was founded in 2015 by potter Jodi Rockwell and artist/designer Shawn Landis with the goal of sharing their understanding of what artists need to authentically create and add to culture. The center is open to all creative disciplines, and offers a rustic retreat to facilitate deep practice. 

Where: Kitsap Peninsula, Washington, USA

When: 2 sessions, one starting in October, and one in January each year.

Duration: 3 weeks

Facilities: Ceramics facilities include a wheel, canvas work tables, and one electric kiln. There is also a full woodshop, and private studio spaces.

Technical Support: Not specified

Accommodation Included: Yes. Accommodations are typically personal live/work spaces. Accommodations are in the style of “glamping,” as they’re in the woods with amenities. You’ll need to be comfortable living amongst nature with limited WiFi. Lunch and dinner are provided.

Cost: Free, though you have to provide your own materials.

Expectations: The aim of this residency is solitude and focused practice. You’re expected to remain on site and in the mindset of your creative process. Rockland supports its residents to define this for themselves from taking day trips, hikes, and other activities. During your stay, Rockland does not allow guests on site, local side gigs, professional networking outside of the program, or family visits.

Open to International Applicants: Yes

Extra Benefits: Rockland has a strong interest in community and inclusivity, all while offering the solitude and environment for deeply focused work. With 20 acres of forest to explore, you’re sure to be inspired and revitalized.

https://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca/visit/

9. The Gardiner Museum

As Canada’s premier ceramics museum, the Gardiner engages audiences with exhibitions, programs, and hands-on classes, while stewarding a significant permanent collection. They interpret historical ceramics to emphasize their relevance today, and champion emerging and established Canadian artists and their role in the broader world. 

Their new residency program is offered to support artists in the completion of a specific project that is considered a new body of work. Proposed projects should be ones that you’d find difficult or be unable to complete without the residency, due to time, space, equipment, or other reasons. Projects will ideally include a research component that builds off the Gardiner Museum collections, archives, library, or other materials.

Where: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

When: Between March and June

Duration: 8 – 12 weeks

Facilities: You’ll have primary access to the Laura Dinner and Richard Rooney Community Clay Studio. You’ll also have a dedicated workspace and storage, and be granted access with supervision to the permanent collection.

Technical Support: You’ll be given training by Gardiner staff in object handling procedures in relation to your access to the collection.

Accommodation Included: No 

Cost: Paid. $15,000 CAD (~$11,249 USD) stipend toward accommodation, travel, as well as all cost of living, salary, and outside research costs for the time spent in Toronto at the Gardiner Museum. You’ll also receive $5,000 CAD (~$3750 USD) towards materials, equipment, and firing costs.

Expectations: The Residency includes a public-facing role, with Museum patrons able to visit your studio during designated hours. You’ll have to offer a public program at the Museum, either a talk

on your project, a special short-term workshop, or a sessional class. You’ll be required to work a minimum number of hours on site (avg. 20/week) and to schedule biweekly check-ins with a staff member.

Open to International Applicants: No, citizens or permanent residents of Canada only.

Extra Benefits: You’ll be based in a museum with a fantastic permanent collection, along with a great schedule of curated exhibitions. 

https://djerassi.org/about/facilities/

10. Djerassi

The mission of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program is to support and enhance the creativity of artists by providing uninterrupted time for work, reflection, and collegial interaction in a setting of great natural beauty, and to preserve the land on which the Program is situated. Recognized internationally for its pre-eminence as an artist residency, Djerassi strives to provide the best possible residency experience for talented artists from a diverse range of backgrounds and geographical locations. They also seek to preserve the land and use facilities wisely and efficiently for maximum benefit to the artists and with the least impact on the environment.

Where: Woodside, California, USA

When: Between February and November

Duration: 1 month

Facilities: One kiln and two wheels, and you’ll have your own studio space.

Technical Support: Not specified.

Accommodation Included: Yes, with accommodations ranging from barn lofts and studios, to live/work spaces in an authentic ranch home. Each guest is assigned a private studio, which includes a bed, workspace, and access to a full bathroom which may be shared with one other person.

Cost: Application fee only, but you’ll also have to cover your materials and transportation.

Expectations: You’ll need to leave behind an “Artist Page,” which is an 11″ x 14″ drawing, painting, collage, notation, score, or text created in a reflection of your time at the residency.

Open to International Applicants: Yes

Extra Benefits: There is a sculpture garden onside featuring over 60 site-specific works, while the overall residency site encompasses over 600 acres of land in the Santa Cruz mountains that’s available for you to explore.

In exploring the vibrant world of ceramic residencies, we’ve embarked on a journey to uncover both renowned and hidden gems that proudly support ceramic artists like yourself. Our tour began with a focus on North America, delving into 10 ceramic residencies that promise unique experiences for all types of clay artists. 

As we continue this series, we’ll be traversing borders to discover ceramic havens across the globe. Whether you’re an aspiring ceramicist or a seasoned artist seeking new inspirations, our aim is to provide you with insights into these creative sanctuaries. Stay tuned for the next installment, where we’ll explore some fantastic residency opportunities in Australia and New Zealand!

If you’ve already had the benefits of attending an artist residency, let us know in the comments! What was your biggest takeaway? What would you do differently next time? Share your experience with our community. 

And if you are involved in an artist residency, why not add your program to our Residency Directory? We’re aiming to build a truly comprehensive list of opportunities for artists across the globe, and would love to see your organization added!

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