Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts
The mission of Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts is to provide artists time and space to explore ideas with clay in a community environment. Our rural setting – 54 acres in mid-coast Maine surrounded by farms and forests – is a source of inspiration for artists. Watershed’s residencies, workshops, educational initiatives, kiln facilities, artist talks and public events, serve the local, national and international clay communities.
Founded in 1986, Watershed’s internationally recognized residency model prioritizes the development of creative community. Nestled in a coastal Maine valley, the Watershed campus provides artists with time and space free from obligations and distractions. In the summer and fall, small groups of artists from across the US and abroad come to the Center for two to four-week sessions. Artists work alongside one another in an open-concept studio, collaborate on kiln firings, share meals, and forge lasting personal and professional connections. Many artists work with indigenous marine clay, a vestige of Watershed’s origins as a brick-making factory.
Each residency is anchored by a group of four to eight artists who develop a session theme a year in advance. Up to twelve additional artists then join the group, drawn by an interest in the work of the anchoring artists and/or the session theme. Residency themes include a wide range of technical, critical, cultural, and ideological focuses.
Annually, over 2,000 adults and youth are impacted by Watershed’s community programs. Guest artist workshops bring contemporary leaders in ceramics to Maine for hands-on learning experiences. For young and aspiring artists, Watershed’s educational program connects teaching artists with schools and community centers and offers popular professional development workshops for K-12 art educators.
Watershed’s extensive atmospheric wood and gas kiln facilities consistently draw artists from the region. Potters and artists from the Northeast regularly trek to Watershed to fire kilns not available elsewhere.
In Maine and around the country, Watershed showcases the work of ceramic masters and emerging artists through exhibitions and presentations. Watershed’s gallery features work by artists produced during or inspired by their Watershed experiences. The gallery is located in a stunning renovated Victorian home that also provides a space for year-round artist talks and community events.