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Residency Information & Application

Established in 2003, the residency program at the Clay Studio of Missoula is designed to encourage the creative, intellectual and personal growth of emerging and established visual artists. A studio residency is an ideal opportunity for a developing artist who is looking for a place to pursue focused work while gaining important technical skills and teaching experience. Residents should be enthusiastic and dedicated to their artwork, enjoy working with other people in a community studio setting and have working knowledge of the ceramic medium. Previous experience working in a ceramics studio is strongly preferred.

Residency Applications for 2024/25 are due Tuesday, April 2, 2024
We are accepting applications starting January 2, 2024
Apply online starting Jan 2 through our Submittable Portal

Artist Residency Program

The Clay Studio of Missoula currently offers long term residencies (up to two years, general start time is September), and some short term opportunities (up to two months, dependent of space availability). There are generally five long term residents in total, and depending on the cycle, we generally have 2-3 long term spots to offer annually to new applicants. The Clay Studio’s director and a rotating selection committee choose new residents annually in April. The selections are based on the quality of the work, its artistic merit, and the diversity of the prospective group in terms of work, background, and stage of career development. Long-term residents are initially granted a one-year residency, and are given the opportunity to extend into a second year with director and committee approval.

Residency Expectations

The Clay Studio expects that each resident will contribute approximately 5 hours a week in studio and gallery maintenance. The 5 self-directed hours working for the Clay Studio per week includes such general studio tasks (loading and firing kilns, cleaning and organizing the studio), gallery assistance (gallery monitoring, exhibit install/de-install, packing artist work), assisting with studio improvements, and performing other duties and special projects as needed. Additional work expectations includes assistance with community outreach events throughout the year. Residents are also expected to assist with the production of fundraising events, including the production of art works for the events, and are often called upon to offer technical or creative advice to studio artists, interns, and students.

Wood Fire Residency

While any Clay Studio resident may fire the wood kiln, the Clay Studio of Missoula maintains one residency opportunity dedicated to a year-long wood fire residency. This opportunity may also be extended into a second year with Board approval. Interested applicants should have a strong, developed body of work; have previous experience firing wood kilns; feel comfortable directing firings; possess a strong work ethic, and have a desire to work within a community setting.

The Clay Studio of Missoula’s wood fire program is popular with both students and members, and the wood fire resident plays an important role in maintaining and developing this program. Expected tasks include teaching classes on wood firing, managing the wood firing community, acting as the contact to our wood suppliers, managing kiln maintenance, implementing safety policies, and supervising community and class firings. In exchange, firing fees for the wood kiln are generally waived for the wood fire resident. Time spent managing the wood fire program will account for some but not all of the wood fire resident’s hours contributed to helping to run a successful community studio.

Resident  Benefits

Long Term Residents are assigned a dedicated, semi-private studio space to work in for the duration of their residency (approximately 125 sq. ft.), and receive 24-hour access to the Clay Studio facilities. Community Residents are granted table space and shelving in the shared staff work area, can work alongside our Community Artists, and receive 24-hour access to the Clay Studio facilities.

Residents are responsible for their own studio tools, housing and transportation, and kiln and material fees. Resident artists are highly encouraged to teach classes as a way to share their knowledge and experiences, as well as to interact with our local Missoula community. Teaching opportunities are paid.

Funding Opportunities for Long Term Residents


Funding for Long Term Residents: For 2024/25 we will be offering $2500 annual fellowships all new and continuing residents. There is also professional development funding available for long-term residents that can be used to support attendance to NCECA and other activities and supplies. 

Funding for Community Residents: Starting in 2024/25 we will be offering material and firing stipends for Community Residents these stipends will be determined by the length of the residency.  

Gallery Opportunities

The Clay Studio has a dedicated sales gallery and an exhibition space. Residents are encouraged to put work up for sale in our sales gallery, and all long-term residents are invited to present a solo exit show in the exhibition gallery near the end of their residency. The Clay Studio has a developing permanent collection, and asks that all long term residents leave a significant piece for the collection at the completion of their residency.


• two computerized 1227 Skutt kilns that are rated to cone 8
• one 1027 Skutt kiln, computerized rated to cone 10
• one 1018 computerized Skutt kiln rated to cone 10
• a few small test kilns
• soda kiln (approx 34 cubic feet)
• gas kiln (approx. 34 cubic feet)
• car kiln
• large anagama wood kiln (approx. 720 cubic feet)
• smaller wood/soda kiln
• raku kiln

In addition, the Clay Studio has a Soldner clay mixer, slab rollers, an extruder, a variety of classroom kick and electric wheels, a stocked glaze lab, spray booth, a small light box and fade for photographing work, and other assorted studio supplies.

About our wood kilns
The Clay Studio of Missoula has access to two wood kilns just outside of Missoula, about a 15 minute drive away from the Clay Studio up Black Mountain. The Anagama kiln is approximately 720 cubic feet, and usually fires for 6-8 days. Our smaller wood/soda kiln has about a 2 day firing period for works up to cone 10. Wood firings cannot be scheduled during periods of fire danger (usually mid-May through mid-October) and/or stage 3 air quality alerts.

University of Montana Summer Residency

The UM Residency is open to current students or recently graduates of the University of Montana with experience and an avid interest in ceramics. From late May through late August, the UM Resident will work in the community studio space, which consists of shared community studio area, and be given five shelves to store work and supplies. For the general public, this usually costs $150/mo plus an annual membership, but all these fees are waived for the UM Resident.

Residency benefits/obligations include:

  • 5 designated shelves in the Studio Artist communal work space

  • 24/7 access to the facility

  • A year-long membership to the Clay Studio of Missoula

  • Assist with summer guest artists workshops. For an undergraduate student working towards a career in the ceramics field, this is great opportunity to build experience!

  • UM residents will have the same obligations as other residents (studio and gallery duties up to 5 hr/wk, plus create six cups and plates for our summer High Tea fundraiser)

  • All residents are responsible for materials and firing fees





(if you have trouble downloading the word document for completion, a pdf version is available here)

Submissions for the UM Residency must be made via email no later than April 2, 2024

Please see application packet for details.

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