July 30, 2020 / Educational / Resources

Discover Jewelry Residencies

Having the time and resources to focus on your creativity and master your skills is what jewelry residencies are for. ...

Being immersed in your craft, with access to a fully equipped studio while being surrounded by other artists sounds like a dreamy experience. This is what Jewelry Residencies offer.

Residency programs give you time and resources to focus on your creativity and master your skills. Learn about what is expected of resident artists, how to apply, where programs are offered, plus an insider look at two craft school Jewelry Residencies.

What is a Jewelry Residency?

A Jewelry Residency is an artist-in-residence program that is dedicated to metalsmithing or jewelry making. Artist-in-residence (AIR) programs are designed to give artists the opportunity to live and work in a new location where they can explore their craft further and connect with other artists. A residency is intended to be a transformative experience in an inspiring place. Inspiration can come from the natural surroundings of a location or the unique creative community that hosts the AIR.

Why do a residency?

Many artists use residencies to network, explore career options, or develop a body of work. You will get the most out of a residency if you have goals or outcomes in mind. But, remain open to unanticipated opportunities that may come as a result of a residency. Residencies are competitive so this is a good experience to have on your resume to show dedication to your craft and your professional development.

What types of institutions offer residency programs?

Metalsmithing studio schools, craft schools, or other art organizations offer Jewelry Residencies. Many craft schools offer AIR programs for all mediums within visual arts and have multiple studios on campus to support an array of artists.

What is required of the Jewelry Artist-in-Residence?

This can vary depending on the program. Most programs offer food, housing, and a small stipend in exchange for a certain amount of teaching hours. AIR may need to log a certain amount of studio time or some programs require a body of work to be produced during the residency.

How long is a residency?

Jewelry residencies can be as short as a few weeks and some can last several years.

Encapsulations by Sarah AIR Show 2016...
Encapsulation by Sarah Rachel Brown
Arrowmont AIR Show 2016

How do you apply?

When looking for a Jewelry Residency program you need to do your research. You will need to thoroughly look through the application to identify deadlines and further details about the residency. You will want to find out how long the residency is, what are the housing options, will you be required to work, what is the stipend, etc. Make sure you are the right fit for the residency and that the program is the right one for you. Consider living expenses you will need to cover and whether the residency will require your full-time attention.

Emily Rogstad, Sarah Rachel Brown & Maia Leppo share their Jewelry Residency Experiences:

To get some insight into the craft school experience I spoke with Emily Rogstad about her time in the Core Fellowship at Penland from 2014-2016. The Core Fellowship is a little different than an Artist Residency in that it is a 2-year work-study program, but it does offer a lot of the same perks and experience as an AIR.

Emily heard about the Penland program during her senior year at Maine College of Art. The previous summer she had completed a two-week intensive metals class at Haystack and fell in love with the craft school experience. She knew when she graduated she wanted more time in that type of setting.

When I asked Emily about her greatest accomplishment or best memory of her time at Penland she said “It’s impossible for me to pin down one experience as paramount. Every day I was surrounded by people who were helping me broaden my mind and hone my skill set. More than anything else I am so grateful I was given the time and opportunity to realize a truer version of myself, as both an artist and a person.” She has formed lifelong relationships with the community of artists she worked with and met during the fellowship.

Emily’s favorite spot on Penland’s campus located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is the metals studio. “The studios are definitely my favorite thing about campus. They’re the essential reason everybody is there after all. Of all of the studios I have been in, Penland’s are by far my favorite. They have an amazing array of tools, equipment, and machinery that is all kept running smoothly by an amazing staff of studio coordinators.”

Emily wholeheartedly recommends this program to other artists and says that applying to Core was the best decision she has ever made.

Sarah Rachel Brown also participated in the Core Fellowship at Penland from 2013-2015 and then went straight into the 11-month residency at Arrowmont. I asked Sarah what attracted her to these programs, “I was looking for opportunities that could connect me with the greater craft community but more importantly, support me financially. Both Penland and Arrowmont gave me the community I was wanting and the financial support that was necessary.”

Sarah agreed with Emily that the studios at Penland are hard to beat. “They have state-of-the-art studios with equipment I could only dream of owning someday.” Sarah thoroughly enjoyed her time at Penland and feels she has become the unofficial spokesperson for the craft school experience. “The core fellowship is a great opportunity for artists who want to immerse themselves in a creative community and explore other mediums to inform their current studio practice.”

Sarah at Penland.jpg
Sarah in the Metals Studio at Penland

Subsequently after leaving Penland Sarah started her artist-in-residency at Arrowmont. She loves the campus located near the Smokey Mountain National Park. Her favorite place is the library that houses many out-of-print books on craft and design. Sarah admits to napping there on the big leather couches next to the fireplace.

Sarah is also a huge advocate for Arrowmont’s AIR. “The Arrowomont residency is a great choice for an emerging or early career artist who is seeking focused time to work, paid teaching opportunities, and a supportive/creative community.”

Maia Leppo did her artist residency at Arrowmont from 2016-2017. She was attracted to the program because she was looking for community and was excited to meet students and instructors from all over the country.  During her residency Maia really enjoyed teaching. "I was proud of all the different classes I developed. I also really appreciated getting the experience to teach a variety of ages and skill levels."

Similar to Emily and Sarah, the relationships Maia built during her AIR are very special and important to her. She definitley recommends Arrowmont's program and said "It is hard to uproot your life for only a year and live in a new place but the experiences definitely make it worth it!"

U.S. Jewelry Residencies:

*Due to COVID19 some of these residency programs have been temporarily put on hold.

Arrowmont  School of Arts & Crafts  

Gatlinburg, TN

Arrowmont offers an artist in residence program. It is an 11-month residency program that invites 5 artists of varying media backgrounds to participate. The residency typically chooses one metal/jewelry participant. They provide the residents with housing, a private studio, a monthly stipend, a gallery, and professional development opportunities.

Penland School of Craft

Penland, NC

Penland offers three residency programs that are open to artists in a variety of media, including metals and jewelry. They have the three-year Resident Artist Program, the two-year Core Fellowship, and the Winter Residency.

Peters Valley School of Craft

Layton, NJ

Two to four-week residencies are available on a case by case basis during the months of October, November, and April. The guest artist residency program is open to all artists, from emerging to professional.

Pocosin Arts School of Fine Craft 

Columbia, NC

Pocosin offers two residency programs that are open to artists in a variety of media, including metals and jewelry. A 10-day summer residency for up to 20 artists and a 10-month residency for up to three artists.

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  

Deer Isle, MA

Haystack has a two-week Open Studio Residency in the summer. The residency is designed to foster artistic exploration at the highest level, and those selected attend for free.

Medocino Art Center 

Medocino, CA

The Art Center offers an Artist-in-residence and a Professional Artist in Retreat program. The programs include studio rental with an apartment on campus.

NoLo Studios

Brooklyn, NY

NYC Jewelry Week through the HERE WE ARE platform partnered with Nolo Studios to launch the pilot residency program. The NoLo Collective Residency aims to create a tangible opportunity within their corner of the jewelry industry by providing a Black, Indigenous, or POC jeweler with a fully furnished spot in the NoLo Jewelry Studio for one year.

92nd Street Y  

New York City, NY

92Y’s Jewelry Artist Residency is a juried residency for cutting-edge, emerging, and established jewelry artists to develop their work in the multifaceted New York City art scene. For a month during the summer, the Residency will provide the opportunity for an international artist with a studio-based practice to develop a new body of work or complete research while engaging with NYC’s cultural community.

Armory Art Center

West Palm Beach, FL

This highly competitive program attracts a diverse group of emerging artists within varied disciplines who have earned at least a BFA. Residents receive a generous monthly stipend and are also paid for teaching and extracurricular events in the community.

Baltimore Jewelry Center

Baltimore, MD

Offers a one-month and a three-month-long professional mid-career artist residency.

Lillstreet Art Center

Chicago, IL

Lillstreet Art Center offers a year-long residency, in Ceramics, Metalsmithing & Jewelry, Painting & Drawing, Printmaking & Book Arts, Textiles or Photography. The residency includes personal workspace, 24-hour access to facilities and equipment, free classes in any department, paid opportunities to teach and/or assist classes, participation in a group exhibition, and a monthly stipend.                      

Southwest School of Art

San Antonio, TX

Artists-In-Residence have access to a variety of equipment and are provided with a semi-private space that is located in a community studio. During the residency, a public presentation of the artist’s work will be scheduled and promoted. While the residency program does not include a stipend, teaching opportunities may exist for qualified applicants.

Touchstone Center for Crafts 

Farmington, PA

The Residency Program provides the time, creative space, and support for emerging and mid-career artists to explore new ideas and bodies of work in any media that we are able to accommodate. One to four-week residencies are offered in May/June and again in August/September and provides studio access, room, and board.

Thank you to our contributors:


Emily Rogstad

Emily was born and raised in the small village of East Calais, Vermont. She graduated in 2013 with a BFA in Metalsmithing + Jewelry from Maine College of Art. After some traveling, she moved to Penland School of Crafts for two years for the Core Fellowship. Now a resident of Asheville, North Carolina she spends her time maintaining an inquisitive studio practice and enjoying the mountains. 


Sarah Rachel Brown

Sarah Rachel Brown is an adornment artist located in Philadelphia where she is a member of the JV Collective, a collaborative contemporary jewelry studio. Beyond the studio, Sarah is Art Jewelry Forum’s US Ambassador, the Custom Design Specialist for Bario Neal Jewelry and was the founding Metals Coordinator for the Pentaculum Residency at the Arrowmont School of Art and Crafts. Most recently, Sarah is known for Perceived Value, a podcast launched in 2017, acclaimed for radical transparency and candid interviews discussing the financial and logistical aspects of artist’s careers.

Maia Leppo in studio

Maia Leppo

Maia graduated from Tufts University in 2008 with a degree in Biology and Community Health. She received training in jewelry and metals from various craft schools, including Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Pocosin Arts, Penland School of Crafts and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and her Masters of Fine Art from SUNY New Paltz.  She has participated in artist residencies at Arrowmont and Fallingwater and has taught around the country including Penland, Arrowmont, Pocosin, and Touchstone.  She currently works out of her studio in the Brewhouse Association on the south side of Pittsburgh.

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