The Craft LAIR (Local Artist In Residence) offers studio space to professional artists working in the field of craft and craft discourse who are interested in engaging with the public. These six to eight week, project-based residencies offer a free, 10 x 22 foot, secure, public-facing, work/exhibition/flex space adjacent to the Mary E. Black Gallery at the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia.

In exchange, artists are asked to engage the public through open studio hours, exhibition and/or public programming. Artists have found the public engagement and feedback from people to be the most beneficial aspect of the residency. We encourage artists to use the Craft LAIR as an experimental space to explore new ideas, work with alternative materials, work in larger scales and to engage with the public and craft communities to gain feedback on their work. 

Possible ideas for Craft LAIR residencies include mounting a small exhibit alongside a workspace, using the whole space as a dedicated studio to make new work, developing an installation over the course of the residency, interactive craft-based research study, staging work for documentation, and designing new presentation styles, working with new and alternative materials, exploring new methods of digital programing with craft-based processes, mounting an exhibition to gain experience or push the bounds of traditional craft, etc… If you have an idea for a CraftLAIR project that you think falls outside of this call, please don’t hesitate to contact us to see if it may be a good fit!

Throughout the global pandemic Craft LAIR residents have continued to work with either a closed studio space or the option of safe public interaction. New frontiers of public engagement via digital outreach have been explored. The Mary E. Black has reopened and now runs on new hours Wed-Sat 11-4 following mandated protocols to safely welcome the public back in our spaces. The public component of the Craft LAIR residency is widely flexible depending on the resident’s comfort levels. We have been extremely pleased to continue to offer safe, free studio space to our residents through this program and will continue to operate in this model until further notice.

Logistical Information about the Craft LAIR studio:
The Craft LAIR offers a free 10′ x 22′ public facing studio space with 24-hour access adjacent to the Mary E. Black Gallery. The space is clean and has adjustable track lighting, cement floors, multiple electrical outlets, and access to sinks in another room. A large table, chairs, shelving, and some plinths, as well as supplies and equipment for installation and de-installation, can be provided by the Centre for Craft. This residency is best suited for artists who can carry out their proposed project within the studio space of the Craft LAIR without access to further facilities. 

How to apply?


  • Letter outlining the proposed project to be undertaken during the residency, and dates of availability (1 page maximum) This should also include a proposal of one public event and/or a description of how the applicant intends to engage the public through the residency
  • a brief combined biography/artist statement (one page maximum)
  • CV demonstrating professional experience
  • 10 images of related work this can also include 1-2 sketches of proposed project. Video, audio, or other digital media also accepted (Please limit to 5 min duration.) See Application form for more details.
  • Image reference list
  • An image of yourself for promotional purposes if accepted * not required but encouraged
  • Application form includes choices for time block dates as well as options for residency structure

Each Craft LAIR residency time slot runs for the diration of the exhibitions programmed in the Mary E. Black Gallery.

Residency slots available:

Dates currently open in 2022 for Craft LAIR residency are:

March 17 – May 8

May 12 – July 3

July 7 – August 28

Sept 22 – November 6

The committee endeavors to accommodate requested dates as well as to schedule residencies which create connections with Mary E. Black Gallery exhibitions.

Up to 3 applications will be selected for 2022 programming.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Quality of applicant’s work 
  • The artistic merit of the proposed project
  • Applicant’s professional experience as a craft artist
  • The capacity of the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia to support the success of the project within the CraftLAIR studio


  • Dedicate a significant portion of your time to your project during the residency. Residency structure options are clarified in greater detail on the application form.
  • Engage with the public either in person or through social media or other virtual platforms or programming.
  • The CraftLAIR space must be returned to its original state at the end of the residency


  • 10’ x 22’ secure work-room with glass doors (no ventilation – scents prohibited)
  • Opportunity to receive regular feed back from the public as well as the staff of the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia.
  • Public reception introducing the residency alongside the Mary E Black Gallery opening *Mary E. Black is currently hosting soft openings by invite only, this may evolve as restrictions lift.
  • Inclusion in our promotional program
  • Opportunity to sell work  directly to visitors
  • Limited access to additional facilities or equipment at the Centre for Craft may be granted on a case-by-case basis and these facility needs must be detailed in your application. This access is limited by the Centre’s capacity and will be negotiated with the studio coordinator and technicians in wood, metal, ceramic, and textiles.

Fill out the online form by clicking here.

Deadline 4 pm on November 23, 2021

We offer assistance in creating and submitting applications and the Craft LAIR program will accept applications in alternative formats such as submissions by video or audio. Feel free to contact the Centre for any information regarding the Craft LAIR application at, 902-492-2522 or by coming in person to the Mary E. Black Gallery Wednesday – Friday 11-4.