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 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 of work 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: 

  • Mount a small exhibit alongside a workspace,  
  • Use the whole space as a dedicated studio to make new work,  
  • Develop an installation over the course of the residency,  
  • Explore craft-based research or a community project that engages the public. 
  • work with new and alternative materials,  
  • explore methods of digital programing/technology with craft-based processes,  
  • mount an exhibition to gain experience or push the bounds of traditional craft,  
  • 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-Sun 11-4. The public component of the Craft LAIR residency is widely flexible depending on the resident’s comfort levels. Masking remains mandatory in the Centre For Craft NS and the Mary E. Black Gallery. 

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 relying on access to further facilities. Limited access to additional equipment at the Centre for Craft can be negotiated on a case by case basis. 

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 
  • An artist bio 
  • An artist statement 
  • 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 
  • A completed application form. Please click the Link in this text to go to the form.

Each Craft LAIR residency time slot runs for the duration of the exhibitions programmed in the Mary E. Black Gallery. These time slots are indicated on the application form.

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 potential to engage the craft community and public 
  • 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


  • Work with the Centre for Craft NS staff to meet the residency’s expectations of public engagement. Expectations and structures are clarified in greater detail on the application form. 
  • Residents are expected to be present for an orientation on the first day of their residency and have their project or workspace set up, and be present for, the opening reception. Each residency starts on a Tuesday and the opening reception falls on the Thursday of the same week at 6pm – this gives two and a half days for set up. Expectations of each participant’s setup for public viewing are different from project to project and will be planned with the support of the staff. 
  • 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
  • Residents must demonstrate commitment to work independently and meet the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia’s community standards, studio guidelines, and health and safety standards. 


  • 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  
  • Inclusion in our promotional program
  • Limited access to additional equipment at the Centre for Craft may be negotiated 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. 

Deadline 4 pm on November 21, 2022

Applicants will be notified of the result of their submissions by November 29. 2022

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.