Complementing our emerging artist residencies, the Craft LAIR (Local Artist In Residence)offers a studio space to local professional artists and artisans interested in engaging with the public. The Craft LAIR is programmed alongside the exhibitions for the Mary E. Black Gallery. These six to eight week, project-based residencies offer craft-artists a free, 10 x 22 foot, secure, public facing, work/display/flex space adjacent to our Mary E. Black Gallery.

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, useing the whole space as a dedicated studio to make new work, makeing the space into a pop-up shop, experimenting with developing an installation over the course of the residency, focusing on staging work for documentation and designing new presentation styles, working with new and alternative materials, exploreing new methods of digital programing with craft based processes, 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 fronteirs of public engament via digital outreach have been explored. The Mary E. Black has reopened and now runs on new hours Wed-Sat 11-4. We established protocols in order to safely welcome the public back in our spaces. The public component of the Craft LAIR residency is widely flexible entierly 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 are able to carry out their proposed project within the studio space of the Craft LAIR without access to further facitlities. 

How to apply?


  • Letter outlining the proposed project to be undertaken during the residency, and dates of availability (1 page max) 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 bio and artist statement (1 page max)
  • CV demonstrating professional experience
  • 10 images of related work and 1-2 sketches of proposed project, video, audio or other digital media also accepted. See Aplication 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 desidency structure

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

Residency slots available:

Residency is fully programmed for the year of 2021. New calls for application for year of 2022 TBA

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

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 outside our regular course schedule can be negotiated with the studio coordinator and technicians in wood, metal, glass, ceramic, and weaving. This is determined on a case by case basis and must be detailed in your application. 

Fill out the online form by clicking here. Deadline early fall, 2021 TBA.

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.