Artist in Residence Program

Mississippi School of Folk Arts has a Pottery Studio Artist in Residence Program and is developing additional programs beginning in 2021.

Pottery Studio Residents join the Pottery Studios for a two year mentored program.  In exchange for learning to run a studio, artists are equipped with a private studio and have access to all equipment and materials and are provided with clay.  Direction and guidance are given to residents for them to build a body of work and develop their direction to take that work.  Residents are often recent college graduates looking to hone their skills before deciding to set up their own working studio or continue their education in graduate School.  A degree is not a requirement to become a resident.  A knowledge of working with clay, kiln firings, reclaiming clay, and a drive to learn the inside working of a clay studio are necessary.

Residents are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the studios, they have the opportunity to teach at all levels from young children both in an after school setting and in summer camps through adults.  Our Artist in Residence guides the classes for our members' nights, a weekly evening when members of the studios gather to learn a new technique and build community.  All proceeds from classes are paid directly to Artists in Residence, a part of the mentoring program includes valuing time and assessing costs of not only finished works of art but of teaching.  This gives our artists the opportunity to earn their income working in the studios.  AIRs also have the opportunity to teach in mediums outside of clay and are encouraged to participate in classes as space is available.  AIRs have the opportunity to show their work in the Folk School Gift Shop and display their work in a finale show highlighting the progression of their work while in residence at MSFA.  MSFA works with residents to secure safe affordable housing for their stay.  Residents with families are welcome to our program and we will assist potential residents with information about area family resources should they need that assistance.

We are currently accepting inquiries into our Artist in Residence program for our Pottery Studios.  Residence programming begins Spring 2021 for our clay program.  For information about the program, please email us to arrange for an interview and a more in depth overview of our program.

Natalie Roper is a contemporary artist from Crystal Springs, MS and is currently living and working in Natchez, MS. Throughout her life, she has used art as a form of expression and a way to channel her energy. Natalie’s art style ranges over a multitude of media and incorporates elements of nature and ornamental architecture. Bears, wolves, owls, and expressive colors are just some of the components of her pieces. In combination with carving, surface decoration, and additions to her pieces help to create a cohesive body of work no matter the subject or media. Her work is inspired by natural forms and the interplay of surface and texture. With the addition of color, her pieces come into a life of their own. Each piece shows her decision making and progress within the chosen media.

 She has a formal art education, with a BFA from the Mississippi University of Women. Her printmaking work has won awards at the Mississippi Collegiate Art Competition. For the past year, she has been an artist in residence for The Mississippi School of Folk Arts. During that period she has taught a variety of classes and participated in workshops hosted by the school. 

Natalie Roper

Interested in supporting our Artist in Residence Program?  Please contact us with assistance in housing, equipment and other tangible items.  If you would like to financially support our Artists in Residence and help us grow the program while attracting more artists to the Natchez community you may do so by donating to our Artist Residence Program.  You may do this with a membership or with a one time or recurring donation through PayPal.  We thank you for supporting the arts!

MSFA Artist in Residence
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