Watson Arts Centre




















Watson Arts Centre is an ACT Government facility managed by Canberra Potters' Society Inc. CPS is supported by the ACT Government


Watson Arts Centre has five purpose-built studios (one reserved for the artist-in-residence program) and one older studio that provide affordable space for emerging and established ceramic artists.

Information for Applicants

Applications for studios are invited from all committed ceramic arts practitioners. Applications from artists working in other media may be considered but preference is given to potters and ceramicists. Tenancy periods for artists working in other media should be discussed with the Watson Art Centre (WAC) managers and may not be the same as periods offered to potters and ceramicists. A high degree of professionalism and commitment to studio practice are expected from tenants to maximise the benefit and use of the studios. Tenants are also expected to become full members of Canberra Potters’ Society (CPS) (and to remain so whilst tenants) and to participate in Society activities and actively contribute to the community and artistic vibrancy of the centre.

About Watson Arts Centre/Canberra Potters’ Society

Canberra Potters’ Society is a not-for-profit organisation supported by the ACT Government. It manages Watson Arts Centre, which is an ACT Government arts facility. Apart from the Society’s workshops, gallery, shop and other spaces, the Centre has studios providing affordable space for emerging and established ceramic artists.

The objectives of the Society are to:

  1. promote excellence and innovation in ceramics—foster and facilitate contact between people interested in ceramics; promote the exchange of ideas and the dissemination of information on ceramics; mount selected exhibitions of members’ work;

  2. foster appreciation of handcrafted ceramics in the broader community—conduct classes; mount exhibitions; participate in public art activities;

  3. encourage the professional development of its members—provide support and facilitate the professional development of members who are working as potters; provide facilities for members to exhibit and sell their work; run specialist workshops for skills development;

  4. be a key part of the national network of ceramic organisations.

About the Studios

The five purpose-built studios were erected in 2011. Of these five studios, one is reserved for the artist-in-residence program.

Each studio is accessed via an electronic keycard and is equipped with a back-to-base alarm as part of the WAC security system. The studios are unfurnished but do contain shelving, wedging table and sinks. Heaters are also supplied. The studios open onto shared and common space and between studios 4 and 5 is a deck area that is a common usage area.

Studios may be accessed 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There is no 3-phase power supplied to any of the studios.

Before applying for a studio it’s recommended that an appointment be made with the Program Manager to discuss your studio needs, studio availability and to view the studios and facilities.

Applications for shared tenancy may be considered at the discretion of the managers.

Length of Tenancy

Studios are offered on an annual basis for a maximum period of three years. Requests for a licence extension beyond this are at the discretion of the Board and only for a 6 month period and only under extenuating circumstances. Studio availability is dependent on ongoing renewal of the agreement Canberra Potters’ Society has with the ACT Government and, to a lesser extent, on the Society receiving ongoing funding.

Licence Agreements

In 2017 studio rent is $240 per calendar month (inc. GST). This includes a component for a reasonable amount of studio electricity usage per month. Extension of licence agreements are granted only in special circumstances and are at the discretion of the Board. Requests for licence variation must be submitted to the Board for approval at least one month before the licence termination date.

Shorter terms may be considered at the discretion of the managers.

Kiln Use

When applying for a studio, potential tenants will need to address their kiln requirements. The Society has a number of electric and gas kilns but the electric kilns are heavily used with a large amount of firing being of student work for which a quick turn-around is expected. It may be necessary for kiln needs to be discussed with the Society’s workshop manager before submitting a studio application.


It is a requirement that all tenants maintain public liability insurance during their tenancy such as that available with membership of the Australian Ceramics Association, which offers affordable cover for public, product and tenant liability. A current certificate of currency must be supplied to the Managers to keep on file. 

Selection Process

Written applications will be assessed by a panel appointed by the CPS Board and may include CPS Board members, staff or CPS members. Artists applying for space or who have pending applications with CPS will be excluded from participating on the selection panel.

Before a studio space can be awarded applicants will be invited to attend an interview with the CPS panel.

If applying for shared tenancy, acceptance will depend on tenant compatibility with practice and studio use.

Applications are approved by the Board upon recommendation by the selection panel. Compliant with our head-licence agreement all studio tenants must be approved by artsACT. Applicants will be notified of the outcome. Selection decisions are final and cannot be negotiated.

Successful applicants may not be offered a studio immediately if there is a waiting list. Applications received when there is no current vacancies will be kept on file and reviewed when vacancies occur. Applicants may be asked for updated applications at time of review.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria (max 500 words per criteria):

  1. Demonstrated dedicated art practice—Including a current artistic C.V. applicants are to provide images of recent work, details such as relevant studies or training, years of art practice, exhibition history, awards, prizes, sales and commissions.

  2. Commitment to an on-going arts practice—As evidenced by the applicant’s Statement of Intent, for example plans for exhibitions, new bodies of work, areas of continuing development, grant proposals, directions for art practice over next two years.

  3. Commitment to frequent and active use—Provide a statement of intended weekly usage of studio. Other commitments (employment, travel plans or study) that may influence the applicant’s use of the studio.

  4. Compatibility of art practice with the WAC/CPS community—Any aspects of the applicant’s art practice that may adversely affect other WAC/CPS users.

  5. Willingness to participate and contribute to WAC/CPS community—Stated willingness to participate in WAC/CPS activities and contribute artwork and time to annual CPS Members exhibition and Open Day.

  6. Demonstrated need for studio at WAC—As evidenced by reference to the adequacy of the applicant’s present working situation and the specific benefit of a studio within WAC, clear statement of space requirements, other specific requirements, cost considerations.

Required Information

When preparing your application you will be required to provide the following documentation:

  • A completed application form (see below)

  • A current artistic curriculum vitae (up to two pages).

  • A written statement addressing each of the six selection criteria.

  • Examples of work produced in the last two years. Up to 6 digital images may be supplied (CD or JPEG files preferably at 72 dpi). Original photographs may be supplied but no responsibility will be taken for return of images.

  • The name and contact details of two referees.

Submitting your application

Applications may be submitted by mail, in person, or online using the following contact details:

Mail:  Canberra Potters’ Society, PO Box 7021, Watson, ACT 2602

In Person:   Canberra Potters’ Society, Watson Arts Centre, Aspinall Street, Watson ACT 2602

Online:  Email us here    


If you would like to discuss the application process or have any questions regarding the studios please contact us on 02 6241 1670 or via email.


Application form as an MS Word form - can be filled out on your computer and emailed to us.

Application form as a PDF document - can be printed, filled out and sent by post or scanned and emailed..


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This information last updated 31/01/17