A photo of the Dougherty Arts Center's Fall 2023 Visual Artists in Residence at their exhibit reception

Dougherty Arts Center 2023 Visual Artists In Residence at their exhibit reception for Process and ReProcess

Visual Artist Residency Program 


Applications for the Spring 2024 Visual Artist Residency Program closed on December 17, 2023, at 11:59PM.

The Visual Artist Residency Program provides visual artists with the space, facilities, time and professional interaction that will foster and further develop their ideas, skills, abilities, and focus as practicing artists. This is a work exchange program where resident artists are invited to create outreach opportunities within our community such as teaching workshops, giving public presentations, critiques and monitoring our independent study program and open studio hours. 

Residencies are six months, renewable up to a total of two years, and available for emerging and established artists in ceramics.

Residency is open to visual artists who live in the Austin area; within Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, or Williamson counties.

For questions about the Visual Artist Residency, please email HR Wright, Program Advisor at HR.Wright@austintexas.gov



Current Dougherty Visual Artist Residents


Chelsea Biggerstaff

Chelsea Biggerstaff, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident Spring 2023 - Spring 2024

Chelsea discovered her love of working with clay at age 8 when she walked into her first ceramic teacher's backyard studio. Inspired by her teacher she created a backyard studio and started creating small colorful functional pieces of pottery and creative experiences that spark queer joy and bring people back to that imaginative childhood space. When she is not in her studio or at the Dougherty Arts Center, she manages the Faculty Development Office at Austin Community College where she uses her creativity, educational development background, and positive spirit to inspire and learn from the hardworking faculty at ACC.


Veronica Christianson, Established Ceramic Artist
Resident Spring 2023 - Spring 2024

Veronica Christianson is a ceramic artist living in Austin, Texas. Christianson has always loved dirt. Growing up she dreamt of becoming both a paleontologist and archeologist. She spent 
many hours “excavating fossils and ancient artifacts” in the backyard, school playground, local park, and anywhere she could get digging. The first time she got her hands on clay she made a delightfully blobby self-portrait of herself holding a dinosaur—this was in 1st grade. Since then, she's grown in her hand building techniques. When Christianson went off to college she was still set on becoming an archeologist. That is, until she took her first ceramics class. Christianson's dreams of unearthing ancient artifacts quickly evolved into dreams of creating contemporary artifacts. She fell in love with ceramics and the role it has played and continues to play in the lives of people throughout history.

Photograph of the artist Chance Ramirez

Chance Ramirez, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident Spring 2024

Chance Ramirez (they/them/she/her) has a background in studio art, craft, and art therapy. Inspired by a career in mental health, they make hand built works about pleasure, pain, and joyful resistance for people who like getting lost in the details. Using an abundance of textures and colors, Chance invites the audience to reach outward and inward with curiosity. Their work attempts to answer the question, “What does it mean to be human?”

Photograph of artist Diane Sung

Diane Sung, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident Spring 2024

Diane Sung is a ceramic artist currently based in Austin, TX. She earned her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, MO. Her work is driven by the complexities of the human experience with language and she seeks to explore these narratives in her sculptures. Though her practice is primarily based in ceramic sculpture, she also works through drawing, printmaking, and claymation. Having grown up in a bilingual environment, learning about other languages is her greatest passion outside of the visual arts.

Photograph of artist Shannon Virga

Shannon Hogarty, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident Spring 2024

Shannon is a ceramic artist with eight years of experience, originally from Long Island, New York. Her work combines traditional pottery techniques with contemporary designs, using unique surface decorations, vibrant glaze combinations, and atmospheric firing techniques. Shannon's creations blend ancient and modern aesthetics, capturing the timeless magic of clay.

Past Dougherty Visual Artist Residents


Ali Rex

Ali Rex, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident Summer & Fall 2023

Ali is an architectural designer and educator originally from San Antonio, Texas. Her work straddles the line between playful and rigorous. She believes in the therapeutic power of clay and loves to share in the joys and struggles of it with any ceramic enthusiast she meets.

Gabriella Blasquez

Gabriella Blasquez, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident Summer & Fall 2023

Gabriella Blasquez is a multimedia sculptor, fabricator, and artist assistant whose work focuses on memory, place, materiality, and heritage signifiers. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions in galleries such as Fancy Fancy in Austin, TX. Since 2015, Gabriella has been honing her fabrication skills such as welding, digital and analogue videography, woodworking, ceramics, and printmaking. Her fabrication work has been featured in Austin City Limits offshoot Chill Phases, Erik Siador’s Sun Portal, Ender Martos’ Paradigm Shift, and Steef Cromach’s One Bad Monkey. Gabriella received her BA at Saint Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.

Photograph of the artist Melissa Tong

Mellissa Tong, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident Summer 2023

Mellissa Tong is an international artist developing her style of functional art creations using time and space as sources of inspiration. She began her journey with clay over fifteen ebbing and flowing years ago in Vancouver, Canada to the Pacific Northwest then Minneapolis, Minnesota and finally to Austin, Texas molding differing times and places to become an evolving expression of diverse forms. She discovered clay as a means to calm her nervous system, to self-soothe, to play! and desires to bring that to others through her pieces.

Katie Lehn

Katie Lehn, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident Spring 2019 – December 2021

Katie found her love for clay at the Tucson Clay Co-Op in Arizona. She immediately felt grounded while working on the wheel and found it to be a much needed creative outlet. What began as a casual hobby soon became a true passion she hopes to continue to develop and share. Katie is excited to devote more time and energy into her work and is grateful to be joining the Austin ceramic community through Dougherty Art Center.

Bonnie Bushwood

Bonnie Brushwood, Established Ceramic Artist
Resident Fall 2019 – December 2021 

Bonnie earned her BFA at Texas State University. She toured all over Texas with an illusionist, then all over the country with a fire eater. Her serious side makes ceramics. Her ridiculous side makes comedy. She tours her ceramics. Also, she guested on Billboard Number One comedy albums. Check out her hit single, “The Most Expensive Guacamole” wherever you listen to music.

Regina McIlvain

Regina McIlvain, Emerging Darkroom Photography Artist
Resident Fall 2019 – December 2021 

Regina McIlvain studied photography at Manhattanville College, UC Berkeley and privately in NYC, Tokyo and Toulouse (France). Over time she has concentrated her focus on fine art photographs of portraits and landscapes, either unembellished or mixed media. She has made the effort to capture endangered buildings, signs, landscapes before progress has overtaken them.

Adam Stratton


Adam Stratton, Established Ceramic Artist
Resident April 2019-March 2020

Adam began working with ceramics in 2002 at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado and went on to the University of Hawaii to graduate with an M.F.A in 2010. Participating in the education, exhibition and practice of the visual arts has been a consistent part of his exploration in the medium of clay and visual arts. In Texas, he has continued to explore artistic research and is currently working as an art educator at the community college level.

Traci Ward


Traci Ward, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident September 2018-September 2019

Traci Ward is an emerging ceramist who creates artistic kitchenware and statement jewelry that is made with vegan-friendly practices. Each piece is an expression of color and form through clay and mixed media, and can be found at local Austin shops. When Traci is not elbow-deep in clay, she practicing yoga or spending an afternoon in an art museum.

Scott Paxton


Scott Paxton, Emerging Darkroom Photography Artist
Resident October 2019-October 2020

Scott Paxton is a photographic artist currently living in Austin, Texas. He gave up a hectic international engineering career to slow down and re-visualize the world around him. His photographs reflect his consistent attention to detail while observing the importance of the surroundings.

He creates photographs that are deliberately distorted during the taking of the photograph or during the printing process. By intentionally blurring parts of his images he moves away from the idea that everything is precise and perfect. The effects create an unspoken tension and may be created by ND filters, darkroom processing or even Photoshop manipulation. It is not unusual for Scott to mount or display images in an unorthodox manner by cutting and distorting the print. When shooting landscape & architectural subjects his preference is to use an Infra-Red digital camera resulting in Black and White prints with extreme contrast from which he creates digital negatives for darkroom or alternative processes.

Katy David


Katy David, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident June 2018-June 2019

Proud Austin native Katy David is known for working with clay, gouache and eggshells, creating abstract images and sculptural forms that evoke coral reefs, geological formations, and colorful landscapes. “I love creating work that invites touch” she says.“I want the viewer to participate in the work, to imagine themselves fully sensate in a fantastical landscape of color, line and texture.” She is currently represented by Troy Campa of Camiba Art Gallery.

Scott Simons


Scott Simons, Emerging Ceramic Artist
Resident June 2018 - December 2018

A fifth-generation Texan and 12-year Austin resident, Scott Simons works in large-scale oil paintings and hand-built porcelain. In his work, subtle architectural elements play against energetic, natural scratches and marks. The interplay and tension between man-made and natural has always been a source of inspiration for Scott. He’s been included in a number of one-and-two person gallery shows and juried exhibitions, and is currently represented by Craighead Green Gallery in Dallas and Guthrie Contemporary Gallery in New Orleans.