2019 Workshops-in-Residence

Take your work to a new level with a week-long workshop-in-residence with the Studios at MASS MoCA! Our unique workshop model provides individual studios available 24/7, a private bedroom, and open access to MASS MoCA’s galleries. There are upcoming week-long workshops with David Lane, Debi Pendell, Judith Kruger, and Sarah Sutro. 

Read below for descriptions, and email studios@massmoca.org for inquiries. 

David Lane: Wood Carving & Puppet Design

$1250 (includes materials, private and shared studio spaces,
single room/Queen bed with shared bath, access to kitchen, lunches,
and dinner on the first night)

June 19 – 25, 2019

Deadline: December 15th, 2018
Space is limited to 12 participants.

Debi Pendell: Visual Artist Independent Study & Critique

$1,350 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

April 24 - 30, 2019 (FULL)

October 23 - 29, 2019

Judith Kruger: Abstraction Master-Class

$1,700 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

October 16 - 22, 2019

Sarah Sutro: Water-based Media Studio Workshop and Critique

$1,300 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

October 23 - 29, 2019

Email studios@massmoca.org to inquire about attending any of our workshops.

David Lane


Wood Carving & Puppet Design

This unique residency workshop will focus on wood as a primary construction material for building performing objects. We’ll work with traditional carving techniques as well as rotary power tools to create masks and bodies, and then get deep into the mechanics of joints and controls. We’ll look at various ways that wooden sculpture may be employed to create realistic notions, and explore more abstract ideas, delighting in the unexpected discoveries that come with a sense of playfulness in the creation process. 

We will take advantage of the collaborative nature of this workshop to share ideas, and create an environment which fosters colloquy, experimentation, and a supportive creative atmosphere.

Formal instruction and demonstrations will begin each day at 9 am and run until dinner. The evenings will include open studio and specialized programming such as a show-and-tell and puppet-film night. Access to the studio space is 24 hours and we may wander the museum during regular museum hours. Field trips to the Clark Art Museum, Williams College Museum, hiking, and swimming holes will be organized once the group arrives, and as time allows.

Curriculum Overview

Residency — When we’re not engaged in studio time, we will have unlimited access to wonder the halls of MASS MoCA and find inspiration in the work of Sol LeWitt, Anselm Fiefer, Franz West, Laurie Anderson, Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, James Turrell and many other world class artists. 

Design —  The abstract/realism continuum; emotion and tone; larval lumps, mask design, conceptual approaches, the interplay between design and performance.

Carving — Rotary-tool & traditional wood carving techniques.

Controls — Discussion of effective control mechanisms for different situations.

Joints — Leather, fabric, interlocking, ball and socket, shock cord.

Hansjürgen Fettig — Discussion of designs and mechanisms imagined by the ingenious German puppet maker.

Painting — Planning, mixing, washes, scumbling, dry-brush, air-brush, color theory.  

Costuming — Simple patterning and sewing.



Dates: June 19th – June 25th, 2019 

Fee: $1250 (includes materials, shared studio spaces, single room with shared bath, access to kitchen, lunches, and dinner on the first night)

For registration, email: studios@massmoca.org. Questions? Contact the instructor at dave@newenglandpuppet.org.

For More Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1204954129661744/

About the Instructor

Dave Lane is a painter, performer, puppet & mask maker, and one of the original members of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop in Calgary, Alberta. He is the Co-director of the New England Puppet Intensive, a 15-day residential workshop, and Co-producer of the annual Berkshire Lantern Walk in collaboration with the Clark Art Museum.

Dave is a two-time, Jim Henson Foundation grant recipient for his original play “The Chronicles of Rose”, and his silent-clown play “The Painting” was a regional selection at the 2017 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He is the co-creator of Iinisikimm, a puppet-lantern play celebrating the return of Plains Buffalo to Banff Nation Park in Alberta. The project was supported by a Canada Council New Chapter Grant.


Debi Pendell

Debi Pendell.jpg

Visual Artist Independent Study & Critique

For many artists, the word ‘critique’ immediately brings to mind (and to heart) these dictionary synonyms: censure; find fault with; slam; slap; takedown; put down. Many artists avidly avoid critiques, having painfully experienced critique as disapproval. In the method taught and practiced in this workshop, critique means: to discuss the merits of; to analyze. We even employ what the dictionary considers antonyms for critique: compliment; praise. Critique is a necessary and valuable tool in the making of art, but it only functions when the goal is education and encouragement: everyone walks out of these critiques excited to get to work, to experiment, to play, to create.

By analyzing and speaking about the work of other artists, you learn tools and techniques that you can employ in your own work. By hearing educated and perceptive responses to your own work, you discover whether or not your work is being read in the way you intend. This is a unique opportunity to be that ‘fly on the wall’ and hear what is honestly said about the work you present.

In addition to critiquing the work of the other artists attending the residency, we will also go into museum exhibitions and explore some of those works. The intent is to analyze, understand, and clearly state one’s response in a way that enhances everyone’s experience – even when you don’t ‘like’ the work at all. You may very well discover just how useless the terms like and dislike are when it comes to engaging art and making art.

Each participating artist in this workshop-in-residence will develop their own project. The instructor is available for consultation in planning the project prior to the workshop. The instructor will provide targeted assistance to each and every artist tailored to the individual needs of their project. This includes one-on-one critiques, as well as technical assistance. 

$1,300 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

April 24th - April 30th, 2019 (FULL)

September 25th - October 1st, 2019

Email studios@massmoca.org to request a slot


Judith Kruger

Judith Kruger.jpg

Abstraction Master-Class

Judith Kruger — who exhibits widely in the United States, Japan and elsewhere, and teaches sought-after workshops throughout the country — now brings her masterful methods for abstraction to the Studios at MASS MoCA. Her paintings, prints, and mixed-media works address human-environment connectivity and their shared vulnerabilities. She is recognized internationally for her advocacy of natural painting materials and historic, ecologically friendly processes based on years of research and alchemic experimentation, specifically in Nihonga, Japanese mineral pigment painting.

Judith has an impressive following of serious, practicing artists, working in all mediums, who cite her intensive, direct teaching approach as an authentic, life-changing catalyst for both technical and conceptual growth. This Master Abstraction workshop is not medium specific, thus focusing on many of the formal concerns that Judith addresses in her own work, including depth of space, destruction, luminosity, ambiguity, perceptual shifting, and material presence. Concepts will be addressed on an individual basis as a benefit to the entire group. Private and open critiques, discussions, film showings and relevant demos are included.

This is an opportunity for each participant to delve more deeply into their own work and medium in an immersive setting with Judith’s and the group’s input.

(Please note that this master-class is not intended to provide novice-level instruction in abstraction or Nihonga painting. It is for experienced abstract artists. Those seeking to learn the basics of Nihonga should consider Judith’s introductory workshops.

$1,700 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

October 16th - October 22nd, 2019

Email studios@massmoca.org to request a slot


Sarah Sutro

Sarah in Studio #2.JPG


This studio workshop focuses on a variety of water-based media, including acrylic, watercolor and natural ink. Participants will engage in their own work in private studios affiliated with Mass MOCA, with both private and group critiques, and workshops in specific media. Emphasis will be on expanding one’s own personal subject matter and style with the aim of building a new body of work. Advanced students are encouraged to apply, and can participate as desired in group activities.

While living in Asia, Sarah studied making natural inks, reviving the ancient practice of deriving color from plants. Since then, she has been a practitioner of ink-making, and author of COLORS: Passages through Art, Asia and Nature, a book of essays about the role of color in life.

Dialoging on aspects of having an artistic career will take place regularly, as well as visits to Mass MOCA’s galleries, the Clark Museum, and Williams College Museum. For many, the workshop will be a chance to hone skills, solve lingering problems in the course of painting and drawing, and get a body of work done. Others may acquire new skills to jumpstart their painting in the future.

Participating artists will bring their own watercolor, acrylics, tools, and papers or canvas. Materials for making natural inks will be provided by Sarah. All participants should bring a reviewed plan for what they will accomplish in the studio.

Sarah Sutro is an internationally known artist who has taught at Emerson College, Lesley University, UMass Boston, Mass College of Art and Design, Art Institute of Boston, Cornell University, Ithaca College, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Vermont College, and Union Institute & University.

As well, she has been an Artist in Residence at MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Ossabaw Island Project, Art Dulcinium Montnegro, Goetemann Residency Gloucester, the American Academy in Rome and Thammasat University, Thailand.

Her work has been collected and shown in the US, South and Southeast Asia, and Southern Europe.

Students she worked with have appreciated her clear and sensitive approach to teaching, and she has guided many students in finding their true work and medium through her teaching.

Sarah is available beforehand to help workshop participants clarify what they will be working on, and what to bring to MOCA. Contact her at artssutro@yahoo.com

Cost $1,300. (Includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week, single room with shared bath, access to kitchen, daily lunches, and a celebratory dinner on the first night)

October 23rd - October 29th, 2019

Email studios@massmoca.org to request a slot