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 Debi Pendell, Jan Freeman, and Judith Kruger. 

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

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 Season

Judith Kruger: Abstraction Master-Class

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

October 16 - 22, 2019

Details below. CLASS FULL.

Jan Freeman: Poetry Retreat

$1,500 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

select financial assistance available

October 23 - 29, 2019

Details below


Debi Pendell: Visual Artist Independent Study & Critique

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

May 13- May 19, 2020

Details below


Judith Kruger: Abstraction Master-Class

October 7 - 13, 2020

$1,650 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

Details below

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

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.

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. This includes both idea-driven and non- objective work. 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 pigment should consider Judith’s introductory workshops.

$1,650 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

October 16th - October 22nd, 2019 (full)

Or sign up for next year! October 7 - October 13, 2020

Email studios@massmoca.org to request a slot

Jan Freeman.JPG

Jan Freeman is the author of Blue Structure, Simon Says, Hyena, and Autumn Sequence, and the co-editor of Sisters: An Anthology. Her poems have been widely published in literary journals, such as American Poetry Review, the Massachusetts Review, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Ekphrastic, and The Women's Review of Books. Her new poetry is forthcoming in Plume.

Jan founded Paris Press in 1995 to publish The Life of Poetry by Muriel Rukeyser and many other groundbreaking yet overlooked books of poetry and prose by women, including works by Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, and Ruth Stone. She directed Paris Press from 1995 – 2018, and achieved long-deserved national and international acclaim for all of the Paris Press titles in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and other newspapers, on NPR, in literary and academic journals, trade publications, and in other general and specialized publications. In 2018, Paris Press was acquired by Wesleyan University Press, and the Paris Press archives were acquired by the Amherst College Frost Library.

She now provides poetry and prose manuscript consultations, marketing advice, and editorial services to poets, writers and publishers throughout the U.S. Jan is completing a new collection of poetry, Mobius, which addresses grief, identity, and family. Many of the poems in Mobius are in conversation with the work of contemporary women painters.


Join Jan Freeman for a Poetry Retreat at the Studios at MASS MoCA in the heart of the Berkshires.

Write and revise poems, focus on your manuscript, and enjoy daily writing prompts, discussions, readings, and walks through autumn foliage. Explore how you can use visual art and metaphor to express your deepest emotions.

Paintings, sculptures, and metaphor springing from the natural landscape can feed our imaginations and help us access memories, feelings, and language with immediacy and surprise. Join this intimate workshop to create poems as you explore the visual feasts of MASS MoCA, The Clark Art Institute, and the Williams College Museum of Art in the Berkshires. New and experienced poets are welcome.

A private 90-minute manuscript consultation or a consultation about individual poems is included. More in-depth manuscript consultations are available upon request.



Private writing studio at the museum, with 24/7 access. Private bedroom (queen-sized bed) with shared bathroom and kitchen in two four-bedroom apartments across the street from MASS MoCA.

Free admission to MASS MoCA, the Clark Art Institute and the Williams College Museum of Art throughout the week. Free parking.

Welcome dinner on Oct. 23. Lunches at MASS MoCA’s eatery Lickety Split, Oct. 24 – Oct. 28.


$1,500, with limited financial assistance available. Payable by check to Jan Freeman, P.O.Box 487, Ashfield, MA 01330, or via Venmo @ Jan-Freeman-7.

To reserve your space, contact: Jan Freeman


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)

May 13- May 19, 2020

Email studios@massmoca.org to request a slot