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New City Galerie’s six month residency program gives qualifying artists an opportunity to further develop their work in one of three beautiful, sun filled studios overlooking historic Church Street and the surrounding cityscape. This work-share residency is intended for artists who have demonstrated excellence in their work and are seeking to enrich (and be enriched by) the arts community in Burlington. Past residents are Ben Aleshire, Richard Siday, Emily Dumas, Ash LaRose, Nate Moody, Estefania Puerta, Shastina Rose-Ann Wallace, Rachel Lindsay, Athena Tasiopoulos, Amelia Devoid, Susan Smereka and Monika Rivard. 

HOW TO APPLY  |  Applications for residencies are received year round, please see the application due dates for each residency spot. To apply, write a one page proposal describing the body of work you’d like to produce, with a clear explanation of the ideas you’ll be working with and your goals for the residency. Please provide a few high res images with examples of past work or sample “in process” pieces from your proposed project. For examples, read some sample artist statements for art shows online. Send your proposal to at least a month in advance of the residency you are applying for. REQUIREMENTS: This is a work-share residency–the studio is provided for free in exchange for working one full day of gallery hours. The director will coordinate with the resident to find the best day to fit the artist’s schedule.

UPCOMING OPENINGS FOR RESIDENCIES, with deadlines for applications:


May 2017-October 2017: Elise Whittemore

November 2017 (starts Nov 1st, runs through April 2017), Deadline to apply: September 30th, 2017

May 2018 (begins May 1st), Deadline to apply: March 31st, 2018


January 2017-June 2017: Kristen Watson

July 2017 (begins July 1st, runs through December 2017), Deadline to apply: May 31st, 2017

January 2018 (begins Jan 1st), Deadline to apply: November 30th, 2017




CHURCH STREET STUDIO (November 2016-May 2017)




When I was a kid, I read Go, Dog, Go. As it was a “learning to read” book, the text was sparse, but the illustrations deeply impacted me. I was particularly enchanted by the illustration of “three dogs at a party, on a boat at night.” It was difficult for me to understand why the image appealed to me so much, until I studied religion in college and learned about liminality and the tension between the known and unknown aspects of the world. That was when I realized that what was so appealing about the illustration was that the depiction of the “party” had so very few indicators of being a party–a lollipop, a guitar, a checkerboard, and a few hats–that it was, in fact, almost not a party at all; it was a party by only the most generous definition, a party that verged, even threatened, to not be a party at all. It was precisely this tension that felt so cozy to me; it created a sense of yearning coupled with sadness that for me reflects the ultimate truth of being human. This is the beauty of cartoon art: by reducing complex living things and objects to their bare essentials, it dances playfully with the idea of nonbeing while simultaneously revealing and validating the emotions that create our vulnerability. As an emotionally intense person, I struggle to find my place in the everyday world; for me, cartoon characters represent the most plain of truths, and the painful beauty and melancholy of being. I seek to create a world that is both magical and dangerous: goofy cartoon characters existing in actual peril. Over the past couple of months I have been experimenting with cartoon art, especially eyes, which can be distorted to a great extent before they cease to be recognizable. I am fascinated by artists and writers old and new who work in a variety of styles, such as Hieronymus Bosch, Daniel Merriam, Roman Klonek, Dr. Seuss, and Clive Barker, who create dark, mysterious worlds with unusual juxtapositions. I have been especially inspired by Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, which contains creatures and structures amalgamated from animal, vegetable, and mineral elements. I want to continue creating combinations that defy being defined and easily categorized, because I believe the human tendency to quickly define things with language can often limit our ability to truly see and experience them. I think that by pairing and combining surprising objects, it can allow the viewer to feel and experience rather than think & define. I plan to continue working in micron pen and marker to create a set of drawings that show complex cartoon scenes reminiscent of the world depicted in Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, full of chaos, bliss, and torture. I am interested in experimenting with depictions of recognizable everyday objects that have unexpected textures (ex: feathery hot dogs, bubbly plants), and I’m interested in using color to define objects. Over the past few months, I’ve reflected on the American obsession with happiness and beauty, and ideas from my childhood about what defines femininity.My ultimate goal is to portray a world that reflects the experience of emotional intensity and questions cultural ideas about the primacy of joy. 


Kara Torres was born & raised in rural Vermont, where she spent much of her childhood barefoot and climbing white pines. As a child, she was a ravenous reader, and often found herself as deeply impacted by illustrations as text. While spending 15 years belonging to a church that abhorred visual imagery as part of the spiritual experience, Kara came to discover her vivid imagination and love of art. She proceeded to study religion at Smith College, where she learned much about the visual aspects of spiritual belief. After living and traveling internationally, Kara settled into Burlington. She is currently creating a body of cartoon art inspired by the works of Hieronymus Bosch. For inquiries, please contact


MECHANIC’S ALLEY STUDIO (January 1st-June 30th)




Though I work in a variety of media, the common thread in much of my work, especially of late, is that of interpreting what I’m experiencing in my own life in terms of body transformation, self image, relationships, and observed human behavior. I do this through installations and intuitive mixed media painting.

I use whatever techniques and materials will communicate my ideas effectively, but I am particularly drawn to manipulating and fabricating digital designs and internet-based ephemera and collecting discarded/unwanted personal effects (both material and digital) to transform them through assemblage, installation, and collage/découpage. I’m inspired by the potential these objects have to be deconstructed, reorganized and reimagined after their usual purpose is fulfilled or cut short. I use them to create installations or singular objects that speak to my personal (and often universal) experience which includes the exploration of social psychology, boundaries, behavior, acceptance, and inequality.

My intention as an artist is to create emotionally and mentally compelling work that is also visually powerful.

Like many artists, I walk the line between being concerned with how my work makes me think and how it makes me feel. I make art to consider the inner spiritual and emotional life and how it exists along side the physical experience. 

Getting personal…

I’ve been a seeker since childhood, earnestly studying, first medicine, then human psychology and sociology, then spiritual and religious teachings. I yearned to understand my life and answer questions about purpose, fulfillment, wholeness, and joy.  Though I didn’t begin to find answers to these questions until later, I knew that I was supposed was to love others by helping them. My first career was in surgical medicine, where I worked beside surgeons to help people find their health, regain lost mobility, and ease pain. 

My life abruptly changed course during a three-year bout with a life-threatening illness. I already knew I loved art and teaching, but facing death caused me to reexamine my life and finally admit that I had been unsettled and unhappy for many years in medicine. I knew there was true healing to be found by other means, and I knew that if I recovered I had to leave medicine to begin anew. It wasn’t an easy transition, but now I’m fully engaged in my new life and work. 


Kristen’s work focuses on conceptual installations and intuitive painting that begin with concentrated introspection and behavioral observation rooted in her study of spirituality and social psychology.  Her art explores how thought, spirituality, and culture (currently digital culture) affect human behavior and relationships. 

Watson is currently an artist in residence at New City Galerie, Burlington, VT. She has also completed residencies at Vermont Studio Center and the Rensing Center in South Carolina. She exhibits her work locally and regionally in group and solo shows, and has been selected for several juried exhibits. Her work is also held in private and public collections.

Watson spent her formative years in Ohio and Virginia then traveled the northeast for several years before settling in Vermont in 2000. She spent over a decade as a medical professional before committing to her studio practice & business full time. She holds degrees in Studio Art and Psychology from the University of Vermont (summa cum laude) and a Vermont Art Educator license. Currently she teaches at Burlington City Arts and Davis Studio, and is also a teaching artist for the Vermont Arts Council, and a VAC grants recipient. 

Facebook: kristenmwatsonart, Instagram: @kmwatsonvt


EASTSIDE STUDIO (Resident Artist, Co-Curator, Co-Art Handler)


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Artist Statement : Recently my work has involved creating sculptures and anatomical installations out of common found objects and materials. By placing common materials in a new context, my work seeks to create a new plane for re-examining the mundane, the structures we live within every day. I am interested in how these hidden anatomical and societal structures, as close to us as our very bones, influence the way we relate to ourselves, one another, and the environment around us. 

Bio: Lydia Kern’s work consists of a variety of different mediums, including found materials sculpture, ceramics, photography, and painting. Lydia was born in Boston, Massachusetts and has been living in Burlington since 2011. Lydia deeply enjoys and appreciates being a part of a community in which the arts shape culture and activism. In 2015, Lydia received her B.A. in studio art, primarily studying under Nancy Dwyer and Cami Davis. She also received her Bachelors of Science in social work from the University of Vermont. Lydia’s work has been featured locally in group exhibitions at the Colburn Gallery, S.P.A.C.E. gallery, and New City Galerie. 


Eastside Studio (Resident Artist, Co-Curator, Co-Art Handler


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Artist Statement: The recent focus of my work has been on book arts (unique as well as printed), video and video installation, hair drawings and mono printing. I am exploring the relationships between these media through the themes of body/self, cells, book structures, words, windmills and windows. 

BIO: Smereka’s media include; installation, printmaking, photography, video, bookmaking and collaborations. She has been a Vermont resident for twenty-four years and currently lives in Burlington. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows throughout the region: solo exihibiton of monoprints and paintings at the AVA Gallery, Lebonon,NH; installations and groups shows at the Flynndog, Burlington, VT; solo show of paintings at Rhombus Gallery, Burlington, VT; paintings at the FirehouseGallery, Burlington, VT. Smereka’s teaching experience includes; after-school classes with children (Rochester, Essex & Middlebury), water color and drawing classes with adults (Shelburne Art Center, Frog Hollow Middlebury and Two Rivers Printmaking Studio), collaborative biology and art class at Montpelier High School, drawing class at Champlain College and painting and printmaking at the Governors Institute on the Arts. Smereka has been the recipient of numerous grants and residencies: Development Grant from the Vermont Arts Council, 2009; Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council, Rotary International Group Study program in India, 2004; Kittredge Foundation Grant, 2002; Incentive Grants from the Vermont Arts Council, 2001 and 2002; three month residency in Taos, New Mexico, from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, 1998 and 2008; and a three month residency at the Vermont Studio Center, 1996.