Artist in Residence

Applications are now closed for the 2019 Artist in Residence season – we will begin accepting applications for the 2020 season during fall, 2019.

Current Artist in Residence:

May 5th – August 12th, 2019: Devan Penniman

Devan Penniman, 970West Artist in Residence

Devan Penniman, 970West Artist in Residence

Devan Penniman, a creator who specializes in paper, printing, and bringing people together through art, is the new Mesa County Libraries 970West Artist in Residence.

Penniman is a baker, letterpress printer, zine creator, co-director of the Colorado Mesa University Art and Design Alumni Chapter, and overall creative problem solver. She lives in Fruita with her partner, their husky, and an abundance of plants, old things, and books. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design and has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail.

She enjoys putting together events that bring people together through art, such as the Fruita Zine Party, art get-togethers, and pop-up galleries that showcase local artists. Paper is her passion, whether it’s setting type and letterpress printing on some nice, thick cotton paper, creating a zine with friends, or adding to her collection of old books.

“Through my artist in residency, I am hoping to share my love of paper-based goods with my community. I love letterpress printing, and I love being able to share it with people,” Penniman said. “Paper is something we can touch and hold, and the opportunities to create with it are boundless. My work is mostly centered around words and the manipulation of letters. I thoroughly enjoy destroying to recreate, smearing ink across paper, and making art for art’s sake.”

Check our event calendar for a list of library programs Devan will offer during her residency.  She will also host open studio hours from 4-6 p.m. each Tuesday through August 7th.

Artist Room 1

Click to enlarge

About the Artist in Residence (AIR) Program and Application

Mesa County Libraries provides studio space in the 970West Studio through the Artist In Residence Program. Artists are encouraged to use this fourteen-week residency as an opportunity for growth and development while engaging with the community.

The Artist in Residence program aims to support the endeavors of our local artists who connect and engage the community with a variety of arts. Selected artists will receive a $500 stipend courtesy of the Mesa County Libraries Foundation.  Artists will have studio space to hone and focus their creative talents while sharing their expertise and skills with the community through scheduled presentations or workshops at the library.


Artists 18 years of age and older, residing in Mesa County, CO, and with a valid library card may apply. Artists selected for this program are at all stages in their careers and work in one or more of the following media: drawing, painting, fiber arts, sculpture, photography, video, music, fiction and nonfiction writing, and poetry. Artists working in other mediums are encouraged to apply and will be considered based on limitations of the studio. Applicants will be required to undergo a background check.

Selection Criteria

● Ability to teach and conduct workshops or presentations
● Readiness to engage with and benefit from the residency experience
● Artistic expression
● Dates of previous artists of similar items or topics
● Special needs, costs, or requests associated with space use or workshops
● Overall community interest
● Historical prominence or significance of the artist’s work
● Relevance to library programs


Residencies will be determined by the Art Committee members and additional library staff. All application materials must be submitted by the posted deadline. Work samples will be reviewed based on their technical aspects, and final residency selections will be determined by an interview process.

Artist’s Responsibility

While in the 970West Studio, Artists in Residence are expected to comply with the Library’s Code of Conduct. Additionally, each resident is expected to

  • Work with library staff to provide at least three library programs offered during his/her residency.
  • Occupy the studio a minimum of six hours per week. A minimum of two of the six hours must be scheduled open studio time for community engagement.
  • Provide a short presentation to the MCL Foundation Board about his/her residency.
  • Allow the library to provide the following for its online catalog:
    • A photograph (taken by staff, in the studio or at a library program) of the artist at work
    • One digitized piece of the artist’s work
    • A video recording of a brief interview between the artist and the library

The library respects all copyright laws and recognizes that intellectual property rights reside with the artist.

For more information or questions, please contact Jessica Geddes at or call 970-683-2418.