Artist in Residence

Artist in Residence Nicole Rivas

Nicole Rivas Artist in ResidenceNicole Rivas is a prose writer originally from Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. She started writing and publishing short form writing while earning a B.A. in English from California State University, San Bernardino. Before relocating to Grand Junction in 2022, Nicole spent nearly a decade living in the South, where she earned an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Alabama. Her debut short story collection, Tender Hoof: Stories (Thirty West Publishing House) was published in January 2024. In addition to writing short stories, Nicole is currently at work on a novella.

Artist Statement:
My favorite forms of writing are short stories and flash fiction, but I’m also a fan of the elements of craft found in essays, poetry, and visual art. Many of my stories are character studies focusing on the internal struggle of human connectedness and personal growth.

My goal as a writer is to create narratives that make people see something of themselves in a character, a situation, or a difficult decision. I don't stray away from the ugly or uncomfortable in my writing, and I write stories that any reader can deeply connect with regardless of identity.


Flash Fiction: How to Write a Story in Under 500 Words
6 p.m. Thursday, May 16 Central Library Community Room
In this workshop, we'll study the "micro" story with Artist in Residence Nicole Rivas. Writers will learn how to craft impactful stories with depthful characters, carefully-chosen details, and powerful dialogue. Story starter prompts will be provided and beginners are welcome. Registration is required.

Ephemeral Inspirations: Creating Meaning Out of the Mundane
6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, Central Library Community Room and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 15, Palisade Branch
Discover everyday inspiration with Artist in Residence Nicole Rivas! Participants will explore ephemeral objects like postcards or photographs and use provided story starter prompts to create a poem, collage, or painting. Supplies included and registration is required.

Writer's Notebook Re-imagined: Collage Your Way to Inspiration
6 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, Central Library Community Room and 1 p.m. Saturday, July 13, Clifton Branch Library Mt. Garfield Room
Join Artist in Residence Nicole Rivas to customize a writer's notebook with a collage makeover, turning it into an artistic space to spark your creativity and inspire your writing. Supplies included and registration is required.

Artist in Residence Meet and Greet
Wednesdays 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (starting April 24 through July 24) at the 970West Studio 502 Ouray Ave.

the artist in residence space has a sink, closet door, brown concrete floor and a lot of natural light.

Click to enlarge

About the Artist in Residence (AIR) Program

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 $2000 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


Applications generally open up during the Fall and will be posted at the top of this page.  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.