If 'summer' is the only time you can get on the road for a residency or retreat, then consider spending a week or two in the foothills of Appalachia where you can venture daily to our private spot on the Buffalo River. In June, you'll have summer solstice on the 21st to start to see the daylight getting shorter each day. The ebb and flow of the natural world will be on full display at this time of year. If nature is your muse, inspiration, or collaborator, then you will want to relish in the lusciousness of the environment at our rural location. Many from outside the area typically comment on how green it is here. By August, some of the leaves will start to change as the days are shorter, but it's still a time to connect to your inner child feeling the last bits of 'summer'.
If you are in academics, get one last dose of creative flexibility and freedom before another academic year envelopes you.
Choose 1, 2, or 3 weeks in either June or August to channel your inner child and use the long hours of daylight to get your work done, especially if you are working outside. Please plan on arriving/departing on a Sunday during daylight hours.
If you are interested in a retreat getaway as a creative jolt, check out our adult summer camp options in June and August: https://www.campwonderwander.org/creativitysummercamp
Take advantage of the low light pollution in this special area called the Western Highland Rim of mid-south Tennessee. Make sure to take time to star-gaze!
- Full Moon: Saturday June 3rd
- New Moon: Sunday June 18th
- Full Moon: Tuesday August 1st
- Peak of Perseids Meteors: August 12-13th (weather permitting, best viewing in the darkest hours of the night between 1 and 4 am).
- New Moon: Wednesday August 16th
Make plans to rest and reboot to allow your creativity FLOW like the BUFFALO river on our 17 acre slice of beauty in the rural rolling hills of Mid-South Tennessee 20 minutes drive from a few small towns and mostly farm land as neighbors, SW of Nashville. Those staying longer than two weeks will receive a complimentary Forest Therapy guided walk on the land and a minimal participation fee for any others interested in joining.
Plan for your residency to escape the hubbub of the normal world and enter a special place where time is a bit squishy and there’s little light pollution. When you embark on your day, you'll see the changes that spring will bring as the buds on the trees emerge and some flower. The daffodils bloom in February so the garden will begin to flourish with the spring weather. You'll likely enjoy getting in the garden at some point for spring planting season. Prepare to hunker down in this adult camp environment without a formal schedule that allows you to find your own rhythm and routine. While it's frowned upon to spend more time off-site to feed your regular habits of coffee shops, fast food or just eating out, there are lots of areas in the region perfect for nature exploring with your sketchbook, tablet, camera, or portable easels. Perhaps you like to thrift and salvage, so those opportunities are in the area as well.
Campfires and reconnecting to our inner child is what many think about for summer. What fire is burning in you creatively? Are you ready for a creative shift? Are you seeking a pause to create some new work in the same flow?. Please explain in your application. This is not a requirement, but will be taken into consideration in the selection process.
Venture on the land and learn to go slow while you listen to the sounds of nature. We should have our final additions to our donkey crew with two foals expected at some point in the late winter into spring. Enjoy your time with these joyful, gentle animals. Get a giggle out of the chicken shenanigans as you may watch them in their free-ranging and foraging activities. The peacocks will likely be in full feathers. Spend time on our river frontage as the water will be crisp and the landscape ever changing.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW BEFORE I APPLY? Please visit the FAQ for much more information, but below is a bulleted list of some things to consider.
- no shoes inside, please bring socks/slippers
- being conscious about our 'footprint' in the world in regards to our consumption of packaging is important. Must washes dishes after every meal, take out trash and recycling daily (sorting according to our local options and the upcycling center on site), be willing to compost organic matter including your tea and coffee, and must develop a daily habit including sweeping and wiping down the counters.
- there is broadband in two houses with a farm antennae signal across the 5 acres where the buildings are located. Depending on your cell phone provider, your phone may not work or text only.
- prefer participants who are into healthy eating or curious about options and organic gardening, but have not gone down the chem trail rabbit hole.
- food and transport are not included, except for the weekly group meals. You may choose the add-on service to have meals prepared for you or for assistance in picking up groceries you've ordered.
- please plan for settling into the space and your routine, and that the time here is squishy. Many people find that once they have rested a few days and are not distracted by normal life, that the routine provides a really productive opportunity exceeding the goals for what to accomplish daily or during the time allocated.
- although there is storage for clothes and supplies in your room, the space is limited so make sure you are packing light and planning for a simplistic experience.
- your canine companion may be welcome after discussion, no other pets allowed including cats, rabbits, fish, reptiles, or plants (unless you really need a plant in your own private room that you'll take care of)
The residency is the brainchild of a former tenured associate graphic design professor who walked away from academia for a stronger connection to the land and people. This has turned into a giant art project as the three lodging options have been creatively designed by Val and over emerging years of the residency, participants have left their mark with art or statements turning this into a vibrant creative place. The main 5 acres of the camp features three houses of different shapes and sizes all decorated in different ways to inspire you and also aid in creative contemplation as well as a good night's rest.
You will choose your room option which is furnished and there is a residency fee based on length of stay. Lodging fee includes applicable sales and hospitality taxes required by the state of Tennessee for occupancy less than 30 days.
Raspberry Residency House features 3 bedrooms, two baths, and a communal living space with full kitchen and a washing machine with drying rack in the laundry room. The room options are two single occupancy with a twin bed that use the hall bath and an ensuite with a full bed and twin bunk.
Lemon Lodge can technically sleep up to 12 so it is available for groups or events. The lodge features a large kitchen, community room with library, and a large dining / workspace area overlooking the donkeys. The sleeping options include an ensuite with King and twin, as well as a private room with full bed and shared bath. Technically the loft dormitory style set-up sleeps up to 7, but would be limited use during the month of April in this no frills spot you'll have a twin bed and a little bit of storage space.
Camphaus is the only lodging available for terms of a month, although these rooms are also available for the April residencies. This is a live-work space that also is like a cat cafe. There are two sitting areas, a dining table, and some more of the design/art library. If you aren't allergic to cats and love them, this may be the best spot for you. The sleeping options include an ensuite with a Queen and twin bunk and a private room with Queen and a daybed couch with the shared bath on the hall.
As an artist run and emerging program that began just before a pandemic, there is currently not a fundraising arm or staff. The program fee is based on length of stay and includes all access to the land and animals along with the natural benefits, forest therapy guided session for those staying longer than two weeks, housekeeping to prepare for your arrival and clean up after your departure, housekeeping once a week in the common areas and bathrooms, general maintenance like trash, a group meal once a week along with coordinated evening activity, general house supplies like eco-friendly tree-free toilet paper and eco-friendly non-toxic dish and laundry soap. All the details are on the residency website. The program fee acts as your deposit and is non-refundable after you have made the commitment and signed your contract. Your lodging fee will be due upon arrival. If you cancel before within the 30 day window prior to your arrival, you are obligated to pay up to 50% of your lodging as a cancellation fee which will be in detail in the contract.
WANT TO EXPERIENCE THE HOMESTEAD LIFE?
If you are interested in receiving a work exchange scholarship of $150 off each week of the residency program fee, please apply for that at the same time to interview for the opportunity. You must commit 6 hours a week on the property including a 2 hour session with Val on 'Farm Fridays' to receive guidance or just add an extra hand to some sort of task. We'll develop another type of task for you to do on your own time, with supervision, that could include collecting sticks for kindling, chopping down bamboo, digging manure and transporting, grooming the donkeys, cleaning the rabbit house, clearing trails on the riverside, sweeping or raking, or other low level maintenance types of projects.
Residency Experience Summary
Let your creativity FLOW LIKE THE BUFFALO river on the edge of our acreage. Applicants with nature as their muse, inspiration, or collaborator will receive priority.
Individuals must be able to let the normal world and lifestyle go during your stay and it is encouraged that you utilize the time and access to the benefits of being away from contemporary society. If you cannot go a day without your favorite coffee shop visit, have fast food on the brain, or need lots of people around to function, this is not the place for you.
Be prepared for a different sense of time here and your project goals may actually go faster because you don't have your normal life distractions. You must agree to all of the policies which include contributing to the facility and land in some capacity as well as general, regular cleaning like washing dishes daily and other daily chores that as a creative philosophy allow your mind to wander and your inner gut to rejuvenate.
Creatives of all walks of life are welcome to apply even if you must work full time to support your creative habits.
Please visit https://www.sarasvati.space/residency-overview for the most up to date information on rooms and residency fees. As an emerging residency that is artist-led, there is not a foundation or funds. The philosophy that a fee is an acknowledgement of the founder's investment in this special place and the creative exchange we all have as individuals, the non-human inhabitants, and the land itself.
The Residency fee includes a variety of aspects of the experience including one group meal a week with the remaining food on your own.
The Residency fee provides the participant with furnished lodging and access to communal living arrangements as well as all of the features of the place which may or may not include a specific studio or designated workspace. Broadband and other utilities are included.
This is not a resort and it is expected that each participant will treat the living environment and the opportunity with respect by maintaining a clean habitable space, not limited to washing dishes and taking out trash/recycling daily. The creative philosophy inspired by shinto and research into how taking breaks helps the creative process is part of this policy. The residency fee includes housekeeping to prepare for your arrival, clean after your departure, and a once a week housekeeper visit to make sure the common areas are kept up to be able to maintain the health and wellness for everyone as well as the longevity of the physical space itself. This is not your own apartment and it's not a resort that you can just drop everything on the floor for the hotel housekeeper to come in and make your bed every day.
Residencies are for the terms of 1, 2, or 3 weeks even if you cannot stay the entire week. You should plan on arriving during daylight hours on a Saturday or Sunday based on the availability and departure of previous room occupants. Month-long or longer stays that have been approved after an interview may coordinate a calendar month arrival/departure.
Please note that alcohol consumption must be minimal or nothing. No drugs. No smoking or vaping. Please refrain from fraternization beyond general socializing with others on site as this is not a spring break beach party atmosphere.
It is expected that participants will treat the lodging and studio spaces as well as the landscape and animals with the utmost respect to have the opportunity to spend time at this special place. Participants sign a contract that requires washing dishes daily, taking trash and recycling out daily, composting organic waste, general cleaning as a creative philosophy daily includes sweeping or other basic chores like wiping down the kitchen counter, table, etc. So that you can do your work, we've implemented a residency fee to aid in creating a clean and healthy environment. If you are interested in connecting to the earth, the animals, etc. and want to contribute some of your time for physical activities as a creative philosophy, please consider applying for the farm scholarship options.
This is a homestead style experience with much ongoing activity as the space organically evolves.
You must agree to all of the policies which include contributing to the facility and land in some capacity as well as general, regular cleaning like washing dishes daily and other daily chores including sweeping and wiping down counters and sinks (cleaning up after yourself in general and if you have any issues in the shower, on the toilet, in the kitchen, etc. that should be attended to immediately) that as a creative philosophy allow your mind to wander and your inner gut to rejuvenate.
There are no grants, scholarships, or other funding available. If you are applying for funding, please let us know ahead of time if you need information.