What do YOU expect from an Artist Retreat or Residency?

February 10, 2008

Lately I have seen quite a few posts from artists taking a retreat in order to – yes – what?
I think there are only two alternatives – either you expect nothing and you use a retreat as a kind of creative holiday for soul and body or you expect some changes in your work because you came to the conclusion that your creativity is experiencing some stagnation or needs some fine tuning.

While I find the first reason (holiday) a bit extravagant, considering the fact that you have to go through a couple of “audits” especially when you have to apply for a grant in order to be able to finance your retreat. Although going on a different kind of holiday would be no less valid, but it might be easier to go to some place you always wanted to go on your own with paper, pencil and brush. Main reason for going to a retreat or taking up residency is probably achieving a turnaround in your work.

It would be interesting to know (potentially not only for me) what you experienced during your own retreat and what you did expect before? What has been fulfilled and what was disappointing for you? The poll is about the question above (cancelled – Feb 14 – no-one wanted to answer the questions)

I have added a couple of links here where you can read some interesting inputs and reports from artists who were and currently are on a retreat. I also added some links to Artist Retreat orgs/art centers and locations which support grant programs or give other financial support in order to deliver you an idea what different kinds of retreats and residencies to look for depending on your personal preferences:

Tracy Helgeson (a “diary” directly from Vermont)
Jane Fulton Alt (photographer – official website, at Ragdale in Lake Forest)
Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat (Ireland) (reviews from various artists)
Vermont Studio Center in Johnson/Vermont
The MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire
Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen

ACA-Atlantic Center for the Arts, Smyrna Beach
Colorado Art Ranch
The Dairy Barn – Ohio

International opportunities:
SACI – Studio Art Centers International Florence

Check out the Internet for more – there are hundreds of opportunities. You might also check out Art Deadline.com – this is not only a compilation of art competitions but residencies and other opportunities as well. You will need a subscription but it’s it worth while the annual few bucks. I have also added a couple of links on my sidebar which lead to all kinds of artists opportunities.


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