Wildacres Residency Program
The greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble – to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills. I produce nothing but words; I consume nothing but food, a little propane a little firewood. By being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large I become useful, at last, to myself.
Philip Connors, American essayist and author
In 1999, Wildacres Retreat opened our residency program for artists. Since that time, we have had the opportunity to host hundreds of writers, artisans, and musicians. Participants in the program stay in one of three self-catering cabins located just a quarter-mile beyond the retreat entrance. One of the cabins is completely ADA compliant and another can house two residents working on a project together.
Using the space provided by the three cabins, Wildacres hosts approximately seventy artists each year for one-week residencies from April through October. Residencies begin on Monday afternoons and run until Sunday mornings. The residency program allows artists the solitude and inspiration needed to begin or continue work on a project in their particular field of creative arts. Past residents tell us that being able to work in such a secluded, natural setting provides them with an unparalleled opportunity to step away from outside distractions and completely focus on their work.
Wildacres residencies are offered at no cost to participants. Residents have the option to eat in the dining room with other residents, guests, and staff, or they may prepare their own meals in their cabin. Participants are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from Wildacres, as well as while they are at the retreat. They are also responsible for any supplies they may need during their residency. As the residencies are intended to be working retreats, spouses/partners, guests, and pets are not permitted.
We allow two people collaborating on a project to come together and stay in Azalea cabin, which has a loft to accommodate a second person. When two candidates apply for a joint residency, we ask them to fill out one application stating the nature of their project and include information about both participants.
Each year we offer a few two-week residencies. Individuals wishing to apply for a two-week residency are required to answer questions on the application specifically about that length of stay. Our two-week residencies are very limited and not guaranteed.
Owl’s Nest Cabin
Candidates interested in a Wildacres residency may apply using our online application. Applications open each April, and completed forms must be submitted no later than November 1st to be considered for the next season by our selection committee. There is a $25 non-refundable processing fee to apply for a Wildacres residency.
Our Selection Committee is comprised of artists, writers, musicians, actors, scholars, and former residents. They review candidate applications by discipline. The residency program is open to all artistic disciplines. We ask that candidates who have been awarded residencies wait to apply for a subsequent residency for two years.
Our residency application process is now closed for the 2022 calendar year.
Applications will re-open in early April 2022 for residencies in the 2023 season. Thank you to all those candidates who have applied for residencies this season. We will be in touch in early February with the results from the review committee and will hope to see you on the mountain in 2022!
Wildacres has hosted many artists-in-residence over the years, with the majority using their time at the retreat to work on projects that were eventually published, shown, or performed. Wildacres residents have created compositions, plays, works of art, books, and much more.
If you have completed a residency with Wildacres Retreat and would like to tell us about the project you worked on during your stay, we would love to share your accomplishment with future residents, guests, and friends of Wildacres. Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can showcase your success on this page.
Wildacres has already hosted more than 35 artists in 2021, each of whom has expressed their appreciation to have the opportunity to focus on their craft in such a beautiful setting. We recently had two sisters completing a residency with us in the Azalea Cabin. Their description of their time at Wildacres and work accomplished is below.
Anne writes: At home, there is a daughter, a grandson, a dog, and a cat – all of whom seem to want my attention with regularity. At Wildacres the difference is amazing. To have long hours of dedicated time to design, create, and produce is a wonderful luxury. I spent my time designing and binding book structures that are less familiar and ones for which I am intentionally integrating the design with the structure. I also collaborated with my sister Patricia on two books wherein she painted the piece that became the cover and I created coordinating binding patterns.
I am privileged to have this be my second residency at Wildacres. During the first one (5 years ago) I adapted a book structure for wooden covers that to my knowledge no one else is yet doing. Spending a week of dedicated time improving my craft and exploring new forms, materials, and methods brings me great joy.
Patricia writes: I have been painting for about 15 years, and recently became intrigued by the process of making paint from pigments. This Artist Residency afforded me the opportunity to experiment with pigments I had previously extracted from soil dug in North Carolina and Iceland. I also worked with pigments I had purchased in France, taken from the famous Roussillon cliffs, a source of pigments for artists for centuries. Focused, uninterrupted time in a comfortable workspace encouraged exploration of the different pigments for both watercolor and acrylic painting. I found that making paint is an easy undertaking in this modern world, thus making one appreciate even more the skills of earlier artists. During the week I produced 16 paintings of varying styles, two of which were promptly appropriated by my sister Anne to become book covers. What a wonderful experience this Retreat offered!