Camp Wonder Wander and the Wanderful Farm
Embodying the value of retreat methodology within a natural environment and fellowship that comes from connecting with others in small communal opportunities or connecting with oneself thru a disconnected immersion in a rural setting, this residency space in the rural rolling hills of mid-south Tennessee is committed to aiding its participants in connecting to a deep, enhanced level of creativity, camaraderie and communion with the local flora and fauna.
Sarasvati creative Space @ Camp Wonder Wander offers a safe, comfortable and creatively designed spaces in a rural setting for participants – designers, writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, storytellers, performers, or those just seeking a creative outlet – to get lost; to explore their inner dreamscapes and rejuvenate one's inner spirit; to carve out the time and space needed to start, finish, polish or develop projects or portfolios; to generate ideas, to create and engage in experimentation needed in the design and creative process. Ideally suited for emerging artists, creatives of all colors, those interested in a rural Tennessee experience, and parents/families (based on the calendar of availability). The residency program is accepting applications and inquiries on a continuing basis and will accommodate based on availability. There are several types of workspaces from the quiet contemplative zones to a large studio shop space perfect for painting or large 3D projects as well as a ceramics workspace. Small groups of up to 15 can organize a group retreat in the main lodge while groups up to 7 can schedule the smaller housing unit.
The goal for the retreat center is to have opportunities for participants to be involved in the care and maintenance of the homestead style facility along with the gradual development of sustainable lifestyle activities. The garden is expanding and planning for harvest in 2018 season. They have 12 chickens that will start providing eggs in the summer of 2018 and 6 donkeys (4 are miniatures) that enjoy pets, treats and help reduce our time on the mower. The camp cats and Pyrenees are there to be your loving muses. Ongoing activities to develop access to traditional craft such as candle-making, paper-making, canning food, etc. may occur during one's stay that allow individuals to connect with an inner spirit for inspiration, re-invigoration and respite that is inevitable with this type of endeavor.
In the artist agreement, the organizers ask that you leave something of your work behind - a tiny handwritten poem on the cabinetry, an illustration strategically placed on interior or exterior wall, or physical objects that can be displayed. Val (one of the organizers) is very interested in working with environmental artists in a collaborative manner to document your work over time. Also seeking muralist to enhance exterior spaces on site and interested in working with you on grant applications for that purpose.
Opportunities available for artists/writers to learn about graphic design from Val, the founder/director, who has been a graphic design professor in former life with additional mentorship or coaching with creative exercises as an add-on to your residency. Therefore, individuals may visit for mentorship and coaching while developing or re-working a portfolio, or spend time focusing on a sabbatical, post-graduate or special projects. She is also a storyteller and can document your work for print or web publication.
Each artist should submit goals and objectives for their project in the application. Whether it be to have a space for creative incubation on a new project; devoted time to finish the novel or other in progress work; specific amount of pieces for an upcoming exhibit; or to experiment in new methods the space is supportive of these activities. They request to document the work through occasional photographs and conversations that could be used in newsletter, social media or website documentation. Environmental artists are welcome to create installations that the organizers will document over time in the artists absence. They are also interested in collaborating with artists to aid in designing or updating theirwebsite, collecting stories of those that pass thru to develop an annual publication that can be used for fundraising to support future residents.
Located in the back of the property nestled amongst large trees and partially overlooking the neighboring pasture farm land, the primary studio space is about 800 sq ft with two large rooms plus running water and a wood stove. This is suitable for large painting, 3D and other mixed media requiring table surfaces. Installing a pottery wheel and kiln in 2018. This has a high ceiling and a garage door opening. Adjacent to this is a covered shelter that can be used for working with large materials or an easel during the rain.
Additional space for working includes a small tool shop approximately 8 feet x 10 feet, a second enclosed structure with electricity and a table surface approximately 250 sq feet. The exterior property of the 5 acres is conducive for those wanting to set up an easel or install environmental art.
Interior spaces have desks in some rooms or in communal space and several large tables for spreading out work. The WiFi is available throughout the property for those using digital media. Writers can carry their laptops or notebooks to numerous sitting areas inside and out.
On the main 5 acre parcel, there are 3 residential units. The main lodge has 2 bedrooms/2 baths and a dormitory style loft for short term stays. The space accommodates up to 14. The second smaller unit has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. The third space has two rooms for artists in residence. Each uniquely decorated house is completely furnished with living spaces and fully equipped kitchens for communal use. There are multiple decks and porches to sit with morning coffee/tea or gaze at the starry night sky.
The library is full of graphic design books from history, contemporary inspiration, technical, and typography from donations and Val's career as a graphic design professor. Additional materials include some topics on art, community or public art and architecture, literature, travel, and other curiosities. As of July 2018, there will be one Imac for use in common area along with a scanner and an inkjet printer with archival ink for rental to cover costs of materials. Some basic supplies may accumulate over time thru donations such as scrap fabric, scrap wood, basic tools and more.
This 5 acre retreat and residency center with a small farm and camp environment is in a rural location approximately 15 miles to the closest town through winding roads as you traverse the rolling hills. Easily accessible on a well-maintained state road rather than deep in the woods on a gravel road, the acreage is surrounded mostly by cattle farms and a few neighbors in the visual distance. This area is in the mid-south of the state yet still in the foothills of Appalachia having the same elevation as the popular destination of Gatlinburg. Residencies have private access to 12 acres of additional natural habitat of wooded and pasture areas along with a swimming hole and river basin area of the Buffalo River which is a class 1-2 perfect for a half-day kayak. The closest entrance to the historic Natchez Trace Parkway which is protected habitat with numerous trails and viewing stops is approximately 15 minute drive. The parkway is a 444 mile scenic drive from Natchez Mississippi to Nashville, TN that is a protected National Park. The area is green and lush most of the year. There is a heavy rain season expect glorious thunderous summer storms with brilliant sunsets afterwards and lots of humidity. Winters are relatively mild and spring starts early allowing a long growing season for the garden.