let your creativity flow like the Buffalo (River)
Residency, Retreats, & Sabbaticals
CALLING Y'ALL CREATIVE PEEPS
Invest in yourself with a Nature Immersion
in the rural rolling hills of mid-south Tennessee
" My wish is to stay always like this,
living quietly in a corner of nature."
- Claude Monet
You deserve the focused time in a quiet, natural environment for yourself and your work - from writing, research, fine art, music, graphic design, dance, architecture, sound/film, craft, and those in associated disciplines such as natural and social sciences.
Venture to the rural rolling hills of Appalachia in the Western Highland Rim - one of the best light pollution free zones in the region. Partake in a unique opportunity to live in a magical and luscious landscape where you can explore the flora and fauna of the bio-diverse region of mid-south Tennessee just under 2 hours southwest of the creative capitol of Nashville and 3 hours east of vibrant Memphis. Escape the fast-pace world into a farm and forestry region where you'll have access to 17-acres with a variety of habitat from meadow to bamboo grove to river to forest; furnished housing; space to work; and interactions with the camp donkeys, chickens & roosters, camp cats, two farm dogs, two studio rabbits, and peafowl family (currently 2 peacocks and a hen).
Every moment is a special opportunity to connect on multiple levels to the earth and environment, yourself and your work, and any others that may be on site. Sleep well and disconnect to reconnect. Create rhythm in your routine as you understand the ebb and flow of the natural world from the sun and stars to the water. * Program options include 1, 2, or 3 weeks for the Raspberry Residency House and Lemon Lodge options; with a month or longer option available in the Camphaus based on additional interview after application.
Carve out time that you deserve to focus on you
and your creative endeavor.
Learn to go slow. Take time to gaze at the stars. Smell the earth.
Disconnect to reconnect.
Shifts happen here.
light pollution free zone
Rewarding experiences occur when we get LOST – lost in thought, lost in a good book, lost in translation, lost in conversation, lost in place.
Homestead Experience as Creative Philosophy
As you disconnect from the fast-paced world, you'll encounter the homestead lifestyle with a minimum of daily required activities of washing dishes by hand and sweeping/vacuuming, as well as monitoring trash and compost from your meals.
If you want to experience more of a connection to the land, apply for the farm stay 'scholarship' which is a work exchange discount of $150 from the residency fee each week. This includes two hours of Farm Friday guided activity. This may include a garden, compost, bamboo, trail, or other basic maintenance need. Additionally, you'll find 4 hours on your own balanced daily or in larger time blocks to help on the land which is likely a physical activity with direction, but can be managed on your own schedule. *This is based on an interview after application and contractual commitment.
See the F.A.Q. for more info.
" Adopt the pace of nature.
Her secret is patience."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Camp Wonder Wander is a creativity retreat space with a total of 17 acres including 500 ft of Buffalo River frontage.
Open year-round so you can experience the season of your choice.
Residency terms include 1, 2, or 3 weeks. Two rooms are available for 1 month (or longer) options based on extended interview after application.
see pics of the land, spaces, and rooms here
The residency program namesake – Sarasvati – is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and nature. This is a secular place that invites all walks of life to pursue your creative passions.
Nature should likely be your muse, collaborator, or co-conspirator. There is an organic curation of the participants at the particular time when paths intersect with the goal to create an interdisciplinary and diverse group for unique, once-in-a-lifetime particular individual experience. You don't have to be a full-time artist, writer, or creative to reap the benefits of this space. This is an artist-run residency, so your host is also a working creative in graphic design, photography, ceramics, and craft seeking to provide you with a memorable experience. As a former graphic design professor, Val is seeking to host a variety of disciplines including academics or former academics. Except for a housekeeper from the community, there are no staff as this is an emerging program.
Sarasvati creative Space @ Camp Wonder Wander offers a safe, comfortable, and creatively designed space in a rural setting (on a well-maintained, yet infrequently traveled state highway; not in the 'boondocks') just twenty minutes drive from civilization for individuals – graphic designers or architects, writers and poets, fine artists, musicians or songwriters, filmmakers, storytellers, performers, craft artisans, academics, or those just seeking a creative outlet – to get lost; to explore their inner dream scapes 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.
Please visit the F.A.Q. page for information on the room and rate options. There are three buildings for lodging. Residency terms are for either 1, 2, or 3 weeks and should plan for arrival on a Saturday or Sunday. Those interested in staying up to two months are welcome to apply and will be interviewed to ensure your ability to live and thrive in this rural location. As of October, 2022, the Raspberry Residency House is closed for renovation until March 2023, please inquire about space in the Lemon Lodge or Camphaus beginning January 2023.
The residency fee for all staying longer than 14 days includes a certified by ANFT Forest Therapy guided walk during your time to connect to the land intentionally.
EACH JOURNEY IS UNIQUE
Retreating into nature has been a creative habit for artists, thinkers, makers, and more for so many years. Breaking away from your normal routine allows you to engage your brain and senses in a different way. Each journey here is unique, but paths will cross in interesting ways.
This residency is for all walks of life and career stages. It can be an alternative to grad school or a sabbatical rest stop especially as your host and founder is a former Graphic Design Professor able to act as a sounding board and mentor for those seeking that interaction.
May 4 - 14, 2023
forest therapy WALK
What is Forest Therapy?
Engage all of your senses at your particular time at the camp to make close observations to the land as a disconnection intention. Often known as "Forest Bathing" or "shinrin-yoku", this philosophy came about in Japan when the social healthcare system recognized an increase in health problems brought about by the intensity and demands of their urban work environment with the economic boom of the 80s. You'll learn more about this at the start of the walk, but consider that humans have spent more time in natural environments than in the industrialized world over the course of history.
For all residencies 14 days or longer included in your residency fee is a Forest Therapy session that will be scheduled as close to your arrival as possible as an introduction to the land. Engage in wonder and wandering in this sensory experience in the natural surroundings of the 17-acres that Val found to embark on this journey. Certified by ANFT, your host, Val, will be your guide to slowing down which can be difficult for us in our fast-paced society. A guide works in partnership with the more-than-human world to accompany and support others on the journeys through which they encounter and embody the whole of who they are.
My time in the Sarasvati artist residency was nothing short of life changing. I spent two months at the residency building a body of work to apply for graduate schools. I did not really know what direction I wanted my art to go before I came to the residency, but the space lends itself towards unfettered creativity and artistic freedom, allowing me to take my art down new, unforeseen paths. With few distractions, I was able to enter into a routine where I was much more productive than I would have been at home. Being able to go on a meditative walk down to the river or to just step outside and visit with the donkeys helped to keep my mind grounded as I worked. It’s a beautiful place where it’s easy to appreciate the changing nature all around you, a landscape which lends itself to artistic expression no matter what form it takes. I also met great people while I was there and had inspiring conversations while sitting around a campfire or looking at the stars. The artist residency left an indelible impression on my life, and I know that the course of my life will be changed because of it. - Brent Rowley (residency February - April 5, 2021)
COVID-19 UPDATE: Three years from the start of a pandemic, people are still catching Covid although daily deaths nationally have significantly decreased. How has your life changed since the start of the pandemic? Do you value time away from enclosed spaces and yearn for a bit of immersion in nature? Vaccines are widely available and being in the outdoors is one of the best places!
Has the pandemic helped you to put yourself first? This is a great time to focus on your work as a creative person to get into nature for its inspiration and motivation. There is space to spread out and stay socially distanced if you are still maintaining that practice.
We prefer that you are fully vaccinated and boosted by the time of your stay. If you are not vaccinated we reserve the right to ask you to take a rapid test on arrival and possibly at any point during your stay if you may have been exposed.
Remember that there is a no cancellation policy even if you contract Covid and are unable to attend. With extenuating circumstances, you may be able to reschedule your residency, but you will not receive a refund.