let your creativity flow like the Buffalo River
and be inspired by visits from our private riverfront
a retreat residency program in the rural rolling hills of mid-south TN
the foothills of Appalachia, near Natchez Trace and Buffalo River
Come visit us! We'll visit you while you work.
Residencies available for creatives of all walks of life and career stages, but those who are emerging or even still in grad school are highly encouraged to apply. Affordable options for less than 30 days or multi-month averaging one to three month stays.
The namesake – Sarasvati – is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and nature. Sarasvati @ Camp Wonder Wander offers a safe, comfortable and creatively designed space 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.
WHO? Ideally suited for emerging artists, creatives of all colors, career shifts into or out of design (talk to Design Coach Val), and parents/families (based on the calendar of availability). Small groups of up to 15 can organize a group retreat with a capacity of 7 in one space and 13-15 in another. The residency program is accepting applications and inquiries on a continuing basis and will accommodate based on availability. In our artist agreement, we 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 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. More information on our residency page.
WHERE? In Lewis County (named after explorer Meriwether Lewis), the 5-acres plus an additional 12 acre parcel with campsites, a yurt, and (in the near future) mountain bike trails along the Buffalo River is located in the beautiful mid-south Tennessee hills near the Natchez Trace Parkway. Approximately 1.75 hours from the rich, culturally diverse city of Nashville and 1 hour from Florence, AL to the south or Columbia, TN to the east. Our camp and farm atmosphere is approximately half-way between Hohenwald and Waynesboro, TN on state road 99. There are a few neighbors in site including surrounding farms. We are about 15-20 minutes from Waynesboro which is located on SR64 that runs east-west in southern Tennessee. It's an intentional escape from larger populations.
COMMUNITY & CAMARADERIE: The goal for the retreat center is to have opportunities for participants and short-term residents to be involved in the care and maintenance of the homestead style facility along with the gradual development of sustainable lifestyle activities. Our garden is expanding every season. We have 12 chickens (a dozen eggs daily) and 6 donkeys (4 are miniatures) that enjoy pets, treats and help reduce our time on the mower. The camp cats, rabbits and tripod pyrenees are there to be your loving muses. Ongoing activities to develop access to traditional craft - candle-making, paper-making, canning food, etc. - that allow individuals to connect with an inner spirit for inspiration, reinvigoration and respite that is inevitable with this type of endeavor.
Sarasvati Center at Camp Wonder Wander and the Wanderful Farm is an amalgamation of the slow-food movement, locavore movement, and the sharing economy in a unique blend of youth hostel meets guesthouse meets ‘airbnb’ meets summer camp. Individuals may visit for mentorship and coaching while developing or re-working a portfolio, to spend vacation time in a unique blend of creative exercises and exploring the natural surroundings, or spend time focusing on a sabbatical, post-graduate or special projects.
Organizations may access the facilities for retreat purposes or to participate in creative workshops that can be customized based on needs of the group and the expertise of any artists-in-residence interested in getting involved. During off-season for workshops, the facility would be available for reunions, corporate or non-profit retreats, school trips, and scout troops to ensure that the property is maintained and that proceeds contribute to upkeep, future renovations and upgrades such as solar energy or additional lodging.
Rewarding experiences occur when we get LOST – lost in thought,lost in a good book, lost in translation, lost in conversation, lost in place.
EACH JOURNEY IS UNIQUE
Ready for an inspirational nature path? Part of the Camp Retreat facility includes 12 undeveloped acres along the lazy Buffalo River that is accessed with this magical tree lined path past the old wise tree. As time goes on, there will be off-grid micro-shelter and tiny home style spaces for use in the residency program. First option is a canvas Yurt - available now. Stay tuned for what's next.
Residency lodging is walking distance to the pine path and the river.