a retreat residency program in the rural rolling hills of mid-south TN
the foothills of Appalachia, near Natchez Trace and Buffalo River
get Lost, find Joy
let your creativity flow like the Buffalo River
and be inspired by visits to our private riverfront
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.
Sarasvati creative Space @ 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.
The namesake – Sarasvati – is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and nature. This is a non-secular place that invites all walks of life to pursue your creative passions.
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). The residency program is accepting applications and inquiries on a continuing basis and will accommodate based on availability. Residency overview details here.
During the unknown circumstances caused by COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to offer safe space to work. The lodging is suited to have comfortable social distance and privacy. For now, requests for group activities will be deferred to 2022, but if you have been socially isolated with one or small group such as your family, please don't hesitate to submit an inquiry.
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 as a natural terrain and primitive campground on Buffalo River is located in the beautiful mid-south Tennessee hills near the Natchez Trace Parkway. This area is called the Western Highland Rim and features some really interesting terrain and geology. Approximately 1.75 hours drive southwest from the rich, culturally diverse city of Nashville; 1 hour from Florence, AL to the south or Columbia, TN to the east; and 3 hours east of Memphis. 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. This is 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 numerous chickens and a rooster, 12 donkeys including miniatures and foals of various ages, and a peafowl couple. The camp cats, rabbit and tripod Pyrenees are there to be your loving muses. Gradually ongoing activities will be added for traditional craft - candle-making, paper-making, canning food, etc. - that allow individuals to connect with an inner spirit for inspiration, re-invigoration and respite that is inevitable with this type of endeavor. The pottery studio is available for work with clay.
Sarasvati creative Space 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. Visit Camp Wonder Wander for more information on small group company retreats.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Are you seeking a safe, quiet space far away from the dense population where you may currently be?
Yes the world is upside down and the unknown as to when the U.S. will get itself together with testing, etc.
This is a great time to focus on your work as a creative person to get into nature for it's inspiration and motivation.
Accepting residencies for the year as our space provides ample room for social distancing featuring 17 acres to explore on foot.
Lodging features private rooms and either private bath or shared with possible one other person.
The affordable residency fee is even better if you stay 30 days or longer. Check out FAQ here.
or submit an application to coordinate your plans.
Come visit us! We'll visit you while you work.
EACH JOURNEY IS UNIQUE
Ready for an inspirational nature path? Part of the Camp Retreat facility includes a 12-acres campground 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.
Residency lodging is walking distance to the pine path and the river.