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a nature immersion residency program
in the rural rolling hills of mid-south TN

the foothills of Appalachia,
near Natchez Trace on the edge of the Buffalo River

let your creativity flow like the Buffalo River

and be inspired by visits to our private riverfront

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CALLING Y'ALL CREATIVE PEEPS

Residencies available for creative people of all walks of life and career stages. Those seeking alternative to a grad experience or are ready for a sabbatical whether or not you are an academic, should apply to discuss. Preference will be given to those seeking longer term options. Recommend a minimum stay of 10 to 14 days to get the most out of the experience, but can discuss less days based on individual circumstances.

 

now accepting applications for
jan - apr 2022 cohort + jan + early mar
may 2022 cohort
may - aug 2022
& sept - dec/apr2023 cohort

hexagon
bird illustration
camping patch
birds illustration
hexagon
hexagon

get Lost, find Joy

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owl illustration
campfire patch
rocket illustration
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sarasvati_foresttherapywalkjune30
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campfires
campfires
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Greg Blair installation
Greg Blair installation
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May 2021 group
May 2021 group
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Alex Hanson work in progress
Alex Hanson work in progress
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mtsu campfire
mtsu campfire
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kayaking group
kayaking group
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Ryan Frankel work outside
Ryan Frankel work outside
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Game Night outside
Game Night outside
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Greg Blair documents
Greg Blair documents
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plein-air mtsu design camp
plein-air mtsu design camp
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family friendly
family friendly
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liann environmental sculpture
liann environmental sculpture
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sara blair weaving
sara blair weaving
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mtsu design camp forest walk
mtsu design camp forest walk
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Rewarding experiences occur when we get LOST – lost in thought, lost in a good book, lost in translation, lost in conversation, lost in place.

Sarasvati creative Space @ Camp Wonder Wander offers a safe, comfortable and creatively designed space in a rural setting for individuals – designers, writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, storytellers, performers, craft artisans, 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. All residency participants staying longer than 14 days receive a complimentary Forest Therapy walk during your time to introduce to the land.

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, re-emerging, those who have a two-sided practice - client vs personal, creatives of all colors, and all those who are inspired by or collaborate with nature. Private rooms available with en-suite or shared bath while living spaces are shared. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and scheduling based on occupancy availability. Applications for longer terms September - December, January - April, or September - April will receive priority and the calendar will be filled on an ongoing basis based on room availability. More information in the residency overview here.
 

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 north from Florence and Muscle Shoals, AL or west from Columbia, TN; 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. Check out the local resource guide here and if you have enough time to explore this guide is helpful.

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.

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, your host and founder/director, is very interested in working with environmental artists in a collaborative manner to document your work over time. This is an evolving, breathing art organism with working popping up regularly like flowers or mushrooms. More information on our residency page.

 

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: 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!

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.

We prefer that you are fully vaccinated by the time of your stay.

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Creative Paths

EACH JOURNEY IS UNIQUE

Ready for an inspirational nature path?

Part of the Camp Retreat facility includes a 12-acre primitive, untamed campground along the lazy Buffalo River that is accessed with this magical tree lined path past the old wise tree. Complimentary Forest Therapy Walk for each resident staying 14
or more days at some stage of your stay with your host as a certified guide.
A walk can be organized for less than 2 week stay with coordination and nominal fee for the time and specialty experience.


Residency lodging is walking distance to the pine path and the river.

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ligh pollution free zone

TESTIMONIAL

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)

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COMPLIMENTARY*

forest therapy session

 

*As close to your arrival time as possible, you will receive a complimentary Forest Therapy session for all residencies 14 days or longer (and can book a session for less than 14 days, see residency info). As an introduction to the land, you'll engage in wonder and wandering in this sensory experience in the natural surroundings of the retreat center. Your host, Val, is certified by ANFT,  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.

What is Forest Therapy?
This originated in Japan as "Forest Bathing" or "shinrin-yoku" in the 80s when the government recognized an increase in health problems brought about by the intensity and demands of their urban work environment. They conducted much research and realized that humans in the urban world were disconnected from the indigenous land and nature found more commonly in other parts of their country.

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Need more information

or want to join the
mailing list for camp &

residential opportunities ?

CALL: 931.321.3520
TEXT: 931.213.1901
or use the CHAT
 
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