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get Lost, find Joy

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Join the Flock. Join the Drove (donkeys). Join the Crew.

writers, artists, graphic designers, and creatives of all walks of life are welcome, even part-time creative peeps, and are encouraged to coordinate your time in this supportive environment where you can HUG DONKEYS, pet cats, LAUGH with Chickens...
blue skies and birds today

blue skies and birds today

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Tennessee landscape bamboo grove donkeys

Residency Overview

There are so many benefits one can cherish with a residency, retreat, or sabbatical stay at the Camp. Although this is not a resort because it is a rustic homestead environment with no staff, Val as your host is creating a unique environment so that you can focus on achieving your goals while still asking for your focus and mindfulness on basic habitat contributions during your time. There is a residency base fee and then a lodging fee determined by room choice and length of stay.

The residency fee includes all access to the land, unlimited interactions with the animals, and a designated studio, if needed. You'll be surrounded indoors by creatively designed spaces that have been organized as conducive to your work, and outdoors by all of the natural splendor that is slowly being curated in tamed and untamed ways by Val as the caretaker of the land as her giant art organism on-going project. Take time to browse the library of art and design books along with fiction/non-fiction options. The fee also includes electricity, broadband, eco-friendly supplies such as septic-safe and tree free-toilet paper, non-toxic dish and laundry detergent (no sponges on site, and paper towels not provided). The ongoing maintenance you may or may not notice includes gardening and landscape and other upkeep such as taking the trash to the landfill and the cleaning of your room pre and post occupancy. There will be housekeeping once a week to ensure the health and wellness of everyone as well as the longevity of the facility in the general common spaces, but participants are expected to wash dishes daily (nothing left out overnight); sweep/vacuum daily; wipe down counters and sinks after use (and immediately clean your own shower or toilet if you make a mess); help with your own compostable items, upcycling sorting, and trash to the outside station; and keep communal spaces clutter free so that others may be able to walk or sit. If you don't like washing dishes, just opt for the add-on service. Lastly, the fee includes a Wednesday night weekly group meal procured and prepared by Val (most likely gluten free and leaning vegetarian/pescatarian.) where we may also have a movie, artist/creative talk, or maybe even a bonfire. During harvest time or an overabundance of eggs, you may be able to include those items in your own meals. Please see the F.A.Q. below for more details.

For those participating in the farm exchange scholarship and optional for others.

The Camp Wonder Wander environment was practically a blank canvas when it was acquired by Val for this purpose with just the basic structures, a few garden beds and fruit trees, and general infrastructure of water and electric. It has become a giant organic art installation as each dwelling and lodging room has been designed by Val for creative inspiration and calm respite from the hectic pace of modern society. The vision is a growing gallery and library beyond one's personal collection to include pieces of each person that has passed through the experience.
As the year's progress, the landscape is being carefully coordinated and there is hope that pops of art installations and even murals will bring a human contribution to the vitality of the place / space.


It is no longer a requirement, but a recommendation, of the residency that you leave a piece of yourself behind in some way. Some people have noticed something they want to create that is site specific, while others have brought completed work to donate.

If you have selected our site for seed generation, ideation, or exploration, your contribution could be as simple as a quote left for us to display or an image of your sketches or other brainstorming documentation that could be incorporated into something else in the future.

Your work may be documented for social media and the website gallery/blog. Val tries to interview each participant at least twice during their stay. Before departure, Val will interview you on your work and progress you've made. Check out what others have created in the blog.

Leave a Piece of Yourself Behind

Leave Behind

documentation / MENTORSHIP

Need assistance in documenting your work?

Want formal or informal critique?

Want assistance in revamping or starting your portfolio website, behance page, LinkedIn profile or maybe a printed book/mag format of your work?

Collaborate with founder/director Val who is also a graphic designer, photographer, and storyteller. As the founder and director, she desires to interact with creatives at various levels of their careers from youth and budding artists in college or not, and those with years of experience. As a creative contemplative person, Val  understands wholeheartedly that it takes time to develop a body of work and created this center for the environment that offers a variety of opportunities for creatives in all disciplines.

Val has an MFA in Graphic Design, yet realizes after long career as a graphic design professor that not everyone needs to go to graduate school. If you are seeking this type of experience, but would prefer a more intensive one-on-one live environment with Val as your mentor, please inquire of the additional fee for this that would be significantly less than your years in school.


As a former graphic design educator, Val has always been inspired by the guild movements of Arts & Crafts and the Bauhaus as an anti-academic institution. She has walked away from a tenured professor position (2018) in order to pursue this new dream and sees the future environment of education along with the arts drastically changing. She's excited to meet creative people from all walks of life at whatever place/stage you are exploring as paths cross at the camp.


Before residencies can be fully funded by grants, she wants to develop an exchange relationship with participants and residents whereby she will document your work. If you are an environmental artist and choose to visit seasonally to analyze, install, and inspect work as nature impacts it, Val will be your partner in that documentation. Ask about how you can obtain a finished product of a print publication, digitized document or web site as you discuss your needs with her individually.