bird illustration
rocket illustration
campfire patch
owl illustration
tent illustration

get Lost, find Joy

birds illustration
camping patch
artists, writers, and creatives of all walks of life welcome.
emerging, re-emerging and part-time artists are especially encouraged to coordinate your time in this supportive environment.

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


Residency Overview

blue skies and birds today

blue skies and birds today

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Tennessee landscape bamboo grove donkeys

Flower Moon

may 2023


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 a requirement 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


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 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.



Val has spent her career in education for more than 20 years before resigning in 2018 and has spent countless hours in the creative process and critique. She is excellent at asking questions and creating a dialogue between people to critically analyze. The hope is that over meals or while participant retreats overlap these engagements between different people, from different backgrounds and different disciplines will be beneficial for all.

* There may be an additional coaching fee for a formal process beyond popping in to see what you are working on in your studio or other workspaces.