I’m working on plans for my writing trip next spring and summer, and have stumbled on several Artist Residency programs that are intriguing. I wasn’t familiar with the concept of an Artist Residency till a friend told me about the efforts of the Libra Foundation in Monson, Maine, a little town on a lake about 2-1/2 hours north of me.
In Monson, the Libra Foundation invested in refurbishing open shops and housing to create Monson Arts, with “4-week residencies for artists and writers as well as shorter intensive workshops and community programs throughout the year. Artists-in-residence receive a private studio, private bedroom in shared housing, all meals, and a stipend. Application for this program is open to artists and writers from all over the world working in all media and at any stage in their career. Located at the edge of Maine’s North Woods near the Appalachian Trail, the town is surrounded by areas of stunning natural beauty.”
Monson is the last town along the Appalachian Trail before you hit the 100-miles of wilderness up to the top of Mount Katadin. Talk about no distractions! If you’re interested in finding a place like this, google it! I’ve found artist residency programs across the US; maybe there’s one that is just right for you to explore that cool art idea you have in a quiet, unique setting.
After reading about Monson Arts and a couple of other cool residencies, I’ve decided that as I travel, I am going to stop in and visit as many places like these as I can find without getting too much off my writing path. I love the idea of finding or creating a community of like-minded artists to hang out with – places that include good food, great conversations, and an on-going inspiration to create. A place where you can focus on one thing – finishing your work in a comfortably cozy environment. Sounds like utopia to me.
Last spring, I decided to grow luffa sponges (which are in the gourd family). Luffas take about 180 days to get from seed to full-sized luffa. I have a growing season of about 90 days here in Maine. Here’s where they are right now. I’m going to have some very, very tiny sponges come the first October frost but it was still great fun seeing these come up and flower! 🙂