PICKENS, SC Residency
Artist in Residence programs of three weeks to three months are offered in, but not limited to, music, painting, metal, wood, photography, poetry, playwriting and environmental studies. The Rensing Center can accommodate 3-5 residents at a time within the periods of January-March, May-July and September-November. You may use this time as an opportunity to relax and recharge, learn from the diverse perspectives of the people around you, focus on a specific project, or open up new ways of thinking for your own professional practice, as determined in your agreement. We hope that your time at the Rensing Center is a time of growth, however you may measure it.
We request that residents arrive on Sunday if possible, but this can be adjusted if necessary. Sunday night usually involves a group dinner at Ellen’s house, and an opportunity to share news and progress with each other. There are occasional film nights in the Main Hall, for which your suggestions and selections are encouraged. Invite guests! The Pickens flea market, every Wednesday morning, is a five-minute drive, and a generous source of art materials, groceries, and vast entertainment.
Please take advantage of all this beautiful space has to offer! The pasture, the waterfall, the forest, the gardens (flower, and vegetable), the barn, and the gorgeous local mountains, lakes, and rivers all provide ample inspiration for your creative renewal, as well as potential projects for your residency’s focus.
Before leaving, residents are asked to submit photos, provide a written reflection or other documentation of their work at the Center, and sign our guest book. These notes are a valuable archive for those who follow.
Living and Work Space
You will be provided with a bed, linens, and sitting area in a private space, with wireless internet access should you choose to bring your own computer. Laundry facilities are available. You may customize your environment when you arrive, by selecting from our library of art and books those which will help you feel at home and stretch or soothe your thoughts.
Your living space will include a kitchen with a stove-top, microwave, refrigerator, storage, dishes and cooking equipment. The kitchen will be stocked with basic staples, but you will be responsible for purchasing and preparing your meals during your stay. Seasonal vegetables may be available from the garden, along with ample home canned goods and the occasional frozen spinach… just ask.
Writers are usually assigned to the Guest House, a private cabin equipped with a desk and internet. Visual artists are provided with private studio space. Each of the three art studios (named for their former roles as Pottery, Woodshop, and Forge) includes a large work-table and shelves. Additional open areas at the studio buildings and the garden provide workspace for various media. Specialized equipment may be available depending on your project, the current studios and your skills and background, and will be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Assorted tools and hardware are available for general use. Studio supplies such as acrylic and oil paints, brushes, paper, self-healing cutting mats, fabric, lumber, some canvases and frames are available, and we encourage you to be resourceful with what is already at hand, but please bring any specific materials and tools that you require for your practice with you.
Rensing Center Participation
In exchange for living and studio space, you are asked to contribute eight hours of work + $50 per week, or $150 per week, with no work requirement, toward the continued success of the Rensing Center. Some weeks may be more work-intensive than others, and we try to track hours in the interest of fairness to all. Tasks may include promotion of Rensing Center activities, community outreach, grant writing, facilities maintenance and improvement, tending to the garden, or assisting Evelyn and Ellen with Rensing Center work as determined through your discussions with the center. We hope that you will spend most of your time on tasks that draw upon your talents and interests, create an opportunity to learn, or contribute to your creative or professional development. Additional contributions of time and talents are appreciated, and your choice of project may also become a permanent part of the center.