Small creative projects don’t need much more than a bright corner of your apartment to get done, but a pièce de résistance demands your undivided attention and maybe a bit of inspiration to get you moving. When a few weekend hours in your home office won’t do, take to the beaches of Brazil, the colorful streets of Mexico or any of these other artist retreats that offer residencies for makers from all walks of life.
1. Instituto Sacatar, Brazil: If you’re working at one of the two open-air visual art studios set in a coconut grove, be prepared for a visit from the resident peacock. For feather-free solitude, retire to the writer’s studio on stilts with panoramic views of the ocean. There is also a woodworking studio and a space designed for musicians and composers. Apart from a room to create in, each resident artist gets a bedroom in the main house, which has several sitting areas, a courtyard and a wraparound porch perfect for an evening exchange. (Photo via Sacatar)
2. Artist Retreat Fiskars, Finland: A New York-based design firm built the geometric house on a Finnish artist’s property as a refuge for fellow creatives. The space, designed as a quarter of an octagon, has a sleeping loft and a working area that opens up onto a patio. It’s small but efficient. Fiskars Village is a haven in itself, as it is known for its community of hundreds of artisans and designers who hold exhibits, workshops and markets throughout the year. (Photo via 0 to 1)
3. D.I.S.C the Art, India: This traveling residency takes small groups of artists around the rural areas of India’s Odisha state. The artists get to participate in three different local art-making traditions, like granite carving, jute and bamboo weaving or paper-maché. Afterwards, at the program’s base camp, artists produce work inspired by what they have seen, using new materials and the techniques they’ve learned. The final products are shown in an art gallery in Bhubaneswar, where the artists also get an opportunity to talk about the influences in their work. (Photo via TransArtists)
4. Starry Night, New Mexico: In the town of Truth and Consequence, the Starry Night retreat encourages novices and professionals alike to explore their craft. Visual artists, researchers and writers can stay in one of three apartments and share indoor and outdoor workspaces that come equipped with tools for creative endeavors. During their downtime, residents can gather ’round the courtyard’s fire pit or head out to one of the town’s many hot springs for a soak in some of the most mineralized waters in the country. (Photo via Starry Night)
5. Fellini Art Gallery, Germany: Over the last decade, Berlin has become a leader in experimental and contemporary art, with close to 200 galleries around the city. At Fellini, a few lucky artists can take up residency in the gallery’s bright studios in the heart of an art-centric district. Fellini also encourages emerging artists with opportunities to show their work in the gallery and by connecting them with art collectors around the world. (Photo via Fellini)
6. Calarramona, Spain: The founders of Calarramona wanted to create a space where an international group of artists working in different mediums could toil away side by side, borrowing from each other’s experiences and enriching their own work by what they learn. There are eight working studios, including a soundproof recording studio for musicians and video artists. A separate duplex apartment is available for residency of up to a year. For more inspiration, a half-hour train ride will get you to Barcelona, where Gaudi’s fantastical mosaics await. (Photo via Calarramona)
7. MI-LAB, Japan: At the foot of Mount Fiji, beginners and experts alike learn the art of mokuhanga, Japanese woodblock printmaking. The Lab provides all essential materials, like wood blocks, watercolor ink and carving knives, and professional mokuhanga artists, master carvers and printers lead all workshops. Students stay in traditional tatami rooms in a shared house with views of the famous mountain and the surrounding countryside. (Photo via MI-LAB)
8. Arquetopia, Mexico: This nonprofit foundation offers residency programs that are as diverse and vibrant as the cities where they are based. In either Oaxaca or the stunning new Pueblo studios, artists-in-residence can choose to focus on Mexican textiles, writing, gold leafing, ceramics, art education, culinary arts and so much more. In Pueblo, there is even a natural pigment laboratory and a darkroom. (Photo via Arquetopia)
Would you go to an artist retreat to work on a project? Let us know in the comments below!