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The Dream of an Artist’s Residency Becomes a Reality

By Mary Sullivan Holdgrafer

It is always satisfying when a good idea becomes a plan and the plan becomes a reality. When I suggested to Rachel that The Haven would be an excellent site for an artist’s residency I was pleased by her enthusiastic response and delighted to help formulate the plan for what was to become the first Artist’s Haven Residency.

The new artist in residence program is a part of the upcoming thirtieth anniversary celebration. It is fitting that a program that supports artistic development and creativity be a part of the celebration. Throughout its history The Haven has offered programs that nurture and cultivate creativity. It is a place where many artists have come for inspiration.

The Haven is pleased to offer this opportunity in conjunction with the Gabriola Arts Council. According the Kathy Ramsey, Chair of the Gabriola Arts Council, the island has one of the largest concentrations of artists per capita in Canada. The resident artist will no doubt find a welcoming community of peers.

The Artist’s Haven residency program provides accommodation for a two-week period in September, 2012. It is open to practicing artists of all disciplines who seeking time to reflect upon and develop their work. Submissions will be accepted from applicants who reside in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Washington state and Oregon.

It is the intention that the Artist’s Haven be just that, a time and place for the chosen artist to work and reflect. It is a rare gift to be able to concentrate on artistic pursuits away from the demands of day-to-day life. The Haven is a beautiful, peaceful and nourishing setting. We expect the experience will be rejuvenating and inspiring.

The artist will donate a piece of work to The Haven that will add to the many works of art already on the property. Of course the work will reflect the discipline of the artist. It may be a painting or a photograph but it could be an essay or a poem or a performance of music or dance.

Program participants and resort guests will have informal opportunities during meal time or walks on the beach to meet the artist. The very presence of the artist will suggest to participants the value of creativity in our lives.

The community will benefit from the presence of a resident artist who will provide an open studio session for local artists and students, a public talk or exhibition. Conversely the artist will have opportunities to meet members of the island community who share passion and love for the arts.

As an artist and creativity coach I am aware of the value of creativity in promoting health and well being, providing opportunities for learning and building personal connections. I imagine that the Artist’s Haven will yield benefits that we have not even considered.
The creation of the Artist’s Haven residency makes a strong statement about the importance of creative pursuits. It will add a new dimension to The Haven by making explicit our value of creative thought and creative activity as a means of personal growth and understanding.

You can help promote the new Artist’s Haven residency by telling others about this new innovation at The Haven. If you know someone who might be interested in applying, please pass along the application.

Watch for an announcement in the spring of the first recipient of the Artist’s Haven residency.

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