Bearnstow Artist Retreat 2020

Looking for a place to tap into your inspiration? Seeking a bit of solitude in a suppor­tive environment where you can delve into your creative work? Longing for a venue to rejuvenate your senses and deepen an existing collaboration? In need of outside eyes and fresh perspective for a developing project?

Expanding on Bearnstow’s long history, we welcome individual artists and small groups of collaborative partners in any discipline to submit proposals to our Artist Retreat program. We provide a place for in-depth creative exploration amid a pris­tine, wooded lakeside setting, rich with natural beauty and a spirit of camaraderie.

We understand the need for having time and space to do one’s work. Diving deeply into artistic collaboration and inquiry, experimenting with motion, media, sound, text or other materials, your time at Bearnstow can help spark new projects or bring vital detail to those already in development. Sharing wholesome communal meals prepared for you and other artists frees up additional time for reflection and letting your imaginations wander. Our hope is that your time away from the stress of your daily routine, spent in our deeply restorative natural setting, will reignite your creative energies.

Program Details

The Artist Retreat offers one-week residencies throughout the summer season (June 28August 22, 2020).
Each one-week setup includes:
  • One cabin, to be shared by up to 3 people; sleeping cots with bedding, hot showers, flush toilets, screened porch for group gatherings
  • Three communal meals a day, breakfast and lunch served buffet style, dinner served family style
  • Studio time in the Lab, suitable for somatic practice, “small studio” dance work, collaborative sessions (music, writing, dialogue, etc.)
  • Unlimited access to 65 wooded acres, and pristine lake with natural sand beach
  • Creative consultation from Bearnstow’s artistic staff and/or affiliate professional artists, as requested, free of charge, and based on availability
  • Informal end-of-week presentation where artists share work accomplished during the Artist Retreat week

Ellen Oliver and Angela Cole during their 2018
residency at Bearnstow ~ Photo by Ocoee Chapelle
The application process

Bearnstow accepts applications from individual artists and small collaborative teams (up to three persons total). If applying as a group, one team member should apply as Lead Artist on behalf of the others. Please include the follow­ing in your application:
  • Each individual or lead artist must provide a six hundred word descrip­tion of the intended Retreat project, includ­ing desired outcomes, re­lated performance expectations, and previous experience, as applicable
  • Each individual or lead artist should include an estimate of time and type of studio access needed
  • Each individual should provide a brief 60-word biography. If applying as a group, we request similar biographies from each member of the collaborative team

Cost: $400/week room and board per person.

Applications for Summer 2020 are accepted from January 1 to May 1. To complete your application go to Artist Retreat Application Form. Notification of application status will follow on or before June 1.

Deposit & Payment: One week after being notified of your acceptance, to secure your residency, a $100 non-refundable de­posit for each artist will be due. This will be applied toward the total Artist Retreat fee. Any remaining balance due must be re­ceived one month prior to the beginning of the Artist Retreat dates. Instructions for making a deposit and other payments will be included in any notice of acceptance.

Inquiries regarding Bearnstow’s Artist Retreat program should be directed to: Bearnstow Administration.

Caleb Nussear painting during his 2018 residency at Bearnstow
Photo by Peter Kyle


The secluded, pristine location of Bearnstow provided a meaningful summer retreat for me from the continual bustle of NYC. The hemlock forest, idyllic freshwater lake, lakeside cabins, and communal meals all contribute to this unique residency... Work­ing in the presence of dancers enlivened my draw­ings, watercolor paintings, and sculptures in unex­pected ways.
—Caleb Nussear (visual artist, NYC)

Bearnstow’s Artist Retreat gave us the rare oppor­tunity to delve much more deeply into our creative process. Our mentor Bebe Miller not only physically and intellectually stimulated us, but we also received feedback from other artists at Bearnstow. Overall, the retreat deepened our understanding of ourselves as choreographers and collaborators.
—Angela Cole and Ellen Oliver
(Choreographers, Providence, RI)

2019 Artist Retreat Recipients

Phillip Ording

Spencer Gerhardt

Caleb Nussear

Harry Mavromichalis

Audrey Minutolo Le
Phillip Ording is an author and mathematician. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from Columbia University, New York. He is a professor of mathematics at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.
Spencer Gerhardt is a composer and mathematician. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Southern California, and currently teaches in the math department at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Spencer and Philip are collaborating at Bearnstow as composer and writer through a shared background in mathematics. Spencer, who holds a PhD in mathematics from USC, writes music that engages experiential approaches to time and acoustical phenomena, often in combination with slow-moving and subtly irrational forms. Philip began working as a math consultant to artists, architects, and choreographers in New York while completing his PhD at Columbia, and he has recently written a book on mathematical style. They plan to use the retreat to draft an expository essay on the intuitionistic mathematics of 20th century Dutch topologist L.E.J. Brouwer, and explore its potential manifestations in music and writing.

Caleb Nussear is an American artist living in New York City. His work is based in abstract mathematical sculptures. A significant portion of his practice involves collaboration with Peter Kyle using various kinetic sculptures. Caleb shows his work regularly in New York City, and is represented by Massey Klein Gallery.

Caleb plans to work on graphite drawings on paper and panel, watercolor paintings, and also some writing on his creative process.

Harry Mavromichalis is a creative film maker and producer. He holds a Masters in Film Directing from New York University. He is currently working on five film projects: as Writer/Director/Producer for one, Production Designer for another, and Creative Producer for three others.

During his week at Bearnstow Harry will be working on a film script about an unlikely love story between an older white woman who has had an incredible career within the bluegrass world, and a younger black man who plays the violin and the fiddle and who is researching the origins of that genre. Harry’s goal at the retreat is to have a scene-by-scene description of the whole film, as well as work on a logline and a detailed synopsis. He has just finished his first feature length documentary called Olympia, about Academy award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis. He has also written and directed many short fiction films, but this is his first feature-length narrative.

Audrey Minutolo Le teaches writing and women’s literature at the University of Maine.

Her written work includes narrative fiction, poetry, travel writing, and screenplays. She has co-directed two short films, Raw Bar and The Bog, with director Allen Coulter (Sopranos, House of Cards, Boardwalk Empire). While at Bearnstow, Minutolo-Le will revise two episodes for the period drama series, Gray Ledges.