Artist Residency


(Photo above of a presentation during the 2014 Artist Residency) 

Artist Residency in Community, Ecology, and Spirituality: 

February 23rd until April 6th, 2015 

2013 Artists        2014 Artists

Program Description: The Artist Residency in Community, Ecology, and Spirituality awards three artists the opportunity to work and live for six weeks during February and March in the remote mountain setting of Holden Village.  Residencies provide living space in one of our historic buildings, limited work space, and meals prepared by our kitchen staff.  As a resident, you will become part of our dynamic winter community, participating in the common work and rhythms of the Village, sharing your vision and creativity, and interacting with villagers and other residents.  Artists selected may be at any stage in their career and work in all media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, photography, film, writing, poetry, dance, music, and social practice.

Holden Village sits ten miles up Railroad Creek from Lake Chelan surrounded by the Glacier Peak Wilderness in the northern Cascade Mountains of Washington state.  It occupies the town facilities of a former copper mining operation, which was active from 1937 to 1957. For over 50 years, it has been a Lutheran ministry and retreat center sustained primarily by volunteers. Artists will be inspired by the interplay between sublime snowy wilderness and mining-scarred landscape, historic company town and living community, traditional rituals of worship and continuous explorations of spirituality.



20140325_HagboSingsWindows_Thompson.jpgImagine yourself walking on top of eight feet of accumulated snow. While the main road remains plowed, paths are well-trodden tracts of snow. The landscape around invites exploration through snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. You are living in the boundary-land of the wilderness, with all of the potential and access to that space. You are also living near the detritus of an old mining operation, and the spaces of living and work date back to 1938.

Power: Expect frequent power outages with interruptions of the flow of water from Copper Creek feeding our hydro plant. In the winter time, because power is limited, you will be asked to dry laundry on racks, avoid any power-hungry devices like hairdryers, and unplug appliances like computers when not in use.

Access to the outside world: Embrace letter-writing. The post office will be open three days a week during this season. There is Internet but it is highly restricted and slow. If you are an Internet-based artist, prepare to do your work completely offline and upload projects after leaving the village.

Space: Heated space is a precious commodity during the winter season. You will be given a modest semi-private space in which to work (existing spaces include a ceramics studio, woodshop, and loom room). If you need complete privacy for work, you may be given a private bedroom as working space (all others will share a bedroom). While we would like to encourage all applicants, it’s important to know that we cannot accommodate partners and spouses unless both staffing needs and housing possibilities are available.

Light: Natural light is also a precious commodity during the winter. By the time you arrive, days will be getting longer, but because Holden is situated in a valley, it will still be receiving less than an hour of direct sunlight each day. Most first-floor windows are blocked by snow. That said, it’s a motivator to get outside, and just an hour of hiking can get you in contact with sunlight (and breathtaking vistas).

Quiet: While Holden Village is a celebrated place of rest and retreat, it is not a place of silence (the wilderness around is much quieter). You will be removed from much of the noise of our modern-day society (cell phones, PDAs, cable TV, advertising), which is an amazing gift, and you will enter the noise of a living, working, playing, worshiping community of all ages.



  • February 23-April 6, 2015
  • Six week residency 
  • Private or shared bedroom in historic Holden Village
  • Community meals prepared by our staff with accommodations for special diets
  • Facilities access: basic woodshop; ceramics studio; weaving and sewing room; painting/drawing space; basic metal working equipment; odd selection of musical instruments, including several pianos
  • Limited Internet access for basic email. Post office three days a week
  • Residents will need to pay for their own transportation into and out of the village, including taking the boat up to Lake Chelan
  • Few art materials are available for purchase in the village, so if you have particular needs, you should bring materials with you or have them shipped ahead of time


  • Participation in common work of the Village, including dish team once a week, garbo (sorting trash) once a month, and stoking wood boilers once a month
  • Participation in the village community, attending daily worship services which are open to people from all faith backgrounds
  • Two public presentations: one of your previous art work and one at the end of the residency on what you’ve been working on


  • Applications are due December 1 for 2015 residencies
  • Submissions are reviewed by a Holden Village arts committee, who will evaluate each artist’s materials and select finalists
  • Typically, invititations are extended by January 15


  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Letter of interest, outlining your specific interest in working at Holden and how program participation will affect your practice
  • Documentation of recent work appropriate to your medium on a CD.  Choose from:
    • 10-15 images with an image list including title, date, size, media
    • Video or video clips
    • Up to 20 pages of poetry, 30 pages of prose, or one to two full-length plays/ scripts
    • Music or audio clips

**Artist teams are encouraged to apply together by submitting ONE application per group, specifying the number of individuals on the application form.  Winter housing limitations make it difficult to accommodate large teams.