Artists who are also mothers can now apply for the Art Mamas Residencies at Stoneleaf Retreat in New York’s Catskill Mountains, which awards recipients a week of uninterrupted time to focus on their work. All who identify as “womxn parent artists” can apply to the group residency, which will take place from June 26 through July 2. Only Art Mamas members are eligible for the Family Residency, a separate program that welcomes children, occurring July 2–7.
Artists attending the summer 2023 residency will have access to Stoneleaf’s facilities including private trails, a vegetable garden, a tennis court, a barn, and private studios. Individual residents will share a cabin, while those participating in the family residency will have a place to themselves. Both opportunities also include $1,000 in unrestricted funds, which can be used for childcare. Applications are open through March 8 at 5pm EST.
This co-hosted residency began in 2022 with grantees Lehna Huie, Anisha Tandiwe Bell, Lucia Cuba, and Joetta Maue. Because the opportunity does not require artists to work on a specific project or proposal, residents can continue ongoing projects, finish work for upcoming shows, or experiment with new ideas.
Huie, a Jamaican-American multidisciplinary artist, creates installations that explore African Diasporic identities, honoring her ancestors’ stories through archival and found materials, ink, photographs, and other forms. For her zine “I Have Never Felt Sorrow Without Reason,” she created collaged pieces that explored topics such as generational trauma, interiority, and motherhood.
Her time at Stoneleaf was the balm she needed. “To be in a place of stillness and sacred pause, surrounded by the wonders of nature, was invigorating,” Huie writes in a statement. “I felt a reset in my creative flow among the critters and energy of the wilderness.”
One of three individual residents, Maue moved between her graphic works, embroidery practice, and installations for an upcoming show. Her practice is purposely slow and meditative, often focusing on the sublime moments in everyday life. She enjoyed being surrounded by natural light and 22 acres of land for her week in the Hudson Valley region.
“To be able to sit, eat, contemplate, and walk around the land, before, in the middle of, and after my studio day, provided so much depth to my experience of the residency and the work I created while there,” Maue said.
Maue’s reflections fit in with the ethos of Stoneleaf, whose founder Helen Toomer also co-created Art Mamas Alliance with Katy Donoghue in order to build a community with other artist mothers and offers the residency along with professional development opportunities. Toomer launched the Stoneleaf Retreat in 2017 with her husband, art-fair producer Eric Romano, to provide mothers and families in the arts with a nurturing environment to create art without the pressure of a culminating exhibition.