Tuesday, June 6, 2023

MacGown Art Retreat and Studio (MARS) and the MacGown Art Artist in Residence Program

MacGown Art Retreat and Studio (MARS) 

Wow! It has been a while since I have posted here and lots has happened in that time period! Our art retreat concept is slowly coming to fruition and with it our Artist in Residence program. We have a piece of rural property located in the Sessums community 10 miles from the Mississippi State Campus where we create art, music, and other creative endeavors. We have seen many changes over the last few years as we finished our guest cabin for visiting artists, we are close to having our own in house frame shop, and our future gallery/workshop is 70% done!!  

A view of our house, pavilion, and studio from across Lake MacGown

The guest cabin that Joseph MacGown and I built has been used by several exciting and super talented artists, writers, musicians, and scientists. It is located on the north side of our small MacGown Lake (3+ acres) and we incorporated rough cut cedar and pine, Cretaceous fossil mosaics, and numerous reclaimed materials to build it. It is full of art and creativity. 

Exterior view of the cabin

Interior view of cabin

Interior view of cabin

One of the coolest things we have going on is our Artist in Residence program. We have different levels depending on the needs of the creative individuals interested in partnering with us ranging from paying to stay, working to stay, and we offer stipends for 2 to 4 artists per year along with free housing and some meals. Stipends are provided by the local philanthropic Del Rendon Foundation, which supports the arts in the Golden Triangle region of Mississippi. 

Mural created by Julia Reyes for our gallery (in progress)

Thus far, we have had three artists receive stipends including Joseph Garland, Karina Rovira, and Julia Reyes. Each stayed approximately 2 weeks. We ask that each artist do something artistic to leave at our place such as a mural, sculpture, painting, etc. We interact with  artists and work to have them featured in local media, online media, and culminate their activities with a show, talk, or something similar. Our next Artist in Residence will be Zoe Ishee, coming in late July. 

Folks interested in being an artist in residence with us should contact me at art@joemacgown.com and send in 6-10 samples of their work, a photo of themselves, a bio, a statement of goals and why they would want to work with us in our unique setting in the countryside of Mississippi. Paid residencies with us can be 2-4 weeks, and artists receive $2,500 over two installments. This is highly competitive and we are looking for individuals who find will connection and inspiration from nature and especially from our property, which is located on a Black Belt Prairie remnant. Underlying the prairie is a Cretaceous fossil bed full of marine fossils from 70 million years ago when the area was an ocean. 
Works created by visiting artist Joseph Garland
Self portrait by Karina Rovira, visiting artist from Berlin Germany
Pastel painting by Karina Rovira
Mushroom Men by Zoe Ishee