If you’re an artist who’s always dreamed of getting your Gaugin on with an immersive island getaway where you can fully indulge yourself in all things nature, you just might be in luck.
Located a few miles east of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula in Lake Superior, Rabbit Island may not be Tahiti, but it does boast 91 forested acres of practically pristine paradise and the call for its annual artist’s residency program is now open.
Three lucky applicants will score three-week residencies scheduled to take place sometime from mid-June to mid-September of this year.
If that’s not inspiration enough, the Rabbit Island Foundation is also offering a $3,200 stipend to sweeten the pot. (Past recipients have used the funds to facilitate research, cover travel expenses, purchase supplies, and procure materials.)
Per their website, the Rabbit Island Residency, launched in 2010 “is a platform to investigate, expand, and challenge creative practices in a remote environment. By living and working on Rabbit Island residents engage directly with the landscape and respond to notions of conservation, ecology, sustainability, and resilience.”
Rabbit Island is comprised of a native ecosystem that’s never been developed or subdivided—and is held in trust so that it never will be. Bald eagles share the tree-filled landscape with indigenous reptiles, nesting birds, salamanders, salmon, and native lake trout.
While it’s a glorious untamed environment, it’s likely not suited to anyone who can’t do without creature comforts, doesn’t have previous camping experience, or can’t cope with the whims of changing weather. (Intermittent wind and rain are normal; water temperature ranges from 48° to 68° F; air temperature ranges from 40° to 90° F.)
Resident accommodations come in the form of two multi-purpose three-sided shelters as well as tents and camping gear. The only fully enclosed space is a wood-fired sauna.
Wifi/cell phone service? Check. Kitchen and library? Check. Open-air studios with tools and equipment? Check. Indoor plumbing? Can you say, “outhouse?”
To commemorate and promote the residency, the Rabbit Island Foundation annually creates a publication featuring the work and research of each resident and also promotes extensively via its social media channels and online archive.
Not a Post-Impressionist? No worries. The call is open to “visual artists of all disciplines, as well as writers, poets, architects, designers, musicians, filmmakers, composers, and choreographers.” In addition to individual applications, small collaborative groups are also encouraged to apply.
Interested creative types who think communing with nature would be the perfect way to get their artistic juices flowing can check out the Rabbit Island 2021 Residency Program Application Guide for more details.
The submission deadline is March 14, 2021, and there’s a $20 (USD) entry fee. All entries must be tendered via Submittable. Good luck!