The Growlery + Pulga

If it seems like we’ve been a bit absent in the last several months, it’s because we have been working non-stop on our first field guide (it’s just days away from being finished!) and planning for our next trip around the Southwest this May/June. 

Since our last trip, we also visited The Growlery in San Francisco and checked in onPulga

The Growlery is a residency in a large, beautiful victorian home in the Haight district of San Francisco. Its self-guided residencies are generally 1-3 months long and founder Jean Chadbourne welcomes artists of all kinds, but has a special place in her heart for street artists, some who haven’t formally exhibited their art before. The Growlery’s mission statement: “To create a free live-work environment for artists and intellectuals that will encourage creative production, discussion, and reciprocal influence among members of our diverse community.”

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Pulga was our first stop on our Northwest road trip. The tiny historic railroad town had been purchased relatively recently and owner Betsy Cowley was just starting the residency building process. When we returned, the secluded writers cabin and artists’ pink log cabin were set up and ready for artists. Their new website also offers a research residency and retreat opportunities for individuals or groups. Words can’t describe the magic of Pulga, so here are a couple pictures!

PWA Update 2017

Happy New Year from Piney Wood Atlas! 

Piney Wood Atlas is now fiscally sponsored by the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA! Being fiscally sponsored by Kala opens up more grant opportunities and gives us wider representation. Now when you donate to Piney Wood through Kala, your donation will be tax-deductible! We are so grateful to be sponsored to widen our audience and attain more funding for publishing and future trips.

Speaking of future trips …

We are in the process of planning our next trip which will cover the Southwest region.  If you have any leads to cool and unconventional artist residencies in this area, please e-mail … We’d love to hear about it! 

Our project page on Kala’s site can be seen at :

We are very excited to see what this year will bring, thanks for the support!

Alicia + Carolina 

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The Trip

The trip has been over for a couple of weeks. We are both in our respective homes, Alicia in Oakland and I (Carolina) in Florida. A lot of information was gathered during our almost month long trip. Hours of recordings with the facilitators, artists and community, drawings, writings, photos. We have been working on profiling each space from our experience, creating the atmosphere that only physically visiting a space can give. 

On our last update we were at This Will Take Time …

At This Will Take Time we got to know the facilitators Tara and Ben over two days of cooking meals and re-potting trees. The residency located on an 80-acre plot of land near the coastal town of Point Arena. They have had several artist in residences along with some really interesting events including World Wide West – a creative conference of art and tech. We also had the privilege of having dinner with the mayor of Point Arena, Jim, who came over to the house at This Will Take Time. He is very excited about an artist residency in town, he says artists are visitors which is different from being a tourist. Tourists take and don’t contribute, whereas visitors give something to the community.  

After our time in Point Arena we drove 20 minutes to Gualala, CA, where we were staying a night at Project 387. Project 387 is on 150-acres of land owned by the Feeny family. Once a year they host artists in their cabins for two weeks. The artists are given a stipend, a large studio space and dinners 5 days a week! We got the chance to go to an artist talk, explore the land and join in on one of these dinners, which was fantastic! It was a perfect last stop to our trip and the next day we packed up and headed back to Oakland. 

The trip was incredibly inspiring and we met so many welcoming, hospitable people along the way. Thank you to everyone who hosted us, gave us meals and allowed us in their world for a day. Lots of stuff to go through — Stay tuned. 

Final week

This trip is rapidly coming to an end – two more days + one more residency left.

Last we updated we were heading to Mineral, WA. The summer residency program at Mineral School is offered to writers (they have hosted dancers before and are open to visual + performing artists) for a two week period of dedicated space / time. Artists live and work out of the 1947 elementary school, in the large beautiful old schoolrooms. Artists receive meals, which we were fortunate enough to participate in. We shared a communal dinner with the current residents and facilitators, getting to know the artist’s projects, how they found out about Mineral School and also Mineral’s very intriguing history.

We camped in the backyard of the school and In the morning we shared coffee and breakfast, then drove southwest to Sou'wester – a historical lodge in Seaview, WA, equipped with a collection of vintage travel trailers. In these trailers, weekly artist residencies are offered at a discounted rate. There is also a Champion trailer that has been converted into an analog recording studio for any musicians looking to rent it for up to a week!

We had a muddy yet cozy night of camping the next day and then we headed inland to visit Portland again. A former church, synagogue, storage facility is now home to an interdisciplinary artists’ space - XHURCH. We got a tour of the space and learned about the building’s rich history. XHURCH is a livable art venue, hosting artists looking to be a part of a supportive + engaging community. They have music equipment along with VR resources and we tried out virtual reality for the second time on our trip (Leaf Blower Man!)

We spend the night at the Greenhouse Residency again (thank you!!) which isn’t far from XHURCH. The next afternoon we had a brief visit at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology – where they host all types of workshops, events and seasonal residencies. Sitka borders a Nature Conservancy Preserve and is a quiet, inspiring space for artists to work independently on projects.

Two nights of camping, long + windy drives along the coast – now we find ourselves in Point Arena where we are staying two nights at an upcoming residency called This Will Take Time.

What a whirlwind of a trip – we are excited to share all of the information we’ve gathered with everyone!

Part II

Rewind to our third day on this trip. We are on 101 heading to Arcata where we are visiting Sanctuary Residency. Our blue Subaru piled high with camping gear, clothes and coolers cruises along the highway. Cruising along next to us, a blue Subaru piled high with gear. A woman in the back seat waves enthusiastically at us. An adventurer recognizing a fellow adventurer. We wave back. 30 miles continue like this. They wave, we wave. Finally,at a red light, we roll our windows down and tell them where we are headed. They tell us if we are ever in Olympia, we have a place to stay. They hold up a piece of paper with a scribbled number.

A week later after Laboratory Residency in Spokane, we use the number. We drive five hours west to Olympia, Washington. River, the driver of the aforementioned Subaru, lives in a large house that used to be a musical hub, housing traveling musicians and artists. The house is called Guest House and is also the home of their record label, Guest Records. River invited us to a BBQ - bonfire at his friends house where Alicia ran into musician she had met in Oakland at Frowntown! Small world. We had a lovely time and met some very welcoming cool people. Adventures happen in surprising ways and we are very grateful to have met these wonderful folks! Check out their label:

And so begins the mini vacation of our trip. Our planning worked out where we had a couple days in between visiting residencies to visit friends and travel through new places. Our first time in Canada, we take a ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, B.C., where our dear friend Ava lives. Ava is a painter we met at a residency in Colorado two years ago. She lives in a lovely neighbourhood in Victoria where she is involved in the active art community. We visited several artist studios while there and they were all inspiring in their own ways. You can view Ava’s paintings at:

We take a ferry to Vancouver, where we are staying at hostel on Jericho beach. There is a folk festival happening that weekend and it is teeming with people. We meet up with Alicia’s old friend from high school for beer and nachos and walk around Vancouver. In the morning we have breakfast with an artist named Heidi who created a residency in her home, Hammock Residency. Hammock residency is currently on a hiatus but keep your eye out for future activity.

Seattle later that day. We have several friends who live there and we have a quick visit with them. A couple ferries later, we find ourselves on Harstine Island, after stopping at Vashon for a visit with an artist who lives in a former church. We are spending the morning drinking coffee, eating toast and catching up on correspondence.

Today we head to Mt. Rainier where we are visiting an old elementary school converted to a writers’ residency in Mineral, Washington. 

Adventures are afoot, eh.

Week one

Hello everyone! We have been on the road for just over a week and have visited six amazing residencies:

-A tiny old railroad town, Pulga (CA), whose young owners are currently renovating buildings and creating a residency in a pink log cabin. It’s not quite ready for applicants, but keep your eye on this one!
-A ceramics haven in the woods of Lake County (CA) called Cobb Mountain, where artists stay for at least a year (shorter stays also in the works) to create wood-fired work from native clay. 
-A community hub for creatives in Arcata (CA), Sanctuary offers a wide variety of tools/supplies for workshops and open studios including bike repair, printmaking, sewing, ceramics and more. Located in a former Women’s Building, the space is used for art shows, music and residency space.
-A residency in a hand-built canvas tent in a backyard garden brings us to Portland (OR). Three girls focused on offering an inspiring space to artists have created a week-long residency for out of towners in the Greenhouse and the Garden Residency, a month-long residency offered to Portland artists. 
-Driving through Mt. Hood National Forest (OR), we meet up with Signal Fire, an artist residency focused on bringing artists to natural surroundings. Signal Fire hosts a diverse group of artists on expeditions in nature to educate and inspire. 
-In Spokane (WA), we arrive at a historical brick-clad building downtown that houses Laboratory Residency, a 1-3 month residency for artists working in interactive arts. Tools and resources are offered for artists to explore their projects.

We have five more residencies to visit on this trip! After the trip we will compile all the information into an illustrated book, detailing each space. Also in the book will be camp-site information, cool thrift stores along the way and places to see around the residencies. We also plan on creating an interactive map as a tool for artists. Stay tuned!