salmon
creek
arts

 





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Salmon Creek Arts is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization offering land-based arts programs at Salmon Creek Farm, a sanctuary of precious riparian and coast redwood habitat on Central Pomo land, established as a counterculture commune in 1971, now a sort of queered commune-farm-homestead-school hybrid.

We cultivate an expanding community of artists*, offering time to slow down, space to take a step back, the chance to live close to the land, and to participate in its cycles. We offer modest home-spun spaces to create and share in a communal free-range wild woodsy environment. In fall 2024 we inaugurate our offerings at Salmon Creek Farm, where we will eventually take over operations and ownership.



Salmon Creek Farm is located on 33 acres of second and third growth redwoods two miles from California’s Mendocino Coast. Old logging roads and foot trails criss-cross south facing slopes from sunny meadows, gardens, orchards, communal outdoor kitchen, and dance deck on top, to eight furnished hand-crafted commune cabins each nestled in their own nook of the woods, across a ravine that bisects the land to abandoned off-grid cabins, and finally down to Big Salmon Creek in the valley. It is an especially good spot to feel your small place in the big cycle of life on earth.


Many Salmon Creek Arts programs have been informally offered by SCF since 2014, including writing retreats, wood-fire ceramics workshops, carpentry and food gardening skill-shares, and free BIPOC artists retreats. In fall 2024 we host our first season of Salmon Creek Artists*.

* we use the term ‘artist’ expansively, encompassing those working with craft, movement, food, gardens, image, performance, sound, word, etc.




salmon creek
artists*


In fall 2024 we welcome our first season of Salmon Creek Artists.* For those who have already established their path - but are seeking a deeper connection to the natural world while engaging with other artists - we offer time, space, community, funding, and especially the opportunity to participate in the daily life of the Salmon Creek Farm sanctuary. There is no set program aside from daily meals from the garden and life with the redwoods, no obligations to produce or present work. Each artist arrives with an intention for their time on the land and in the spirit of the original commune, the group decides how they want to spend any time together. It is a good place to step away from daily routines and surrender to the cycles of life close to the land as part of an improvised artist community.

This is not a conventional residency experience where artists produce work alone in a studio. There are no conventional facilities or production spaces, just a desk in your private cabin, the triangle Dance Deck, the Outdoor Kitchen, the orchards & gardens, the riparian valley of Salmon Creek, and 33 acres of coast redwoods. In some ways, you’re just another creature on the land, a part of the organic flow as soon as you arrive and as long as you stay. Making fires to stay warm with wood from the land. Contributing to the richness of the orchard soil with your humanure waste and kitchen compost. Using water from the spring and eating from the garden and orchard you help tend.

For many this is also a welcome and unique chance to cultivate fundamental life and survival skills that can provide a sense of agency, self-reliance, and security to the precarious life of an artist. How can stewardship find a way into your practice as an artist? You will probably not be able to work in your normal ways. Those coming with an open mind, a sense of adventure, a spirit of improvisation, and the capacity to respond to the environment in adaptive ways will really thrive.

* we use the term ‘artist’ expansively, encompassing those working with craft, movement, food, gardens, image, performance, sound, word, etc.



  • Awarded to six artists* for fall 2024.
  • Two weeks living at SCF from October 9th to 22nd.
  • Includes $1000 stipend.
  • Daily meals from the garden by chef-in-residence.
  • Open to US residents 22 and older.
  • Collaborative duos welcome (would share a stipend & cabin).
  • Application fee of $20.

Dates
  • May 30th: Applications open
  • June 28th: Applications due
  • July 31st: Artists announced
  • October 9th-22nd: Artists at SCF

Selection Criteria
  • History of publicly presented work (broadcast, exhibited, installed, performed, published, etc.)
  • Comfort level with self-sufficiency in our woodsy environs.
  • Potential for future growth and benefit from time at SCF.
  • Forming a group working across a diverse mix of media.
  • Aptitude for both intense solitude and sociability.
  • Possibility for future engagement with Salmon Creek Arts.

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how
to
live?


Questions of quotidian domestic life are fundamental at Salmon Creek Farm. What are the local and global implications?

It can also be very sensual living this close to the seasons and the land...

︎ ANIMALS: For many reasons SCF is strictly vegetarian. Many carnivorous visitors have found it to be a helpful place to experiment with a fully plant-based diet for the first time.

︎ FOOD: We eat with the seasons and aim to grow, forage, and preserve as much of our own food from the land as possible and invite everyone eating from the land to participate in that seasonal process.


︎ WASTE: We do not provide receptacles on the property and guests are responsible for their own ‘trash.’ We strive for zero waste, shop for minimal/no packaging, and compost zealously.

︎ HUMANURE: All cabins have cute outhouses with sawdust lined humanure buckets that are emptied regularly to nearby compost sites where it transforms into the richest soil on the land, and after a few years is spread around as mulch at established fruit trees.

︎ WATER: Our water is collected from a spring on the land where it is filtered and pumped to the top of the ridge where it is stored, treated, and gravity fed to all of the cabins and gardens.

︎ HEAT: To stay warm from October through April we burn wood sustainably harvested wood from the land which we chop and cure throughout the year.


︎ SHELTER: Our cabins were all constructed with scavenged wood, windows, doors, and fixtures in the early 1970’s. We have continued in that spirit, also working with wood sustainably harvested and milled from the land.


︎ FURNISHINGS: Local thrift stores have been the source for most of the cabin furnishings, with a special focus on ‘natural’ materials like woods, canes, ceramics, cottons, wools, etc. and promoting the re-use of local materials and products that still have life.

︎ PLASTICS: Just no. But once you try to completely eliminate them from your life, you realize it’s virtually impossible these days. 

As the climate is changing, we change, and as with everything, we do what we can, just trying to move with intention in the right direction...


︎ We aim to continually expand the views and voices informing SCF and broaden the range of folks coming, lowering barriers wherever possible to those who feel drawn to visit. As a queer owned and run space, it has a special sense of sanctuary for those who often don’t feel safe or welcome in rural spaces, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folks. We are on the land of Central Pomo people, they are still around and present today.