Finding the time—and the space— for creativity can be hard. The outside world beckons— distracting many creative types from building up focus, resulting in half-baked projects or shoddy execution. The Suttle Lodge and Boathouse, located just outside of Sisters, aims to remedy those challenges for at least some distracted artists with its Artist in Residency program.
- Anthony Aquino
- Textile artist Megan Mesloh's laid-out works at the cabin.
Taking a trip to the Suttle Lodge is like entering a different world. Pulling up in the parking lot, it instantly makes sense as to why this would be an artist's dream sanctuary.
"The vision was to provide the simple gift of space and time for an artist to work at their leisure. We are lucky to be in the Deschutes National Forest, and this landscape provides so much opportunity for exploring creatively, it only makes sense to share it," says Suttle Lodge Director of Sales Rebekah Bellingham. "We don't require any finished work from Cabin 8 artists – the time at the lodge is 100 percent in the artist's control. We've had residents who've pounded out pages and pages of work. Others have been able to spend the time to apply for important grants to support their practice; still others have spent time writing fiction, when they're best known as a singer songwriter."
Artists who are accepted into the AIR program stay in the cozy Cabin 8 for two weeks, with a front-row spot to Suttle Lake and access to all of the surrounding areas in the heart of the Deschutes National Forest. New this coming year is a program for artist ensembles of up to six people.
"Our goal is to compose a broad collection of artists for each year, to represent folks from multiple disciplines, different stages in their career, different backgrounds, etc.," says Bellingham. "It's important for us that we be able to accommodate established artists, and artists who are just starting out and building their experience."
- Laura Gibson
Coming to the tail end of this year's AIR program, the lodge will be releasing the application for the 2020 winter this spring, with the deadline to apply this summer. Interested artists can also email the lodge directly for more information. The overall selections are a group effort, as a panel from the lodge comes to a collective decision.
"It's been really wonderful to meet each artist and learn about how they have adapted a unique routine for life at the lake, and how physically being on property has affected their daily practice. We provide a very simple space for lodging and studio, and this stripping down of lifestyle has been pretty transformative for the artists in their work," Bellingham says of the atmosphere in Cabin 8. "It's inspiring to see the excitement in their eyes, and hear about the projects they're working on, new discoveries, wildlife sightings, etc. Each of the residents has embraced this place in the forest and has integrated being outside as part of their routine. It's also wonderful to see the relationships and connections that occur with our residents and our wonderful staff, visiting guests and local community."