SPACE’s mission is to support and nurture emerging artists by providing a workshop and retreat space singular in its ability to reinvigorate the artist’s spirit and their work. SPACE is the answer to dormant creativity, giving artists time and space to do what they do best: create.

          The words of SPACE’s mission were singing in my heart yesterday as I took the train ride home from Brewster to New York. After spending the weekend helping to facilitate the retreat of ‘The Big Fix,’ lead by Lee Sunday Evans and ‘Walled In,’ lead by Diana Buirski, I found myself thinking of moments and times throughout the weekend that seemed to bring this mission to life in its purest and most treasured form.

          I thought of sitting outside of the Sycamores drinking coffee as artists came and sat after their first night of rest, eager and open to start the work of the day. I thought of the gentle hum of conversation, play, laughter and discovery as ‘The Big Fix’ and ‘Walled In’ spent their mornings, afternoons, and evenings truly next to and inside of the projects they were exploring. I thought of meals spent communally and artists from both projects getting to know one another with openness and honesty, digging into the other’s work and thoughts, and providing genuine rest and rejuvenation between work sessions. I thought of the reinvigoration provided by the opportunity to have bon fires, listening to music and telling stories under the stars. Each thought and each moment and memory made unique by the individual artists that comprised the residencies.

          I found myself thinking most, however, of one of the last memories of the weekend. After spending the days working within their own projects, ‘Walled In’ invited ‘The Big Fix’ to listen and share their thoughts on the new pages that had been worked on, edited, and played around with in their time up at SPACE. Sitting outside in the thankfully cool air, listening to and being moved and entertained by the wonderful work ‘Walled In’ was sharing seemed like SPACE’s mission at its core. It wasn’t until I returned twenty minutes later and into lunch that I was even more deeply moved – for the group had chosen to stay in their circle outside. They had chosen each share their lunch and discuss their thoughts and feelings on what they had just heard, and what they had just shared. This, to me – is it. SPACE. Full circle from the Artist On the Farm collective of last year. To witness artist’s spirits reinvigorated, supporting and nurturing not only themselves but eachother to do what they do best: create.       


Rachel Rusch - SPACE on Ryder Farm Artistic Associate