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  • Nicole Hays

Artist Residency at Sarasvati Space in Tennessee

I will be spending the month of January completing an artist residency at a unique place called Sarasvati Residency Space in rural Tennessee. Read about why I am choosing to take this time away from my St. Pete life and career, and how I plan to transform my day-to-day practices when I return.



Why take part in an Artist Residency?

Many creators take part in an artist residency to be able to immerse themselves in their crafts with no outside distractions. This is a significant part of my plan for this time at Sarasvati, however, there are so many other things I am looking to accomplish with this residency. As someone who has always lacked self discipline in practically all things (it's difficult for me to not get tired of something and want to immediately start something else), I am looking to spend this month improving my personal practices of journaling, stretching, meditation, gymnastics workouts, act creation, and show writing. Finding the balance I need in my day to day life for my art, relationship, health, and overall well-being is my ultimate goal.






What I Plan to Bring

With just the room I have in my Prius, I am packing all the things I will need for one month of life during rural Tennessee's winter. Being from Florida, you would assume correctly that my wardrobe is not at all prepared for this. I have planned to invest in some thick winter coats, fleece lined leggings, scarves, and boots (that I can still do a cartwheel or handstand in, of course).


Unfortunately, I've recently realized that I will not be able to pack my pole sphere apparatus for this trip (it just takes up too much room for other essentials), so I am planning on bringing my aerial rig and lyra instead (which pack away nicely when broken down). I am also bringing a new prop for a brand new act that I have yet to unveil. More on that later.


Some other essentials I am bringing: Laird Superfood Instafuel Coffee (my absolute favorite instant coffee that doesn't give me the jitters), Strawberry Serenity Kombucha (a great alternative to alcohol, which I will be taking a month off from as well), ActiveHerb Cordyceps powder (I take this for sustaining energy), Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap (hands down, the best natural soap there is), coconut oil (for skin, hair, and teeth), 4 new books to read (one per week), notebooks for journaling and sketching, my Sony Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones, a yoga mat, and some crash pads for aerial and gymnastics.


About Sarasvati Residency Space

"Rewarding experiences occur when we get LOST – lost in thought, lost in a good book, lost in translation, lost in conversation, lost in place." (Sarasvati.Space Website)


I came across Sarasvati Residency Space while researching artist residencies in the United States online. While searching, I was keeping in mind that such a residency would have to be secluded (we are still in the depths of a pandemic with a new variant that has emerged), driving distance from St. Pete, and most importantly, affordable (we are still currently recovering financially from last year's "stay-at-home" time). I knew I could also take time away in January, as our entertainment industry really slows down during that time.





"Sarasvati creative Space @ Camp Wonder Wander offers a safe, comfortable and creatively designed space in a rural setting for individuals – designers, writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, storytellers, performers, craft artisans, or those just seeking a creative outlet – to get lost; to explore their inner dream scapes and rejuvenate one's inner spirit; to carve out the time and space needed to start, finish, polish or develop projects or portfolios; to generate ideas, to create and engage in experimentation needed in the design and creative process." (Sarasvati.Space website)


Needless to say, I got very excited while reading about this unique creative space that Val Sloan had created on a farm in rural Tennessee. This sounded exactly like what I was looking for. I recently connected with Val and made arrangements to spend my first month of 2022 at Sarasvati Residency Space.


For more photos and information about this amazing place, you can visit sarasvati.space online. Stay tuned for more updates on my residency at www.nicolehays.com.





#artistresidency #nicolehaysbodypainter #nicolehaysskinwars #curiositorium

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