What is Alchemy?
Founded in 2014, Alchemy is a 12-day artist led residency devoted to exploring the synergy between artistic practice and the growing, cooking and sharing of locally cultivated food in a community setting. Artists focus on their own artistic practices while sharing ideas, expertise and conversation in salon style communal dinners.
Readings and discussions probe the creative intersection of food and art, and guest artists contribute to the magic and inspiration created by making and sharing art, ideas and food.
As we plan Alchemy 2018, we are grateful to have lived, worked and shared meals with more than 30 artists from Canada, the US, Europe and Asia.
How long is Alchemy?
Participants arrive in Hillier, Prince Edward County, Ontario on Saturday August 11th for 12 days. The fun ends with an early afternoon departure on Wednesday August 22nd. A program and schedule will be circulated and discussed at our Orientation and Welcome dinner.
Where does Alchemy 2018 take place?
Located in Prince Edward County (PEC) Ontario, Canada, it is 2.5 hours by car from Toronto, 3 hours from Ottawa and 90 minutes from Kingston. It is easily accessible by plane, train (to Belleville, Ontario) and automobile. “The County” is known for its strong agricultural roots, a thriving arts and cultural community, outstanding natural beauty and farm to table cuisine. It is Ontario’s fastest growing wine region and the home of Sandbanks Provincial Park, the world’s largest freshwater sandbar. For more about our location: http://prince-edward-county.com.
Where do participants stay during Alchemy?
Alchemy participants live and work in three neighbouring farmhouses located in a quiet corner of the County called Hillier. Barns, fields, porches and gardens will accommodate creative workspace. Our location boasts hundreds of acres of stunning countryside to explore and access to the Millennium Trail.
Is there a formal exhibition at the end of the Residency?
Rather than a formal show, we facilitate the sharing of work between participants and a wider community. An informal artist talk to the residency group by each participant is programmed early in the week.
This year we will also host an open studio visit for Hillier and neighbouring community residents. You will get the low down on how all this works closer to our opening date.
How much does Alchemy cost?
Cost (in Canadian dollars) plus applicable taxes: $1250.00 for a private bedroom, or between $1150.00 and $1050.00 for shared bedrooms. This fee includes accommodation, shared dinners, workspace, artist talks and sharing of work in progress. We require a $500 deposit after an artist accepts our offer to participate. The balance is due no later than 30 days prior to the start of the residency. Travel expenses are not included.
Do you provide stipends or grants?
Sadly, no, not yet. We hope to eventually offer grants to participating artists to lower costs, but we're not quite there. We do write letters of support. And, we encourage Canadian artists to apply for funding from other granting sources as appropriate.
What costs are covered by these fees?
Your living space is in one of three well-equipped and comfortable farmhouses, studio workspace, most meals including several shared dinners, programming and stipends for visiting guest artists. It also covers your participation in an afternoon studio visit for the Hillier community.
Are there other costs?
We supply the basic ingredients for breakfast and most lunches including coffee and tea. Most participants choose to make, share or contribute ingredients for a special meal, pay for their own snacks and wine. Renting a bike from Clossen’s is optional. Your travel expenses to and from the residency are not arranged or covered.
What if I have to leave early or arrive late?
We ask participating artists to be sure they can commit to being present for the entire residency.
Where do residents live and work?
Alchemy takes place in and around Station Road in rural Hillier Ontario surrounded by nature trails, farms and vineyards. Our residents live in one of three farmhouses – all equipped with varying degrees of mod coms and clean, and well equipped cooking facilities.
What about studio space and time?
Our programming schedule is flexible enough to provide a good amount of studio practice. Artists are invited to explore several of the easily accessible outside porches, barns and plein air spaces. Hillier Community Hall will be our shared indoor studio space with a studio table and chair for each artist.
Is it fancy?
No. Alchemy strives to maintain a very relaxed atmosphere-- one in which creative people can both work hard and relax.
Alchemy takes place near a beach, right?
Yes. While near beaches, it is also extremely rural. We are minutes from Lake Ontario (North Beach, Wellington Beach) and Sandbanks – the world’s largest fresh water sandbar. You can get to the beach within a few minutes by car and somewhat longer by biking.
Does Alchemy provide sheets, towels, etc.?
Yes. We provide sheets and towels. Please bring your own beach towels.
Does Alchemy provide laundry service?
How about bicycles?
You can rent a bike through http://www.clossonroadcycles.com. They deliver bikes right to your door. We can arrange this for you.
Does the Residency provide art supplies?
Alchemy is strictly a bring your own affair. There is no local art supply shop. There is a general hardware store in Wellington. Be prepared and bring your own supplies. We provide the space, and a good size work table.
What do people usually forget to bring?
Could it be bug spray? Sun block? We have both on hand but these things tend to deplete quickly, so do bring some with you, or remember to pick some up in town.
Does Alchemy provide meals?
Our meals are, well, magical. Each house is provided with coffee, tea and breakfast basics. You are responsible for your own lunches and snacks—sometimes there are leftovers but you can’t count on them. We will have access to farm grown local produce.
DInner is provided for the first two days of our residency. Then we help you and the rest of the group coordinate shared dinners for most other nights. Dinners and the discussions that go with them are the focal point of our shared time together. Saying they are mandatory sounds harsh but if you aren’t into sharing food, then you would be better suited to another residency.
There are also one or two nights when you are on your own to eat in town or stay in your studio or have dinner with a smaller group.
Can you accommodate allergies or food restrictions?
Food allergies and restrictions will be accommodated as best as we can – which has become pretty good over the years. We cannot guarantee nut-free facilities. There are not pets in the houses. Be prepared for a rural setting.
Are there stores nearby?
Yes. Lots. There are also farmers markets and stands all over the County, and vineyards! The lakeside village of Wellington is 11kms from Hillier and has a Saturday Farmer’s market, grocery stores, coffee shops, pharmacy, liquor store, local restaurants, and hardware store. Wellington is about 10 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bike.
What about Internet access?
There is limited Wi-Fi.
Can I bring my spouse/partner/ studio mate/small child/ pet?
We want you to focus on your work and the programming that has been designed especially for participants. Overnight guests are not part of the program. You may invite a day guest as long as the work of your house and studio mates are not disrupted. Programmed dinners usually cannot accommodate day guests.