Letter of Understanding…the Artist in Residence Program

Graphic for Searsport Shores Artist in Residence Program
Interested? Text (207) 930-5919 or e-mail relax@campocean.com

Our vision for the Artist in Residence Program at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground: A creative person or couple come to the campground to work on their own art and share their passion with campers of every description.  The ideal candidate is friendly, outgoing and comfortable in a non-structured environment.  We would like you to take full advantage of our beautiful coastal surroundings, art studio, orchards and organic gardens. Guests of the campground are from every walk of life; here for an authentic experience of Maine’s rocky coast, relax, explore and form new friendships.  The Artist in Residence program has been developed to enhance the experience of our guests.  It is our paramount objective that they feel welcome and comfortable if they choose to participate in one or all of your activities.

Who is Searsport Shores Ocean Campground?

We are a family campground business that was established in 1965 and grows sustainably while stewarding the land.  We provide a place for people to come and relax, wander through the organic gardens, interact with our fiber goats, explore the beach and re-connect with themselves and others.  We believe that a successful camping experience will be a vacation that highlights the satisfaction that comes from being outside and the rewards of creative play.  Our guests are families who want to spend time together and couples looking for an alternative to the heavily commercialized areas that typically draw hordes of tourists.  We enjoy 40 wooded acres on Penobscot Bay with a quarter mile of private beach and access to Sears Island, a 940 acre uninhabited island open only to hikers, kayakers and bicyclists.  You can see more of our world at  www.SearsportShores.com.  Each September we host Fiber College, the premier fiber education event on the East Coast.  In 2010 we added a cedar log cabin art studio to the Searsport Shores campus.

We expect: Artist will lead one to two hour creative sessions with campers each day.  The sessions should be interactive and fully facilitated (you organize the materials you need, the time and place of meeting up, ask for help as needed). The projects or talks must be interesting to a wide range of ages and ability levels.  Because there is no charge for your sessions, the material costs must be minimal and at least one project offered during the week should be something the guest can take home to share with their friends.  The artist is expected to gather her supplies and guests will re-reimburse the artist directly for material costs; please consider an individual and a family rate.  If you have questions about appropriate fees, please do not hesitate to ask, well in advance of assembling the supplies.  Not all sessions need to be hands-on.  You are welcome to use the beach, gardens and nature trails to lead exploration walks and immersion talks.  It is also possible to plan a session simply sharing your art and what you do with those who are curious.  In any event, a schedule will be created in advance with flexibility built in for weather related challenges.  

When you are not “in session” with guests, we expect you to work on your art for several hours each day, encouraging campers to stop by and watch what you’re doing.  Please join us for Wednesday night at the Shores…a gathering of local residents and campers for music (it’s a jam session so bring an instrument!), food and community art.  We would be very grateful if you would facilitate the community art if you’re not planning on jamming with the crowd…we have ideas if you’re running low.

Artist will take over the Searsport Shores Instagram account while in residence and post 2-5 images each day of the program and whatever is interesting during your stay. The purpose of the postings is to generate interest in your sessions, allow guests to feel that they know you a bit and to generate publicity for you and us.  You’re welcome to include links to your own site in order to highlight your work.

Our guests are inclined to want to participate in hands on activities and are enthusiastic about learning from an artist.  Often they will have planned their vacation around your week’s session and will be eagerly anticipating a new friendship.  We DO NOT expect that you will be a baby-sitter.  Within reason you are welcome to require that children be accompanied by a parent and that disruptive participants can choose to “get in line” or go back to their campsite.  If your session needs to start at a given time, it is helpful for all to have a table set up on the side with an alternate, self directed craft so that if there are late comers, they are welcome to work at this easier option and not disrupt those who have already started.

Artists will arrive on Sunday between 1 PM and 6 PM.  We will host a “get to know you” campfire Sunday evening at 7PM  Please bring a bit of show and tell and share your art while toasting marshmallows.  We will expect you to conduct the public portion of their program each day from Monday through Saturday afternoon on a schedule of your accord.  Artists will leave the studio in the same condition it was found by 11 AM the following Sunday.   If for some reason you are not able to fulfill your commitment, you will provide a satisfactory replacement.

We would be delighted if: You would leave us with an example of your art to be shared in the art studio or on the grounds.

We offer: Artist will inhabit the art studio…loft space available for living quarters, two twin beds, reading lights.  Studio includes kitchenette and toilet, showers and laundry available in the communal bathhouse.  No money is exchanged.  If you have your own camper or prefer sleeping in a tent closer to the ocean let us know and we’ll reserve a campsite instead of the loft space.  We are sorry, with only very exceptional cases, we cannot host children or pets in the studio.

The Artist in Residency Program is sponsored by the Makers Guild of Maine.