About the Artist Residency

Time, space, & environment. Experience two weeks of possibility.

Open Wabi’s Artist Residency Program, located in a 100-year-old factory building in rural Ohio, offers emerging and established artists the time, space, and environment to encourage growth and experimentation in their practice.

The residency is designed to allow artists to take risks and pursue new projects and ideas. While in residence, artists are encouraged to pursue their own work amidst a group of peers. Open Wabi facilitates this by providing a 20-acre property with large studios, unique spaces for installation, basic living facilities, and the opportunity for collaboration and critique with visiting artists and critics.

Conversations with one another, materials and space can open up the way we see, think and do. Seeing, thinking and doing are not separate activities but a means to infinite potential that each situation and everyone in it holds. Open Wabi was imperative for this body of work, it would not have been possible without the generosity of space and materials and for this, I am so grateful. 5 stars all around or 10 if that’s the scale.

– Nicole Shaver ’17 Artist-in-Residence

There are no specific educational qualifications required for entry. Awards will be made to those, who in the exclusive opinion of the jury, have submitted the best work by the application deadline.


The Open Wabi Artist Residency Program was founded by husband and wife team, Jason Andrew Bowles and Tricia Bowles. They purchased the Open Wabi property in the fall of 2007, one month before their wedding, with a vision of establishing an artist residency.

Jason Andrew Bowles is an MFA graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. He is employed by Denison University. He has enjoyed a personal studio space at Open Wabi for over 10 years. His personal work is influenced by Fluxus and Wabi-Sabi.

He is interested in the transience of materials and the transience of our own existence. He is also very interested in the act of problem-solving by making creative and resourceful use of whatever materials are at hand (regardless of their original purpose). He often uses found objects and material in his work.

Tricia Bowles has a B.A. in Fine Art and 15 years of experience in visual communication. She is currently a Creative Director at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She is interested in the beauty of imperfection and in the blurring of the lines between art and life.

Facility and Location

Ariel view of the 20 acres and facilities of the Artist Retreat

Located in the heart of rural Ohio, Open Wabi’s location provides freedom from the distractions of everyday life, aiding artists in the production of their work.

We are located on 20 acres just inside Fredericktown city limits. The two original structures on the property — an 80,000 square foot factory and an adjacent train depot — were built in the early 1900s. The property was home to the Sun Glow Furniture factory until the 1960s.

For a more detailed history click here

Today, the property has a renewed purpose. “Sun Glow” is still faintly visible on the original water tower overlooking the property, but Open Wabi has given new life to the structures by reshaping a portion of the factory into artist studio spaces and the train depot into living quarters.

Open Wabi recently converted 20,000 square feet of the factory structure into an open courtyard area that remains partially enclosed by the original exterior walls. It is an ideal space for environmental or installation projects, along with the surrounding wooded and grassy areas.


Artist-in-residence programs and other residency opportunities exist to invite artists, academicians, curators, and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. They provide a time of reflection, research, presentation, production and immersion into a new culture. They often allow an individual to explore their practice within another community; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing life in a new location and potentially integrating elements of that experience into their art. Art residencies emphasize the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into another culture. (Wikipedia)