Frequently Asked Questions

Open Wabi Frequently Asked Questions

What is an artist residency?

Artist-in-residence programs and other artist residency opportunities exist to invite artists 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. (Wikipedia)

How long are the artist residencies at Open Wabi?

We currently offer 2-week residency sessions. For residency session dates see the apply page.

Where is Open Wabi?

Our 20-acre property is located along a public bike trail, just inside the city limits of Fredericktown, Ohio. Fredericktown is a small, rural community located in central Ohio (population 2,500). It features a small downtown area with laundromat, restaurants, pharmacy, and bowling alley. The surrounding area is made up of beautiful farmland and woods. We are 7 miles from Mount Vernon (population 16,000) and 12 miles from Gambier, home to Kenyon College and the Kokosing Bike Trail. We are 20 miles from Mohican State Park for hiking and canoeing. We are also within 20 miles of Mansfield, where there is a Greyhound bus stop. We are within an hour’s drive of Columbus (Ohio’s capital city), which features the John Glenn International Airport.

Who can apply for an artist residency?

There are no specific educational requirements to apply. Awards will be made to those, who in the exclusive opinion of the jury, have submitted the best work. Apply by the priority deadline date to increase the chance of securing your place in a residency session.

What type of artists attend Open Wabi?

We’ve had a variety of artists attend Open Wabi: faculty on sabbatical, established artists, emerging artists, recent MFA graduates and students, recent BFA graduates and students. The diversity is what makes it an interesting place to be.

Is Open Wabi a good fit for me?

Open Wabi may not be for everyone. A residency here is a retreat from the day-to-day concerns of home in a unique setting. Like most aged structures, ours are full of charm, but there are areas where they are rough around the edges. We find the beauty in the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete (Wabi Sabi philosophy). Living quarters are intentionally modest, but comfortable.

You will be exposed to nature (20 acres of it), with that can come interactions with wildlife (i.e. plants, bugs, rabbits, bats, deer, and an occasional red fox!). But, that’s also the benefit of being at Open Wabi. We’ve had artists forage for plants on the property to create teas, dyes, and essential oils. We’ve even harvested wild blackberries to use in homemade ice cream.

Artists at Open Wabi time and space to devote to their creative practice. But, in addition, Open Wabi residents have an opportunity to become a part of this place by devoting a small portion of their time enhancing the space for future residents. See the “pay it forward” question near the bottom of the page. We look for artists for whom this engagement and experience is an attractive and alluring prospect.

What does an artist residency cost?

It depends on which housing option you choose. Costs are per person, based on the housing option chosen.  ($750 Private Room / $650 Private Cabin / $550 Camping)

What are the living quarters like?

Open Wabi offers 3 options for housing:

  • Private Room – $750

    The converted railroad depot serves as a living quarters, featuring modest, furnished bedrooms (bedding also provided) and a shared half-bath. Each bedroom has it’s own air conditioner. The depot also features a living area with seating and TV. The building is always locked and features key-code access on the exterior door, in addition to individual bedroom keys.

  • Private Cabin – $650 

    Open Wabi is in the process of building private cabins. We currently have one available. The cabin is modest and furnished with furniture (bedding is provided). It does not have electricity or water, but does have solar lighting. It will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to qualified applicants. Access is given to the shared bath with shower, kitchen, and living area.

  • Camping – $550

    The 20-acre property offers plenty of space for tent or RV camping (tents/RVs not provided). Artists who choose to camp also have access to the shared bath with shower, kitchen, and living area. Electrical or water hook up are not provided.

If I camp, what facilities do I have access to?

Artists who choose to camp have the same access to the kitchen and bathroom/shower facilities as other residents. Most campers also take advantage of the lounge area near the studios. Wifi is also available for everyone.

Campers should plan to bring their own tent/camper and camping supplies. There is no water or electrical hook up available for campers. If there is inclement weather, we will find a way for you to stay indoors.

What are the studios like?

They are located in a converted furniture factory building. They are private 16 x 30 foot studios with concrete floors, overhead lighting, and wood ceilings. There is also a large shared area in the studio that is available for larger installational or collaborative work. Tables and chairs are provided.

Do I need to bring my own tools and supplies?

There are a wide variety of hand tools provided (hammers, hand saws, screwdrivers, etc) for your use but we cannot always guarantee their condition.If you are a ceramicist, let us know. We may be able to provide you with a wheel and small kiln. No power tools are provided (due to liability). Please bring all of the supplies you will need during your residency.

The closest art supply store (Pat Catan’s) and large hardware (Lowe’s) are in Mount Vernon (15 minutes away). If you need to ship yourself materials, please try to have your package arrive the Monday after your arrival. Be sure your name is on the address label.

Painters, please plan to bring and use odorless turpentine or solvents only.

Abandoned materials and debris found on the property may be used with permission. Please contact us if you have specific questions or needs.

Is there Wifi?


Is food provided?

Open Wabi provides dinners on Sunday evenings. Otherwise, artists are responsible to purchase and prepare their own meals in the shared kitchen.

What kind of kitchen facilities do you have?

We have a shared kitchen facility located near the studios. The kitchen includes a commercial refrigerator & freezer, microwave, large toaster oven, hot plate, coffee pot, blender, panini press, bread maker, ice cream maker, and toaster. We also have a charcoal grill. (There is not a traditional oven/stove). Dishes, pots/pans, silverware, and drinkware are also provided. Artists are asked to keep the kitchen area clean for their fellow residents. There is no dishwasher, but there is a commercial size sink where dish soap and towels are provided.

What are the bathrooms/showers like?

There is a full bath with stand-up shower located near the kitchen. There is also a half bath located in the depot building. Open Wabi provides toilet paper, hand soap and hand towels. Please plan to bring your own toiletries and towels.

Can I do laundry?

Yes, we have a washer on site. We also have a clothes line.

Can I have items shipped to Open Wabi?

Yes! All shipping should be directed to 68 Mount Vernon Ave., Fredericktown, Ohio 43019, preferably anytime after the Sunday of your arrival. There is a local shipping store (Pak Mail) that ships through several carriers if you need to ship something home at the conclusion of your residency.

Can I get a ride from the airport?

Yes! Let us know your flight info and we can help to provide rides to and from the John Glenn International Airport in Columbus.

Do I need a car?

It’s really up to you. We are located in rural Ohio. We are within walking distance to a pharmacy and some restaurants, but if you want to travel to a grocery store, hardware, or just want to explore the area, you may want a vehicle. We find that residents tend to carpool and help each other out with transportation. There is no Uber or Lyft in our area. There is a local shuttle service that can take you to Mount Vernon for a fee. If you really need a ride somewhere and can’t find a ride, let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

Can I bring a bike?

Yes! We are located right beside a local bike trail. Past residents have enjoyed using it almost daily during their residency.

Can I bring my pet?

If you’re interested in bringing a pet with you to Open Wabi, contact us.  We allow pets upon prior approval.

Can I bring my spouse/kids?

Spouses are allowed only if they are also participating in the residency. They will also be charged a per person residency fee (dependent upon housing choice). We currently do not have the facilities to accommodate spouses not participating in the residency or children.

Residents may have visitors during the day if the resident informs the Open Wabi office in advance. Absolutely no overnight guests allowed. If needed, the nearest hotel accommodations are in Mount Vernon (7 miles away).

Are their exhibition opportunities?

Yes! At the end of each artist residency session, we celebrate with an open house. Though not a traditional exhibition, we do invite local community members. Some residents treat this like an open studio. Others opt to exhibit their work in a completed state and transform the shared studio area into a gallery space.

Can I invite my family or friends to the open house?

Yes! Please do! It is always the last Friday evening of the residency session.

What group activities should I expect?

Typical group activities during an artist residency session include: introductory presentations, Sunday dinners, critique, field trip (location dependent upon group interests and local events), a group property improvement project, and an open house/celebration. We find that these activities encourage relationship-building and are memorable moments at Open Wabi. Otherwise, the time and space are yours. An artist residency is what you make it! And we are flexible regarding the amount of structure the group desires.

What is this “pay it forward” thing?

At Open Wabi we believe in generosity. We also believe in working together in community. It is central to our mission and involvement is an important part of a residency. This is why we ask residents to contribute a couple hours of their time toward improving the property for future residents. Depending on the resident’s skills, contributions could include construction, de-construction, or general maintenance. Past projects include pouring a new cement stoop for the studio, planting flowers and herbs, and painting.

Does Open Wabi provide fellowships, scholarships or financial aid?

At this time, we do not provide fellowships, scholarships or financial aid. We do try to keep pricing reasonable. And encourage artists to look into local grants if they are interested.

Does Open Wabi accept international applicants?

Yes, we do! Please note it is the artist’s responsibility to obtain the appropriate visa if required.