At Open Wabi, we have converted a portion of our factory’s main floor into large, 16 x 30 foot, private studio spaces. Wooded areas and pasture are available for those interested in working outdoors. There are also architectural remnants on the property that may be of interest to environmental or installation artists.
Built-in 1915, our factory and railroad depot buildings are historical structures that we have gradually adapted to the working and living needs of artists. The factory building, where the studios are located, also features a shared lounge, dining area, and kitchen with appliances and utensils. WiFi is provided.
Living accommodation options include:
The converted railroad depot serves as living quarters, featuring four modest, furnished bedrooms 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 (Non-Air-Conditioned)
We currently have three private cabins available. The cabins are modest and furnished with furniture (bedding is provided). They do not have electricity but do have solar lighting. Access is given to the shared bath with shower (located at the studio), kitchen, and living area.
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.
Dinner is provided by Open Wabi on Sunday evenings. Otherwise, the artists are asked to purchase and provide their own meals, which may be prepared in our shared kitchen. Group dinners and discussions are encouraged in the evenings.
Tools & Supplies
There is a wide variety of hand tools provided (hammers, hand saws, screwdrivers, etc) for your use but we cannot always guarantee their condition. No power tools are provided. 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 do so no earlier than three weeks prior to 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.
A Unique Setting
The 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.
Exhibition & Collaboration Opportunities
There will be an opportunity during the residency for visiting artists and critics to visit the studio. Open Wabi also hosts an open house on the last Friday evening of each residency session. Though it is not a traditional exhibition, it is an opportunity to share work with invited guests and celebrate the work completed by artists during the residency.
Pay It Forward
At Open Wabi our philosophy is you can learn a lot about someone by working with them. During your first few days at Wabi, we do a small group project that ‘Pays it forward’ by improving the property for future residents. The project is typically no more than 4 hours. Projects are chosen democratically and are based on the resident’s skills and interests. Contributions could include construction, de-construction, or general maintenance.
Residents have an opportunity to provide Open Wabi with documentation of at least one or two projects created at the residency. They will be listed on our site alongside other Wabi alumn, providing further visibility for the artist but also shares the Open Wabi experience with future & past residents.
We work hard to maintain a sanctuary for the artists that are in residence at Open Wabi. Please respect others and your own time at Open Wabi by following our guest policy. Residents may have visitors during the day only 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).
- Pets upon approval.
- Smoking only in designated areas.
The total cost of an Open Wabi residency is either $750 (private room), $650 (private cabin), or $500 (camping) for two weeks. For more information see “Accommodations” above. A $250 deposit is due 21 days after acceptance. To view the list of available two-week sessions and their application deadlines, please click here.
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 may be areas where they are rough around the edges. Living quarters are intentionally modest.
Artists have most of their time to devote to their practice. 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. We look for artists for whom this engagement and experience is an attractive and alluring prospect.