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The Art Department at Heartwood Institute has been formed to serve several needs. To provide a welcoming atmosphere for creative thinking and to encourage the expression of one's interests. To showcase and support work that expresses itself through beneficial and sustainable practices. To further establish the concept of art as a service to the public, rather than as a commodity. We do this through classes, collaborative studio experiences, and through our artist residency program. We believe we are all participants; whether as students, teachers, or simply as witnesses to the positive impacts and outcomes such a program can generate.

Heartwood offers a unique setting for an arts program. The Institute is remotely located in the mountains of northern California on a beautiful residential campus that covers two hundred diverse acres. Gardens and orchards intermingle with the institute's woods and grasslands. The art department is integrated into a small mountain community that has formed around programs in permaculture and the culinary arts.

All three of these programs place an emphasis on recognizing the relationship that exists between sustainable and ecologically sound practices, and the landscape the community inhabits. It is through this connection that we find a deeply shared sense of purpose.

create art

The newly formed art department works to address the needs of the community as a whole. Initially this inspired the installation of our digital arts, photo, and digital film making facilities. We utilize this creatively as a service to the public as well as to the Heartwood community. Recently the department has focused on the development of programs that offer educational opportunities through ecologically sound practices. A program is currently emerging around traditional knowledge of the earth, it's plants and the practices associated with responsible land management. A series of classes that thoroughly examines basketry and weaving as an art form is already in the works. An outline has been drafted and an acquisition fund has been created for a ceramics studio. Local clays have already been identified and tested.

explore art

The department accepts and reviews proposals from potential resident artists and instructors on an ongoing basis.  Guest Instructors with an approved curriculum currently teach on a profit-sharing basis with the institute. Applicants to the residency program may wish to explore this as an option to generate additional support for themselves while in residency. There is no application fee to apply as a resident artist. We consider these artists to be a valuable asset to our community. Those who wish to help support the artist residency program are encouraged to donate to the Fund for Resident Artists.

Artist Residency Program

The artist residency program at Heartwood Institute exists to recognize and support demonstrated excellence, within a given medium or genre of the arts.

To find out more and apply click here

Upcoming Art Programs

George Lea serves as our current Art Director, he believes strongly that his primary role is to facilitate the process of meeting institutional goals, while bringing individual and community visions to fruition. He can be reached for inquiries regarding the department by email at:
or by phone at 707-923-5001
Art Dept / Heartwood Institute 220 Harmony Lane
Garberville, CA 95542