The Visitation Arts Residency brings twelve or so artists and writers to live and work for a week at Mt. Saviour Monastery near Elmira, NY. For accomodations, each resident has their own private single room in the St. Joseph guesthouse. The group shares a large living room, kitchen, and common bathroom. Visual artists share a large well-lit studio. Musicians have access to the monastery piano room. Writers have access to the library, great room, and conference room. Each resident’s private room contains a writing desk. All meals are included in the residency fee. For lunch and dinner, as per monastery rules, men eat together in the refectory with the monks, and women eat in the women's house St. Gertrude’s. Each residency session begins on a Monday afternoon and ends the following Sunday around 11am. It is important for the monks and the residency itself that all who attend are able to commit to the full length of their session.

Session 1: TBD 2021
Session 2: TBD 2021

Residents are free to use their time at the residency as they wish to pursue their own creative work and projects. We only ask of everyone one gathering each evening in the great room for any programming, sharing work, and other community time. Wine and other refreshments are served at these daily gatherings. The overall rhythm of the residency is influenced by the monastic schedule and daily prayers, known as the Divine Office, which happens seven times a day. Of course no one is obligated to attend any service or prayer, though all are invited. It is our hope and intention that residents come with openness to the unique spiritual goods offered by the monastic community and a prayerful environment. All guests have access to several hundred acres of gorgeous monastery grounds and farmland upon the glaciated Allegheny Plateau. The monastery is home to a working sheep farm with some donkeys. 

This residency consists mostly of silence, space, nature, work, bells, and chanting. It is at a monastery, after all. If you are in need of being provided with a more stimulating week of, for example, workshops or masterclasses, you may be better served at a different residency. Our time at the monastery is a unique blend of aloneness with oneself and intimacy with the group. Our goal is to find what deeper creativity, vision, and other riches are to be found in sharing gifts and resources within communal rhythms of work, prayer, nature, and silence. 

This information is meant to serve as a general outline for the week. More information will be provided to attending residents along with an updated program.


We are looking for artists and practitioners who would take advantage of and appreciate the environment described above, who would see such a week as an opportunity and a blessing for their creative and spiritual life, and who would of course respect the rules and customs of the monks and the monastery. Artists at any stage in their career who fit this description are welcome to apply. So far we have been best able to accommodate writers, visual artists, and musicians, but we are open to other disciplines if it seems like a good fit. 

The full cost of the residency is $650 for the week. As stated above, this fee includes a single room, some space to work, three meals a day, wine and refreshments. If the cost is an insurmountable obstacle, please don’t let it deter you from applying. We are able to offer some fellowships for artists to come at reduced rate. See below for details on how to apply into the this pool.

It is important for us to try to make this residency work for a variety of artists in different situations, especially with the arts community hit so hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent losses of opportunities for income, health, and community. If you are in a position to help more artists come on a fellowship, please consider donating to this fund, or choosing the Supporter tier ($800) for your residency.


Update 5/9/2020:
For the health and safety of the monastic community the monastery guest house will be closed through 2020. It is not unexpected news at this point when many venues and events around the country and world are suffering the same fate. Residency will be postponed until 2021!


To apply for an invitation to the residency, please send the following to our email address in a single attachment with the subject “Application” :

  • A one-page letter (max. 500 words) that:
  • introduces yourself and your creative practice
  • expresses your interest in Orein and the contemplative environment
  • imagines how this residency might be a blessing to your creative practice
  • says which session(s) you can to attend
  • indicates if applying into fellowship pool* or able to pay full price/Supporter tier

  • A work sample and link to artist website if applicable.

  • Brief Resume/CV (publications, past and upcoming shows, studio experience, etc.)

  • *If applying for fellowship please include an informal statement of financial need (no official documents needed) that indicates an amount you able to afford and/or how much partial fellowship you are seeking. Understand that our fellowship fund is limited.

  • Application fee— an amount of your choosing donated here ︎Orein Arts that will be put towards the fellowship fund. The amount will not affect your chances. 

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