The Visitation Residency Program brings twelve or so artists and writers to live and work for a week at Mt. Saviour Monastery near Elmira, NY. Each resident has their own single room in the St. Joseph guesthouse, and 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 single 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.

Residents are free to use their time at the residency as they wish to pursue their own creative work and projects. We will gather each evening in the great room for community time, sharing work, and any programming. Wine and other refreshments are served at these daily gatherings. The rhythm of the residency is influenced by the monastic schedule and daily prayers, called 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 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 are welcome to apply. We are best able to accommodate writers, visual artists, and musicians, but we are open to other disciplines if it seems like a good fit. 

The 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 this cost is an insurmountable obstacle, please don’t let it deter you from applying. Include a statement of financial need in your letter (see below) and we may be able to invite you to a residency on a partial fellowship.

Sign up for our mailing list to hear when we open for applications! The next sessions will be summer 2020.


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

  • A one-page letter (max. 500 words) that introduces yourself and your creative practice, says which session(s) you are available to attend, expresses your interest in Orein and the contemplative environment, imagines how this residency might be a blessing to your practice, and how your presence might be a blessing to the residency.

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

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

  • Receipt of application fee— an amount of your choosing donated here ︎Orein Arts that will be put towards a scholarship fund. The amount will not affect your chances. 

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