Pony Farm Residency Project
What is the Pony Farm Residency Project?
The Pony Farm Residency Project began in 2016 in Amador, California, at a small homestead owned by Maxime Moquelet and Liz Grandsaert. Liz created the experience around the idea of providing easy access to the historical and natural treasures of Amador County to low-income artists. The project also aims to help artists create content and experiences that champion the arts in rural communities.
How Does it Work?
Through online interaction, The Pony Farm attracts young working artists interested in the relationship of Art and Nature. Every year we invite one to five guests to the Farm allowing them to experience life on a homestead with ample access to Nature, while also providing them with a safe and contemplative space to work.
Each participant can stay on the Farm for one week to one month, depending on circumstances and need. Residents receive a cabin on the property and access to the resources and space allowed in the art studio. Artists gain access to the gardens as well.
After some time getting to learn about the history and natural wonders of the county, each participant plans and executes a community event in one of the several small towns located in the county. These events can range from community workshops to public installations to the distribution of zines.
How Are We Unique?
Historical Significance: The location of Amador is unique in its nature and historical heritage and relates to early California history.
Accessibility: The application process focuses on community impact and benefit to the artists, allowing low-income or upcoming artists with little opportunity a chance to focus on their art. Pony Farm also creates a safe space for artists to interact with a small group of peers, providing community and a new network.
Mythos: The Pony Farm puts high importance on personal myth and history. It allows each visiting artist to make an extraordinary impact on the story of the Farm and its mythos. As a writer, painter, and musician, it has become my main work to document these interactions on the farm. We believe a continuing story is important in keeping a homestead alive, and therefore offer the artists a unique experience.
What is the Impact?
The community of Amador benefits from exposure to the arts community outside of the county. We provide a way for artists to interact with the small-town communities of Northern California, inspiring and educating on diverse subjects.
The community benefits from a small influx into the economy by highlighting and connecting artists to small businesses. The small business that collaborates with artists benefits from new streams of income and the online exposure provided by the artists.
We provide artists the tools and experience to develop their understanding of nature and homesteading. Residents leave inspired, bringing their body of knowledge back to their community.
Visiting artists along with their peers and followers get to discover life in rural California, possibly considering it a valid alternative to living within the city.
Why Raise Funds:
Longer Stays: We’ve found through our years of experience that a period of one month provides each artist the ability to truly experience life in the county and absorb the intricacies of a farming lifestyle.
More Residents/Communal Residencies: With proper funding, we would expand the number of residents hosted at the Farm by opening up two more cabins. We find that the experience is most beneficial to the artist when companionship is available.
More Community Events: With proper funding, we would organize, advertise, and execute larger and more frequent events attracting tourists from neighboring cities such as Oakland and Sacramento.
More Youth Events: With Proper funding, I would afford supplies and tools to provide workshops promoting art and ecology to the local youth.
Proper Documentation: With proper funding, I can document and archive all work by residents.