The studios building at the Horned Dorset Inn in Leonardsville, New York

There are great locations in the U.S. and abroad where artists step away from their normal routines to paint, reflect, and work alongside other creative people. Joellyn Duesberry recently had a great residency at the Horned Dorset Colony in Leonardsville, New York. Find out more!

Joellyn Duesberry carrying a large canvas outdoors during her residency

“In the 20-some residencies of my entire career, I have never encountered such a balance of work and conversation,” Joellyn Duesberry says about the Horned Dorset Colony. The retreat was established in 2011 by artists, writers, and musicians who serve as directors. Kingley Wratten is the executive director and Roberta Wratten the admissions director of the group, which now offers a residency program for other writers, musicians, composers, and visual artists in an area where there was once a school of plein air painters that included Frank T. Hutchens (1869-1937), Reba Bassett Huddle (1884-1963), and Chauncey Adams (1895-1965). Applications for both paying residents and fellowship residents are being accepted.


“The Inn contains four rooms, with private suites and baths, and the other resident and I occupied those on the first floor of the classical old New York baronial-style building, which was rescued several decades ago,” Duesberry reports. “My only obligation of sorts was to join the conversation during a luscious four-course dinner and to exchange ideas at the Inn in a special room for the artists dining. Most nights a quiet dining public attends, and on weekends the four halls are packed full of crowds for the only formal dining.

The entrance to the Horned Dorset Inn in upstate New York

“The final artist studio open day and evening convinced me that the neighboring towns and Leonardsville itself comprise a perfect location for creative people seeking the time and beloved routines of uninterrupted work, with all the options mentioned above to beguile an artist in brief moments of recreation. The visitors who came for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on my last evening were from all the towns around Leonardsville, as well as familiar faces of local residents who never distracted me from painting but were bursting with curiosity, enthusiasm, and appreciation.”


The average length of stay for residents at the Horned Dorset Colony is four weeks, and acceptance is based on the quality of an applicant’s work and recommendations, not solely on the person’s ability to pay the fee of $4,000 for the four weeks (including housing, meals, and housekeeping service). Fellowships and grants are available for artists seeking financial support. The colony is on a 250-acre site in a rural hamlet with a working apple orchard, organic vegetable gardens, waterfall, and miles of walking trails.

The Horned Dorset Inn restaurant

A mix of accommodations and work spaces is available in several restored houses, all within walking distance of each other and the restaurant building, which functions both as a dining room and an exhibition space. All residents have their own private room and bath in one of several houses. The Inn and Restaurant are listed as the Wheeler Block Complex on the National Register of Historic Places.

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