Piney Wood Atlas is a collaborative project between artists Carolina Porras and Alicia Toldi. PWA visits and catalogs small, new, and unconventional artist residencies across the U.S., a  little bit of Canada, and maybe the rest of the world someday. They visit each residency on a road trip together, talking to the hosts, artists, and getting a feel for what it’s like to be a resident in the space. Check out their lovely and super helpful new website.

I love my physical copy of PWA and highly suggest picking one up. If you’re interested in residencies, it’s an in-depth look at some of the most unique and interesting ones.

Alicia and Carolina met at the residency Carolina now manages – Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, Colorado. They were both focused on visual art when they met but it became clear that their dream was to open their own residency. PWA was a clear (and creative!) intermediate step. It’s a way for them to research residencies and practice their art while helping artists and residency managers. I found this genus and was stoked to talk to A&C.

In our conversation, we chat about the creative process, evolving as an artist, what it’s like moving to more administrative work, making a book, challenges in funding and sustainability, tips for joining a residency, and more. Listen above or on iTunes or Spotify.


In this episode, we talk about:

  • What process means to them
  • What a residency is and how it’s for anyone with something to produce or create, not just visual artists
  • Being ok with not knowing what to create; allowing yourself to create freely
  • How PWA is evolving and how they’re learning to go with the process
  • Balancing jobs with PWA
  • The challenges of moving from creative work to more administrative work
  • How their artist process and interests have changed
  • Non-traditional artists and citizen artists
  • How a residency and travel helps you gain perspective
  • PWA’s funding and sustainability challenges
  • How they’ve supported the project on a shoestring budget
  • How residencies will have to evolve and alternative sources of funding
  • Creative ways artists can find funding when joining a residency

Resources mentioned:

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