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Soaring Gardens Artists Retreat in Laceyville, PA, offers visual artists, writers, and composers, and instrumentalists a quiet country setting for residencies to focus on their creative endeavors. Spaces are available from mid-May to mid-September. Soaring Gardens has no fees, makes no demands, and there are no intrusions from the administration—only the studios, gardens, deer, other creatures, and time. 


The residency is located in a farmhouse with an adjacent studio building and in a small nearby church. At any time, there are only a few artists in residence—usually three or four residents at the farmhouse and two at the church. Since residents share the living spaces, we encourage artists to apply as a group (a combination of artistic disciplines is fine), although applications from individuals are also welcome.


Residents are encouraged to have a car to get to Soaring Gardens and to use while they are in residence. However, transportation will be provided to and from nearby cities for arrival and departure at Soaring Gardens, and to help run some errands during their stay as needed. There is no public transportation close by. With the exception of a weekly communal dinner, artists are expected to shop, cook, and clean up after themselves; a gardener maintains the grounds. As the purpose of the residency is to provide time for undisturbed work, no children, pets, or overnight visitors are permitted.

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Soaring Gardens Artists Retreat

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On the twenty-three-acre property is a spacious farmhouse and studio building. The farmhouse has a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining area, and two living rooms on the main floor and three bedrooms, a study, and a bathroom upstairs. In the basement, there is a laundry room with a washer and dryer. Thirty feet from the house is a separate studio building with two 750-square-foot studios on separate levels. Depending on the nature of the residents’ work, the farmhouse can accommodate three or four artists. (If residents are willing to share the studio spaces, it can house as many as five.)

The farmhouse was built in 1850 by Frank Gay, who made his fortune in the California gold rush. The farmhouse and studio are surrounded by extensive flower gardens, which inspired Ora Lerman to name her property “Soaring Gardens.” The central focus of the garden is a “grand allée,” modeled after Monet’s garden in Giverny, where, supported by a grant from Reader’s Digest, Lerman was a resident in 1989. Nearby is a decorative pond. From the house and studios, you can see the northern end of the Appalachian Mountains, which are a one hour drive away.


A ten-minute drive from the farmhouse is the church, which dates from 1910, and has been remodeled into comfortable living and working spaces for one or two residents. Downstairs are the kitchen, bathroom, one bedroom with twin beds, and living room. The upstairs, which has a seperate entrance, is divided into two spaces, both with high ceilings: the outer studio is 14 x 28 feet. The inner studio is 14 x 26 feet, and has a sleeping loft at one end with a queen-sized bed. The Residency Manager lives downstairs. The artists share the bathroom and kitchen with the Residency Manager. The studios can be used as either working or living spaces, whichever suits the residents. The church works best for one artist, or two if they are comfortable sharing the sleeping loft.

The church sits on a tiny plot of land surrounded by working farms, including one that raises goats. Some forty years ago it was converted into its current layout by the painters Cornelis Ruhtenberg and Jules Kirschenbaum, who gifted it to the Ora Lerman Charitable Trust in the fall of 2000.

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The application period is from February 1st to March 31st, 2024
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Forme Residents



“I can’t think of how I would improve the experience, it was pretty much the most idyllic set up for an artist and particularly a landscape inspired painter, like myself. Quite honestly,

I can’t imagine how it could be any better.”

— Jessica Dalrymple, 2017


Jessica Dalrymple


Kim Altomare
Royee Atadgy
Gila Berryman
Adam Brent
D.T. Burns
Brandy N. Carie
Julie Catton
Anne Chen
Moxin (Sunny) Chen
Jeanne Ciravolo
Maggie-Kate Coleman
Emma Cranston
Sami Cronk
Yvette Cummings Arendt
Nicole Czapinski
Gabrielle D’Angelo
Tina DeVaron
Lisa DeSpain
Julia Forrest
Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo
Layon Gray
Madison Hansen
Ella Jacobson
Brienna Kane
Andrea Keefe

“Overwhelmingly positive. Studio was a dream, housing was cozy and inspiring, and I absolutely loved being in a space made by a female painter. Going through Ora’s books and papers about past exhibits in NYC was amazing! Such a unique experience to have access to her life.”

— Lauren Peters, 2022


Studio – photo: Erin Law


David Aipperspach
Stewart Allen
Becky Bailey
Steve Bellin-Oka
Tom Birkner
Ron Bramhall
Erin Dorney
Kate Doyle
Christin Farina
Leslie Fenton
Ethan Fisher
Alec Galambos
Thomas Gibbons
Howard Gladstone
Jen Harris
Kong Ho
Will Hutnick
Mercedes Jelinek

“First Impressions”

R.C. Bramhall, poet
Soaring Gardens 8/27/2021


stone and tree
feel first impressions
knowing true intentions
love or fear
from the heart
but back inside
each room beckons
a seduction
to be chosen
as the spot –
Relax…you will remain
always remembered
watchful walls whisper
absorbing memory
of your time
while the floors
speak their secret language
in wooden wailings
of rhyme –



“I can’t wait to get in to the studio here at home and begin a new body of work based on all of the observational paintings I made over the past few weeks.”

– David Aipperspach, 2020


David Aipperspach at work behind the house and his painting.


Stewart Allen
Joe Aguilar
Danielle Arriano
Kate Bae

Jesse Chun
Matthew Colaizzo
Maddison Colvin
Samantha Connor
Dariana Dervis
Mark Fabiano
Julia Forrest
Sarah Fuhrman
Laura Gettelfinger
Howard Gladstone
Meg Kaizu
Sam Lacombe
Kirstin Lamb
Heidi Lau
Sto Len

“The most unexpected boon was the resplendent amount of wild edible plants- as a hobbyist forager, I was so delighted with the abundance of late summer, and every meal my week there was based on or augmented by something from the forest or fields- blackberries, raspberries, sumac, nettle, asiatic dayflower, yarrow, mint- the list goes on.”  Everest Pitkin


Suzette Marie Martin is laughing with joy after having made 17 large works on paper, 17 small studies, 2 canvases and 3 large scale drawings in four fast and happy weeks.


Stewart Allen
Betsy Andrews

Sayuri Ayers
Ange Baker
Vanessa Blakeslee
Brian D. Cohen
Adam DeAscentis
Anna Fine Foer
Jonathan Graybill
Fred Gutzeit
John Hubbell
Charles Johnson
Nadav Kurtz
Wendy Kveck
Wayne Marcelli

“The grounds and the landscape are gorgeous and inspired an important new direction in my work. Most of all, I valued the time and space to make my work and share in an extended dialogue with fellow artists.”  

Wendy Kveck


Studio – photo: @pRODUCT614


Tessa Click
Ben Cowan
Jessica Dalrymple
Adam DeAscentis
Mikael Flores-Amper
Sarah Fuhrman
Rowan Fulton
Leah Guadagnoli
Stephan Haluska
Melissa Huang
John Hubbell
Charles Johnson
Megumi Kaizu
Leah Claire Kaminski
Ji Yung Kim

“I had an incredible time at Soaring Gardens!!! It really was magical to spend so much undistracted time working and exploring a beautiful landscape. I was able to make over 30 paintings including this one.”  Ben Cowan


Ben Cowan, Soaring Gardens Church, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″


Danielle Ariano
Siobhan Arnold
Elise Church
Jaynie Crimmins
Jacqueline Doyle
Sarah Fuhrman
Howard Gladstone
Phoebe Grip
Riley Hooper
Katie Hovencamp
Yuliya Lanina
Peter Makala


“The time I spent at the Church near Soaring Gardens was like a gift. While I was there, I deeply connected to spaces of quiet and solitude.” – Janell O’Rourke

Church (downstairs) – photo: C. Johnson


Sarah Alford
Jerry Bleem
Pankaj Challa
Celeste Chan
Kristina Marie Darling
Stephen Dydo
Howard Gladstone
Susan Haire
Janet Kusmierski
Matthew Kennedy
Jason B. Kohl

“Thank you for the incredible experience we had at the residency in August. Last month was one of the most fruitful, inspiring, magical months of my life–we all made a lot of work, including several collaborations.”

— Suzanne Stroebe


Studio exterior


Anne Canfield
Diane Churchill
Katherine Cox
Diane Dwyer
Martha Ferguson
Michele Goodwin
Leslie Hunter
Cassandra Jennings Hall
Janet Kusmierski
Thane Lund
Alice Momm
Sean Naftel
Gloria Patton
Andrei Petrov
Nan Ring

Dorothy Robinson
Gail Shaw-Clemons

Greg Singer
Emilie Staat
Eric Strauss
Suzanne Stroebe
Erin Treacy
Caroleen Vaughan

“I am preparing (reluctantly) to leave Soaring Gardens today, and I’m sending this entirely inadequate email to express my gratitude for this beautiful gift of a residency with my collaborative fellow artists, Martha and Alice. Words cannot express how deeply touched I am by my experience here…I was also very touched by the church setting, which is bucolic and peaceful, and offered so much in terms of my own creativity – the goats, the horses, the winding gravel roads, the endless horizon. It was all magical…it was a transformative experience being here. For me especially, I found my thinking deepened and my creative process grew in leaps and bounds over the few short weeks.” — Nan Ring


Lauren Boilini
Anne Canfield
Ruth Danon
Sally Dawidoff
Erin Domagal
Margot Douaihy
J. Stephen Dydo
Julia Forrest
Jonathon Frey
Robert Goodman
David Groff
Susan Haire
Bethany Johnson

Jason Karolak
Ann Kell
Serge Marchetta
Sana Musasama
Susan Oetgen
Celia Phillips
Iva Radivojevic
Masha Ryskin
Roy Steele
Thomas Vance
Michael Wille
Jowita Wyszomirska
Arjan Zazueta

“I can’t believe what a magical month it was, living and working at Soaring Gardens. Now that I am back in New York City, it seems like a beautiful dream. But I know it was real because I am home with tremendous work accomplished and a feeling of peace and renewal that is with me still.” — Susan Oetgen


Farmhouse and studio exterior – photo: D. Miller-Lanning


Paul Blaney
Michelle Bliss
Kyle Brannon
Kip Deeds
Martha Ferguson
Richard Frank
Michele Goodwin
Alison Kendra Green
EJ Hercyzk
Cassandra Jennings

Taylor Johnson
Gary Leising
Lee Marchelonis
Gloria Patton
Antonia Perez
Cecilia Phillips
Gail Shaw-Clemons
Kim Tran

“We also enjoyed meeting the resident at the church, Paul, and even arranged a reading one evening. The members of my writing group have already read the longest of the three essays I wrote this June, and several seconded the comment of one: “This essay has convinced me of the power of residencies. I feel the compliment is yours.”

— Alison Kendra Green


House (entry room) – photo: D. Miller-Lanning


“The residency yielded not only a new body of work, but also lent clarity to our individual practices and revealed a model for thinking, making and working in an environment of mutual respect. During that time our separate art-making methods “indeed our identities” were fused into something new that has become a meditation on the act of exchange, artistic process, and conversation.”

— Kate McGraw & Ann Tarantino


Studio (upstairs) – photo: D. Miller-Lanning


“My residency at Soaring Gardens was invaluable to my creativity, my body, and my soul. The four weeks spent there were like a year’s worth of experience and growth.”

— Barbara Laube


House (living rooms) – photo: D. Miller-Lanning

John Adams, Resident 2009

“I was fortunate enough to be awarded a three week residency at the Church. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I had never spent that much time in almost total isolation, just focusing on painting. My days quickly dissolved into what for awhile seemed like an endless continuum of creation, punctuated ever so slightly by a simple meal and sleep.” 



Karina Hean
Heidi Marie van Leuven
Gail Shaw-Clemons
Heather Blain
Brendan Casey
Beth Caspar
Ane Crabtree
Diane Davis
Kristen Egan
Jesse English
Sari Fordham
Lorissa Gottschalk
Laura Iorio
Robert James

Amanda Kalinosky Post
Carolyn Martin
Seth Musindi
Margot Myers
Alison Owen
Peter Owen
Melissa S. Pasterkiewicz
Gloria Patton
Nicole Pietrantoni
Ilene Sunshine
Amanda Thatch
Holland Williams
Deanna Wood

John Adams
Hanna Clark
Natacha Diels
Emily Gherard
Andrew Greenwald
Chaewon Kim
Nicole Lenzi
Helen Limon
Jessie Marino
Barbara Mehlman
Sarah Norsworthy

Stephanie Pierce
B.Z Reilly
Julie Rivera
Ellen Schneiderman
Cora Stryker
Diane Travis
Gavin Watson


Trisha Adams
Tobi Balin Grossman
Katherine Ball
Claire Brassil
Georgiana Cray Bart
Nina Davidowitz
Marcy Dermansky
Rose DiSalvo
Jurgen Furth
Christien Gholson
Anne Heisey
Michaela Kahn
Alica Laputka
Kate McGraw
Leslie Mutchler

Alec Neal
Jennifer Palmer
Holly Peterson
Remington Restivo
Ann Tarantino
Jason Urban
Thomas Vance
Michael Wille
Kelly S. Williams



Diane Davis
Marcy Dermansky
Wendy Deschene
Johannes Deyoung
Jurgen Furth
Laura Haarmeyer
Barbara Kapalski Nichols
Simone Kiven
Carolyn Martin
Laura McGinley
Leslie Mutchler

Avri Ohana
Gloria Patton
Dorothy M Sedock
Gail Shaw-Clemons
Shane Stratton
Julia Stratton
Jason Urban
Natalie Westbrook-Deyoung
Eva Wylie
Judith Youschock

Andrea Archer
Mary Armstrong
Lucy Blackwell
Claire Brassil
Katherine Brunza
Tova Carlin
Elizabeth Cooper
Wendy DesChene
Renee Emanuel
Jill Galarneau
Dorothy Imagire
Lauren Jenison
Simone Kiven
Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer

Carolyn Martin
Jan Mollet
Barbara Nichols
Joanna Scari
Dorothy Sedock
Gail Shaw-Clemons
Kelly S. Williams
Courtney Wrenn
Judith Youshock



Douglas Anderson
Arden Bendler Browning
Elizabeth Broadfoot
Katherine Brunza
Marcy Dermansky
Renee Emanuel
Jurgen Fauth
Richard Gabriele
Laura Ann Haarmeyer
Melissa Johnson

Barry Johnson
Barbara Kapalski-Nichols
Collen McCubbin Stepanic
John McKinnon
Don Muchow
Margaret Neill
Dorothy Sedock
Sarah Vollmann
Eva Wylie
Judy Youschock

Claire Brassil
Natalie Campbell
Marcy Dermansky
Jurgen Fauth
Natalie Garrett
Elizabeth Hazen
Susan M. Herrestad
Walter Hnatysh
Julian Jackson
Melissa Johnson
Rula Jones
Rene Lynch

Erin Parish
Nedda Pourang
Victoria Skinner
Maria Spector
Dina Toledano
Christine M. Walsh
Kelly S. Williams


Madeleine Beckman
Claire Brassil
Natalie Campbell
Elizabeth Cooper
Walter Hnatysh
Xylor Jane
Melissa Johnson
Winnie Lee
Bridget Lewis

Emily Miller
Gina Reynoso
Victoria Skinner
Kelly S. Williams


Lisa Blanchette
Kim Casey
Alice Harrison
Walter Hnatysh
Julian Jackson
Rene Lynch

Judy Lyons Schneider
Victoria Skinner
Mary Ting
Robert Zakanitch


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