Guest Post: Linda Esterley Reports on Artstream Art Camp, Part 2

Here’s Linda with the second part of her report on Artstream Art Camp:


Evenings were spent listening to singer/songwriter, Rachel Blumberg, or helping her create music loops. A bonfire and s’mores by the lakeshore was another activity, and tie dye scarves, also t-shirts kept us out of trouble another evening.


Susan kept the number of participants down to 15 this first year, so she could see how everything worked. She said they will top out at 25, in order to keep things intimate.

Freeman-Zachery Esterly class photo

Teachers included Rachel Blumberg, Rebecca Emberley, Mimi Kirchner, Mati Rose McDonough, Lisa Solomon, and Susan herself. Although Jess Greene and Monica Pascal were listed, they were not there and no announcement was made as to why. This was a disappointment to me, as I went specifically to take Jess’s encaustic classes.

Freeman-Zachery Esterly classbeach

A caterer from the “mainland” stayed with us all week and cooked amazing meals, providing selections for any sensitivity for those who asked.


All this being said, the retreat is not for everyone. You should know before signing up, that when they say “rustic,” they mean rustic. Composting toilets, outdoor showers, dorm style bunks with half-walls separating the individual sleeping areas are some of the things that set this island adventure apart from, say, a hotel venue.  Bedding and towels are not provided (BYO), and some cabins do not have toilets in them, but nearby. There is absolutely no smoking or candles or flame of any sort allowed, other than the bonfire in the specific area by the water. There was a tragic fire once that took the main building and so much more. Being an island, there was no way to get a fire department there to help. So – understandable.

Freeman-Zachery Esterly shower

The trails to cabins have roots and rocks protruding – this is a boy’s camp in the woods! Flashlights are absolutely not to be forgotten, but it was nice to know that there were no wild things skulking about on the trails.


If you are looking for more of a comforts-of-home experience, this is not the place for you. However, for me, the small group experience combined with the relaxing atmosphere and fantastic instructors far outweighed any perceived “rustic inconvenience.”



And, oh, yeah: don’t forget this:

Freeman-Zachery Esterly sail

Thanks, Linda! I love hearing about new art retreats: what to expect, who attends, where it’s located. If you’ve recently been to one and have notes and photos, send me an email at ricefz at gmail.


001_009_Z9582_01FM.inddYou can find out more about art retreats in Destination Creativity: The Life-Altering Journey of The Art Retreat.




Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.


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