DAC In-Residence at Willowtail Springs


Working in partnership with Willowtail Springs, DAC In-Residence supports an artists living and working in La Plata, Archuleta, Montezuma, Dolores and San Juan counties.  This program is made possible by generous individual donors and New Face Productions, an volunteer committee devoted to raising funds for contemporary adult programs at DAC.

Residency award includes studio and living space at Willowtail for seven nights.  This opportunity does not cover food, material costs or any stipend.

The Durango Arts Center seeks to engage regional artists and deepen artistic diversity within our surrounding communities.  In order to promote the field of artist communities, DAC provides opportunities for the public to engage with resident artists through a special offering of the artist’s design such as a lecture, slideshow, pop-up exhibit, reading or performance.

If not currently a member of DAC, each artist awarded a residency will be also be given a complimentary 1-year DAC membership, which includes several benefits (more information here)

In addition to a private cabin, this residency at Willowtail offers a 600 sq. ft working studio space full of natural light and visibility of the natural surroundings. The studio is nestled in the gardens adjacent to the lake house overlooking the lake, gardens and small pool with fountain.

There is no fee to apply and this residency is open to DAC members and non-members.

Past Residents


Willowtail Springs Nature Preserve and Education Center is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing Residencies in the Arts & Natural Sciences with Scholarship Support.  Outside of the residencies DAC funds annually for local/regional artists, Willowtail also awards 1-2 week residencies, making available to emerging and established practitioners from all over the world in the arts and ecology a stunning environment with a diverse ecology.

Founded and operated by artist Peggy Cloy and her husband, Lee, Willowtail is also year-round bed & breakfast.

2016 Residents


Kit Frost

Kit, a Durango artist, utilized her residency to deepen her work in landscape photography and painting.

At Willowtail, given the luxury of time a residency ensures, I will explore the land daily. I like to call my art life Chasing the Light. Up for early light, I will photograph the locations that are best described at dawn. Midday will find me uploading, organizing, choosing images to further develop and add to my portfolio. Evenings are a great time to “be” with the light once again. Nighttime supplies the quiet time to reflect on the day, plan new photo locations, and perhaps begin a painting or two.

Visit Kit’s website.

Dan Groth

Dan is a Durango-based visual artist who will utilize his residency to execute a series of plein air watercolor paintings, and deepen his work in paper assemblage.

I believe a Willowtail residency would be beneficial to my intent to better express my observations of the natural world, while also honing my skills in a newly-developed artistic style.

Carol Meckling

Carol recently relocated from Seattle, WA to Bayfield, CO.  Her residency at Willowtail will focus on her work in ceramic jewelry, and wall hangings devised of thread and india ink brush strokes.

My time at Willowtail Springs would be spent being present in nature and being inspired by it, seeing what images emerge and then documenting the images on the new “canvases” I’ve created … a moment defined in a constantly changing natural world.  I have been working diligently to make the ceramic pieces and wool felt that I will use to create this body of work. With thread and india ink pens and brush strokes I’ll be exploring the use of line as a way to describe edges and indicate form and movement in each piece. The residency would contribute to my ability to experiment with familiar mediums in a new way while supporting me in generating a new and exciting body of work.

Kimberly Russell

Kimberly has taught kindergarten through 12th grade art for the Mancos RE-1 School District for 11 years, enjoying greatly the opportunity to infuse creativity into youth development.  Her residency will focus on reconnecting and exploring her own, personal creative practice as a painter.

My goal at Willowtail is to have the time, space, and air to breathe life back into my art. I need to connect with art on a more tactile and productive method. Away from home, responsibilities, and demands, I can create. I can find my human again. I believe connecting with art on a personal level would make me a better teacher, artist, parent, and human.   Creating a connection between myself and my art not only would increase my abilities as a teacher but as a person.

Jennifer Wrenn

Jennifer is a Durango-based poet who finds inspiration from the breadth of local natural landscapes.  She intends to focus her residency on editing, refining and organizing a collection of over 100 poems, as well as finding inspiration for the creation of new works.

Most of my poetry results from my walks around my home in Durango in the sage and juniper ecosystem.  All my life I have sought natural settings as places where I feel closest to nature and all her wonders.  I cherish the idea of time spent alone with few distractions and external responsibilities to focus fully on my art.  Silence and time alone in nature is a rare and dear gift in modern life — one I would be forever grateful to receive.