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A look inside South Knoxville's new Loghaven Artist Residency

Selected artists will stay in restored log cabins that were once at risk of demolition.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tucked away on 90 acres of woods less than two miles from bustling Chapman Highway in South Knoxville sits what will become an oasis for artists from around the country. 

Loghaven Artist Residency is set to welcome its first group of selected artists in February. 

"There are many types of artist residencies out there. Loghaven is a retreat-model residency, which means we provide time and space and resources for artists to make new work," Sarah Swinford, the director of Loghaven explained. "The Southeast has actually been historically under-represented in the residency field, so that's a very special reason to have it in Knoxville." 

The process began more than a decade ago when the Aslan Foundation purchased the property off Candora Road that housed several log cabins at risk of being demolished. 

"From that first moment we purchased it, we started working on the restoration of the cabins and the natural woodlands," Andrea Bailey, the Executive Director of Aslan Foundation said. 

As the years passed since their purchase in 2008, Bailey said they began to research what to do with the property that would help it retain its historical significance. They decided on an artist residency. 

Credit: Loghaven Artist Residency Facebook
Artists will live in historical cabins that have been restored and modernized during their residencies.

"There were all sorts of really interesting residents who lived here over time. Many of them were very creative, very entrepreneurial and intellectual, so creating an artist residency here really follows along with that legacy," Bailey said. 

During their two to eight-week stays, selected artists from multiple disciplines, ranging from music composition to dance and writing, will live in the restored cabins that have all been modernized. 

Swinford hopes the facilities will inspire new works of art, and that's what she'll judge the residency's success by. 

Credit: Loghaven Artist Residency
Artists will live in renovated log cabins during their stay at Loghaven Artist Residency.

"We're really measuring our success and the residency's success by the artists' success," Swinford said. "We're hoping to see lots of really interesting work happening in South Knoxville and at Loghaven specifically." 

The first four residency sessions running from February through the end of March 2021 were selected by invitation only, but they'll open up the application process in Summer 2020 for residencies in 2021. 

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