A Studio in the Woods


A Studio in the Woods began as the homestead and studios of Joe and Lucianne Carmichael. In 1969, they became owners of a recovering sugarcane plantation along the Mississippi River, where they built small, handmade homes in 1977. Artist studios were added in 1984 and 1996. For 30 years, they created ceramics, wood and metal sculptures, and furniture in their tranquil, unspoiled retreat. Motivated by a desire to preserve this endangered forest and its creative inspiration for artists, the Carmichaels frequently offered students, artists, educators, and environmentalists opportunities to learn about the natural environment and its source of inspiration. [1]
From this activity grew more official artists’ residencies and the need to support these residencies financially and institute them as a formal artists’ retreat. To meet this need, a non-profit 501©3 organization, Friends of A Studio in the Woods, Inc., was founded by the Carmichaels and 13 board members in October 2001. Friends continues into the present to support the artistic and environmental programming of A Studio in the Woods, including artists’ residencies, environmental studies for students of all ages, community workshops, walk-throughs, and retreats. [2]


A Studio in the Woods is dedicated to preserving the endangered bottomland hardwood forest, and providing within it a peaceful retreat where visual, literary, and performing artists can work uninterrupted. Programming includes community workshops in the arts and environmental preservation and an outdoor classroom where students of all ages can experience and study the natural world. One of few live-in artists’ retreats in the Deep South, A Studio in the Woods fosters both environmental preservation and the creative work of all artists.

Concepts best illustrated by Nature, such as diversity, interdependence, balance, simplicity, adaptability, integrity, harmony, rhythm, symbiosis, tone, systems design, freedom, collaboration and improvisation, inform the cross cultural language that reflects this multicultural, multi-artform community in the making. Here no emphasis is placed on product. The inner work of the artist will be recognized as the foundation of outer works of great clarity, power, and integrity. Music, performance, written, and visual art of this nature call humankind to a higher consciousness in which we become aware of our oneness and the interconnectedness of all life. Only this awareness can preserve life on this magnificent planet. [3]


For more information, visit the website A Studio in the Woods

Works Cited

  • (About us/10 year commemoration booklet)
  • http://www.astudiointhewoods.org/sitw/about/
  • The Manifesto (http://www.astudiointhewoods.org/sitw/about/the-manifesto/)

This page was last modified on 22 April 2013, at 10:16


A Studio in the Woods

13401 Patterson Road, New Orleans, LA 70131