Sundress Academy for the Arts


Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Mission: Founded in 2013, the Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is a non-profit artists’ residency on a 45-acre farm in Knoxville, Tennessee, dedicated to promoting the arts in East Tennessee. Nestled in an old-fashioned “holler” just twenty minutes from downtown, this picturesque 45-acre farm is home to a small herd of sheep and goats, a flock of backyard chickens & ducks, and one very photogenic donkey. Residencies available in all artistic mediums.

Cost: Winter and spring residencies cost $250/week. Fellowships are available for graduate students, LGBTQ-identified persons, and those with financial need.

Application Fee: $25, or $15 for current students.

Number of Artists: Up to 2 artists at a time.

Length of Stay: Spring/Winter Residencies: 1 week to 2 months

Winter Residencies: December 14 – January 31 (of the following year)

Spring Residencies: February 1 – May 31

Accommodations: Accommodations include a bedroom that is 130 sq. ft. with a queen-size platform bed, closet, small dresser, and desk. The window faces the front of the house with a view of a butterfly bush in the yard, and the room is painted with a rich brick-colored mural by local artist, Chris Johnson.

The communal bathroom, shared with one other visiting artist, features an oversized mirror, matte finish white tile floors, glass-finish white-and-black walls and back-splashes, toilet, and bathtub with large fixed shower head.  The room also contains a wall-length mural by Sundress artist, Rhonda Lott.

There is also a communal kitchen supplied with a stove, refrigerator, and microwave plus plenty of cooking/dining-ware.  Residents will be responsible for their own food and mealsPlease note that there are currently no laundry facilities on site; however, there is laundry service available at additional cost, and local laundromats are available within a 15-minute drive.

The office and library have two working computers—one Mac, one PC—with access to the Adobe Creative Cloud.  The library contains over 700 books with a particularly large contemporary poetry section.

The facility also includes a full-size working 19th century Challenge copy of a C&P old-style letterpress with type, woodworking tools, and a 1930’s drafting table.  All tools are available to residency artists upon training.

Residents are expected to perform 5-10 hours per week of service work at the farm as part of their residency.  This can include cleaning, feeding and caring for farm animals, as well as general maintenance at Firefly Farms.

Demographic/Medium: While fellowships are available for graduate students, LGBTQ-identified persons, and those with financial need, SAFTA will consider any writers, visual artists, filmmakers, composers, dancers, performing artists, or culinary artists for the available residencies.

Benefits: Firefly Farms is a unique artist residency, where visitors can hone their creative crafts as they escape the routine of modern life. Whether you’re hiking, camping, or foraging, you can connect with nature and be inspired by a part of the Appalachian landscape that is often forgotten. SAFTA residents attendees can also expect to learn a host of new skills from the staff in order to enrich their creative work.

Deadline: See website for specific deadlines.

Website + Facebook

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