Lacawac Artists’ Residency

Artist Residency

Lacawac Sanctuary & Field Station Artist Residency

Location: Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania

Mission: Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station is a nature preserve, biological field station, and environmental education center located near Lake Ariel Town in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Sanctuary’s property covers 545 acres, includes a pristine glacial lake, Lake Lacawac and its watershed; two ponds, arboreal bogs, forests with hiking trails, and a Camp Lodge listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Each year professional or aspiring artists are selected to spend a few weeks at Lacawac Sanctuary and Biological Field Station. During their residencies, artists are free to produce artwork in their chosen manner and medium. The institution provides rustic housing and some studio space.

June 1 – July 31

History and Mission of the Sanctuary
Lacawac Sanctuary was originally developed as a summer retreat for William Connell, a three-term Congressman, industrialist, and coal magnate. In 1912, the retreat was purchased by Colonel Louis A. Watres, a prominent Scranton businessman, to acquire a parcel along the Wallenpaupack River. This was part of the area that was flooded in 1926 for Lake Wallenpaupack’s hydroelectric dam construction. The lake is the largest in Eastern Pennsylvania and a major economic driver in the region.  Included in its boundaries, Lacawac Sanctuary owns 1 mile of shoreline on Lake Wallenpaupack, which is one of the only undeveloped stretches along the 52 mile perimeter.

Since its inception in 1966, the mission of Lacawac Sanctuary has been to preserve Lake Lacawac, its watershed, the surrounding forest and historic structures; provide a venue for ecological research, scholarly interaction and the training of scientists; provide public education on environmental and conservation issues; and conserve open space in Pennsylvania. For over 40 years, Lacawac has accomplished this mission by offering a diverse set of natural areas, facilities, and programs for K-12 and post-secondary educators and students, area residents, scientific researchers, artists, and summer visitors to the region. By bringing scientists together with the general public, Lacawac provides an excellent opportunity for interaction among these user groups.

Cost: A donation of $125 per week is asked to help support the day-to-day operations of Lacawac’s Historic Watres Lodge and facilities that make this residency possible. Scholarships are available upon request. Please contact the Residency Director for more information.

Application Fee: $10

Number of Artists: Up to 8 artists at a time

Length of Stay: One week, two weeks, or more


Artists are provided:

  • A comfortable, rustic room in the Historic Watres Lodge or the Ice House
  • Access 545-acres which includes a glacial lake, 2 ponds, shore access to Lake Wallenpaupack, ledges natural area, and forests.
  • Interaction with scientists conducting research at Lacawac.

Artists must provide their own transportation and take care of their meals while at Lacawac. The lodge and guest house are well equipped with cookware and dishes and all necessary kitchen amenities. Both the lodge and guest house have wireless internet. Residents should bring a laptop if they so desire. A telephone is available in lodge and coulter visitor center. Residents should have a calling card or pre-paid phone card if they wish to place long-distance calls. Cell phone connection is generally available at Lacawac.

Information on restaurants, grocery stores and other conveniences will be provided when individuals are accepted for a residency. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. The staff of Lacawac Sanctuary will do everything in our power to make each residency at Lacawac inspired, productive, and rejuvenating.

Demographic/Medium: The Lacawac Artists’ Residency brings artists of all genres into nature to enhance environmental awareness through artistic expression.  It affords the opportunity to work in the field, which is a treasured and increasingly rare experience, vital to insightful and inspiring work.

Benefits: For The Lacawac Artists’ Residency, artists are provided:

– A comfortable, rustic room in the Historic Watres Lodge or the Guest House
– Access 545-acres and renowned research site which includes a glacial lake, 2 ponds, shore access to Lake Wallenpaupack, ledges natural area, and forests.
– Interface with research scientists involved with research at Lacawac.

It is important that participants are prepared to be self-reliant and adaptable to living and working conditions at the sanctuary. This is a dynamic research and educational field station with many activities often occurring at the same time. Therefore all facilities must be shared respectfully and interference with scientific work must be kept at a minimum. If an artist prefers a quieter setting they should make this clear to Lacawac personnel before their arrival, or chose a time at either end of the field season for their residency. Personal transportation is highly encouraged since the location of the field station is remote and the nearest store is 6 miles away.

The rapport developed between artists, preserve personnel, researchers, and the community has been warm. Many artists have returned to continue their studies and collaborations.

Deadline: There are no hard deadlines for the submission of applications. However it is strongly recommended that applications be submitted by February 15th for Spring Residency, May 1st for Summer Residencies (including Parent) and August 1st for Fall Residency.

2018 Residencies:
Spring:  May 13- May 26
Summer I:  June 3 – June 16
Summer II: July 8 – July 21
Parent Residency :  August 5- August 11
LGBTQ Residency: August 19- September 1
Fall: September 2- September 14

All applicants will be notified of their acceptance or denial via mail or e-mail provide on the application. If accepted into the program, Lacawac will provide further details on lodging.

For more information or questions contact:
Heidi Van Leuven, Residency Director


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3 thoughts on “Lacawac Artists’ Residency

  1. My residency at Lacawac was an amazing experience. The woods were so quiet I could hear a single leaf fall! I especially loved how we writers and artists were free to use the facilities in the way that worked best for us, with no pressure to produce. The selection process was top-notch, because the other artists and writers were fantastic. Relaxing AND productive.

  2. I couldn’t have had a better time! I spent my mornings writing, then took a break in the afternoon to wander in the forest. The residency director did a great job of setting the tone and creating an intentional space. I felt that the private/ quiet work time and communal hours were well balanced. Between the residents, the woods, and the local scientists and Lacawac community, this was a very stimulating and productive work space.

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