The Rensing Center nourishes imagination. It fosters individual renewal, community connection, and interdisciplinary interaction among people in creative, environmental, and entrepreneurial fields.
On twenty-seven acres in the beautiful southern Appalachian foothills near Pickens, SC, the Rensing Center is more than just the land, the people, the gardens and the buildings. Our 501c3 non-profit organization models a way of life less addicted to cheap energy, and more blessed by what actually fulfills us.
We are a residency program, providing living and work space to self-directed applicants looking for an isolated rural, creative landscape, for periods ranging from three weeks to three months. Focus may be creative, professional, environmental, or all of these. Other aspects of Rensing are:
Retreats: Overnight or longer retreats at the Rensing Center can be a time of growth and renewal. The land includes pastures, waterfalls, forest, nature trails and gardens (flower and vegetable), set in beautiful Pickens County. Expert facilitation is available.
Library: Several programs have been held in this gracious space, including focused readings on history, environment, and generational memory. Movie nights and residents readings are in the works since the space is now fully climate controlled. We host many events here, such as a monthly potluck called Healing Conversations, inviting the local community. A 4000 volume library has been catalogued.
Nature trail: Our Alder Creek Trail and the 80′ gradual waterfall is a favorite spot for residents and guests to do “forest bathing”, and has provided much inspiration. The trail was Connor Lehmacher’s eagle scout project. The trail is complete with benches, plant markers and other improvements.
What our past residents are saying:
“What I never seem to be able to master, capture, make time for in the ‘outside,’ that quiet space to ponder and delve deep in the hope of creating something worthwhile, became plentiful during my time at the Rensing Center. The beauty and peace of my surroundings no doubt contributed to that — as did the goats.”– Laura Kasinof, Rensing resident, summer 2014
“If I thought I was coming for art, I was quickly introduced to a way of life that immediately was added to my list of top five lives to have before I die.”– Adrienne Antonson, Rensing resident, winter 2003
“We applied to the Rensing Center with the goal of maintaining a level of photographic and conceptual openness to the people, the jobs, the mountains, and the art that we would encounter during our stay, with the hope that we would come to better understand both our adult selves and also our transient world. I can say, without hesitation, that we arrived at and surpassed our goal.”– Augusta Pittman, Rensing resident, winter 2014
“It is the Rensing Center’s triple emphasis on creation, ecology, and entrepreneurial stewardship that makes it unique, even among the rarefied strata of artist residency programs. The Rensing Center offers time, and space, and affirmation to artists and writers, yes. But it does so in the context of an explicit connection to, and emphasis on, what is perhaps the principal creative and scientific problem of our 21st century: humankind’s relationship to the land in which we live, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the other organisms with which we interact. This is not a place where creativity turns in on itself, barring art’s door against the outside world. This is a place where creativity opens out, acknowledging there never was a door — rather a shared world in which art and artists (writers and writing; creators, and what they create) have a role and a place, as we redefine what it means to be human in a changing world.”– GC Waldrep, Rensing resident, winter 2014
1165 Mile Creek Rd. Pickens, SC 29671