The Rensing Center nourishes creative capability. It fosters individual renewal, community connection, and interdisciplinary interaction among people in artistic, 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-motivated 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 will be announced for the coming year including a book signing, some focused reading on green building and solar energy. A 2000 volume library is being catalogued.
Workshops & Events: Live Deliberately, a free monthly conversation series begun in 2011, has led to many inspiring ideas, and workshops cover a wide range of subjects guided by our mission: Italian cooking, an environmental symposium, calligraphy, experimental music, Permaculture, original films, and others in planning stages.
Annual Camp: Since 2005, we have held an invitational gathering of creative energy around a different theme each year, with spontaneous and planned art, play, and concerted work toward our organization’s goals. Usually held in April, these events celebrate Evelyn’s birthday.
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