A Studio in the Woods, Tulane break ground on Stewards’ Cottage

November 16, 2012 11:00 AM

Mary Sparacello

A new home for the founders of A Studio in the Woods will allow the artists’ residence on the West Bank of Orleans Parish to expand programs and outreach.

Stewards' Cottage

The Stewards’ Cottage that will be built at A Studio in the Woods will have a design appearing to slip “quietly into the woods.” (Illustration from unabridged Architecture)

“It’s a move we’ve needed to make for some time,” said Ama Rogan, managing director for the studio, at the groundbreaking of the Stewards’ Cottage on Wednesday (Nov. 14).

The new cottage will house founders and current stewards Lucianne and Joe Carmichael, who donated their home, art studio and the eight-acre site to Tulane University in 2004.

The Carmichaels’ current home also doubles as office space and lodging for artists-in-residence. Once the Stewards’ Cottage is completed next year, their home will be converted into staff offices and a communal area for artists, allowing for expanded programming and capacity, said Valerie Robinson, president of the board of directors of the nonprofit Friends of A Studio in the Woods.

The Carmichaels, Tulane, Entergy and numerous individual donors helped fund the Stewards’ Cottage, to be constructed by Tulane Facilities Services.

The Carmichaels built their original home using recycled materials, and the cottage design will follow the same framework, appearing to slip “quietly into the woods,” said architect, and the home’s designer, John M. Anderson, of Bay St. Louis, Miss.,-based unabridged Architecture.

Over the past 11 years, more than 50 local, national and international artists have been selected as artists-in-residence to create work inspired by the bottomland hardwood forest that surrounds the artists’ retreat. A Studio in the Woods hosts hundreds of people every year at events ranging from summer camps to employee retreats, and these activities will only expand in the coming years, said Rogan.

“A Studio in the Woods has always been a place of discovery,” said Lucianne Carmichael. “It is a place for artists and for those who care deeply about the natural environment.”

Mary Sparacello is a writer in the Office of Development.

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