Plank Road Artist Residency Program provides time and space for artists to work on various elements connected to their artistic practice. The Residency supports talented artists (21yrs+) with a two-week stay in a private live/work space located on the first floor of a historic 150-year-old brick home. Farwell House is located in the small, rural, river town of Frederick, IL. Along with the opportunity for a significant amount of devoted studio time, artists are asked to connect with our community through various opportunities including studio visits, performances, readings or workshops (see community connections).
RESIDENCY LENGTH- SESSION DATES FOR 2018
The residency lasts two weeks. Farwell house hosts two residents per session during the months of June, July, and August. Residencies begin on a Monday and end on a Saturday.
Session 1 — June 4 – June 16
Session 2 — June 18 – June 30
Session 3 — July 9 – July 21
Session 4 — July 23 – August 4
Farwell House is a 5000-sq. foot, two-story home with the Ackman’s, Jason, Christy, Ella (15) and Paige (12), along with their Pug, occupying the second floor. The first floor is home to two, private, live/work spaces for artists, full kitchen, along with a communal library room. Each residents room is 16’x16’ with 11’ ceilings. Residents share a bath and laundry facilities (artists are responsible for supplying their own detergent). The Ackmans and their residents share the first-floor kitchen. A spacious south facing front porch is ideal for relaxing or working. Window air conditioning is optional and requires an additional fee (see Fees). Each room has a twin-sized bed and dresser.
Farwell House does not have a landline. Cell phone service is pretty reliable up on the hill. Wireless internet access functions about 95% of the time. The house does not come with a computer. Smoking is not permitted on the property and neither are pets, with the exception of service animals. The house is not ADA compliant and is only partially accessible by wheelchair.
WHAT FARWELL HOUSE PROVIDES
Time and space to wonder and work.
Bed linens, bath towels, kitchen supplies, and washer and dryer.
Opportunities to engage with the local community.
MEALS – FOOD
Artists are responsible for supplying their own food stuffs during their residency. Residents will have access to their own refrigerator. There are several grocery store options within a 15-minute drive of Farwell House. Access to fresh local food is also an option with several area farmers markets operating in the summer months. We stock the kitchen with various food staples such as rice, pasta, flour, and various spices, but for the most part, you are on your own for meal preparation, so it helps if you have a little cooking skill.
Each week we host a communal meal that includes the Ackmans, residency artists and various folks from our surrounding area. This is a great time to hear how artists are doing as well as a chance to connect with area folks.
EXPECTATIONS OF RESIDENTS
Residents are responsible for the general upkeep of their live/work space during the duration of their stay. Communal kitchen cleanup is expected after our weekly dinner. Residents are responsible for the cleaning of kitchen utensils after personal use.
Residents must maintain standards of courtesy and decorum. Residents must abide by all state and federal laws. The use of illegal drugs or the abuse of alcohol is prohibited. Firearms are not permitted. No smoking and no pets.
Quiet hours for the house are from 10pm – 8am with the exception of community meals or scheduled events. Artists may work after or before these hours but this must be done in a way that does not disturb others. Artists are asked to use earbuds or headphones when listening to the radio or music.
Any damages incurred within the live/work space will be the responsibility of the artist resident.
Due to limited space, overnight guests are not permitted.
Farwell House reserves the right to terminate any residency as a result of an artist’s disregard for the guidelines outlined above.
You have the opportunity to create your own level of engagement with the community. We only require you to make yourself available for one community- connecting activity (see community connections). Outside of that, if you desire two weeks of total solitude, it’s yours. If you’d prefer to have dinner or drinks with Farwell House staff and area artists, we can arrange that too. You can spend a weekend getting to know the area, bike riding, or you can sit on the back porch and not speak to a soul.
Connecting artists with our local community and vice versa is very important to us. We ask that our residents take part in at least one community engagement activity. This could include an artist’s talk, studio visit, exhibition of work or conducting a workshop or demonstration. There are also opportunities available through The Hub Arts and Cultural Center located in the neighboring town of Rushville (15 minutes away). Please be thinking of how you might want to engage with our community. Feel free to contact us before your stay and we can discuss options.
COMMUNITY HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Frederick, which was founded in 1836, is a small, rural township located in Schuyler County, Illinois along the banks of the Illinois River. Historically, Frederick was a bustling shipping point for goods from the rich farmland surrounding the town. Local resident and business owner, Charles Farwell helped to fund the construction of a plank road between Rushville and Frederick to facilitate the movement of goods for sale. As a result of this enterprise, the community continued to grow until the 1860’s when at its peak, it was larger than Chicago. With the development of the rail system, overland shipping became more economical, Frederick was bypassed by the railroad as a shipping destination, and river traffic slowed considerably. With this decline in river traffic out of Frederick’s port, so came the steady decline of Frederick’s commerce and population. A population which numbered over 900 in the late 1800’s, now totals only 176.
Today, all that remains of Charles Farwell’s legacy to Frederick is his “mansion” which sits atop Frederick overlooking the river valley. Constructed from bricks manufactured in Frederick’s brickyard, it was built during the town’s peak as a shipping port. Like the town of Frederick, Farwell House once had its heyday, but as time passed, it too lost its luster. While it has survived for over a century and a half, it has, in the past 40 years been left in a state of disrepair. For the past 3 years we have been diligently working to refurbish this once-grand home. While we have completed a majority of the inside repairs, we are still far from done with our work. It is from this historic location, that we endeavor to reestablish/rekindle the cultural identity of this once-thriving community along with the integrity of the home.
The nearest towns with services are Beardstown, which is 4 miles to the south, and Rushville, which is 8 ½ miles northwest. Springfield, Quincy, and Macomb are all within an hour drive of Farwell House.
While many have never heard of the town, locals, and a few lucky others are attracted to the bountiful wildlife in the surrounding timber and the fishing and hunting opportunities afforded by the Illinois River. This quiet town with its one 4-way stop is home to some of the best fisherman and duck hunters in the state.
Driving through town won’t take you too long. In fact, if you blink you might miss it all. The character of the town can’t be seen in a quick drive through. The houses and boarded up buildings you may see are only the surface. What you can’t see is that along one side of the highway everyone’s backyards run together until they meet at a timber-filled ridge. Families that have lived next to one another for generations, some since the town’s founding, send their kids out to play in those woods; the same woods that back up to the Farwell House property.
Illinois weather can most certainly keep you guessing. Summer temperatures can climb above 90º F (32º C) accompanied by high humidity.
WHAT TO BRING
Artists should expect to provide their own supplies. We recommend you bring any particular art supplies with you. There are no art supply stores in the immediate area. Should the need arise, artists may have materials shipped to Farwell House at any time during their stay.
Outside of any necessary studio supplies, we recommend the following: Sunblock, bug repellant, earbuds, flashlight, clothing for the season. Earplugs are also recommended if you are bothered by other people’s noise.
You must arrive between 9am and 5pm on the first day of your residency (Monday). Please notify us of your travel plans as soon as you know them, including how you will be arriving and your estimated time of arrival. Residents are responsible for their own transportation costs. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate arrival to Farwell House before your residency start date. If you must arrive early before the first day of your stay, we will be happy to recommend nearby accommodations in Rushville and Beardstown.
Our address: 6925 Hill Ln, Frederick, Illinois 62639. If utilizing a GPS or Google Maps use the address Mansion Hill Rd, Frederick, Illinois 62639. We are located just off of IL Rt. 100. From Rt. 100 you will turn north onto Bluff road and quickly (about 75 feet) turn right and head up Hill Ln. Once at the top of the hill you will make another right onto our driveway. We are the only permanent residence on the hill.
Plan on vacating your live/work space by 12pm on the last day of your residency (Saturday) in order to facilitate the cleaning of your quarters before the next resident arrives.
A fee of $250 covers the cost of your stay at Farwell House. This fee is used to pay for utilities, insurance, and maintenance related to the residency program. Window A/C units are optional and may be used for an additional fee of $50 per week.
If you must cancel your residency you will be refunded 75% of your residency fees if we are able to find an alternate who can replace you. If no alternate can be found we will not be
able to refund your fees. Because of this, if you must cancel, the earlier you do so the more likely we will be able to find a replacement
Even though your private room is also a studio space you may choose to work outside or in the hallways. Farwell House sits on approximately 20 acres with 2 acres being a pasture area and the remaining acreage being timber. You’re free to utilize the land in whatever way best works for your creativity.
First, it’s important to be mentally prepared for a residency program. You will be away from friends and family for two weeks. You will want to prepare to focus on your work in our beautiful rural environment. Although not fully isolated from neighboring towns, Farwell House is rural and therefore much different than a metropolitan area. For some, this kind of experience is exactly what you are looking for in order to disconnect and focus, others may struggle to think and work in this type of setting. There are hundreds of residency programs out there – be sure this is the one for you.
If you wish to receive mail or have items shipped to you while at Farwell House, please use the following address:
Farwell House c/o your name 6925 Hill Ln. Frederick, IL 62639