Sunday, October 27, 2013

2014 Artist in Residence Program - The Milkweed Mercantile at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MONDAY, MARCH 31st! Get your application in NOW!

The Milkweed Mercantile is delighted to announce our second annual Artist In Residence Program at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. This residency offers visual artists the opportunity to pursue their artistic discipline while being surrounded by the inspiring landscape, people and mission of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Visual artists will create art, participate in the life of the village, and share his/her skills with members of the community. Selected artists stay in the Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn for a ten-day period from May through October. No stipend is provided.

For more information on the Milkweed Mercantile and Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage please see below.

The Residency is sponsored by the Milkweed Mercantile, a private business located at Dancing Rabbit (“DR”), which is owned and operated by long-time members of Dancing Rabbit.

Photo by 2013 Artist in Residence Karen Hanrahan

The Purpose of the Artist-In-Residence Program
In 2013 the Milkweed Mercantile Artist in Residence program hosted four artists. The artists and the members of our community all had a great time. One of them had this to say:

"The residency was such a valuable expedience to me.  The time to make art in a different environment, and the inspiration from DR, was so invigorating, but most importantly, I came away with an appreciation for everyone there.  Such great, kind people y'all have living there! "    

Another said:

"I knew from the moment I arrived for my residency that I would not be short of material to take imagery of.  I wasn't quite sure how my project would evolve..  As days progressed I discovered that Dancing Rabbit is an inside job.  The more I learned from the members who live and breathe intentional community the more I could then give it my own perspective as a photographer. I would not be the first to say that it's the people of DR that make it what it is today! I loved having the opportunity to get intimate access and to practice hands-on how passionately I feel about  my art and photography. " 

Now in its second year, we look forward to learning and sharing with more artists.

The purpose of  the Artist In Residence Program is to provide artistic opportunities to promote deeper understanding of and dialogue about Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. The finished artwork will characterize Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage for present and future generations, and offer visitors and the general public an opportunity to see our village through the eyes of the contributing artists.

Selection is based on:
  • artistic caliber
  • specific focus for the project
  • relevance to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage’s mission of outreach and education
  • the artwork's ability to communicate the values and atmosphere of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
  • potential for (artist’s) personal growth

Residencies are open to all visual artists. The Milkweed Mercantile at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage does not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, race, religion, or national origin, although preference will be given to artists who are from or have spent time in the Midwest. We are seeking applications from individual artists only; we are not yet able to accommodate collaborative teams.

Accepted artists must be able to speak and understand English.

Those chosen to be a Milkweed Mercantile Artist in Residence will be notified by April 15, 2014 (except for the first residency; this artist will obviously be notified sooner!).

Dates of the Residencies:
  1. April 14 - April 24, 2013  filled
  2. May 26 - June 5, 2014 
  3. June 30 - July 10, 2014 
  4. August 25 - September 4, 2014 
  5. September 15 - 25, 2014
  6. October 6-16, 2014

 2013 Milkweed Mercantile Artist in Residence Claire Stigliani in a watercolor class she held for 5 & 6-year olds.

Provided with the Residency:
  • Food – details below
  • Lodging – details below
  • Linens (towels and sheets)
  • A place to work
  • 280 acres on which to roam and be inspired
  • Quiet atmosphere, with star-filled nights and abundant wildlife.
  • A friendly, supportive, enthusiastic community in which to live and work.
  • Additionally, your art will be featured in the Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn, which serves as a social center for Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and hundreds of guests each year; and on the Milkweed Mercantile website.
  • We do not provide alcohol, sodas, or other snacks (such as chips). These are available for purchase.

2013 Milkweed Mercantile Artist in Residence Jameson Hubbard teaches a wood block printing class.

You provide
  • Artists must provide their own supplies. If they are too large or cumbersome to transport you may have them delivered via USPS, UPS, or FedEx.
  • You are responsible for your own transportation. We encourage you to use public transportation. There are train stations in LaPlata, MO; Quincy, IL; Ottumwa, IA. We will happily pick you up at any of these stations.

The swimming pond, where many find respite on hot summer days.
Artwork Donations 
Artists selected to participate in the Mercantile’s Artist In Residence Program are asked to donate an original piece of work from, and representative of, their residency at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. The piece will become a component of the Milkweed Mercantile’s Inspired by Dancing Rabbit: The Artist in Residence Collection. The art will serve to promote and celebrate aspects of Dancing Rabbit and sustainable living. Donated artwork must be finished within the 10-day residency.

 Jameson teaching mono printing.

Sharing Your Gift with the Dancing Rabbit Community 
Selected artists are asked to spend time with the Dancing Rabbit community by providing some sort of workshop/class/seminar for a minimum of 8 hours during your stay. This can be drawing or painting classes, participatory art projects for groups or individuals, or some other creative solution. We’re open to all kinds of ideas!

Saturday lunch at the Mercantile

About Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage 
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, begun in 1997, is a community demonstrating ecological sustainability. It is located on 280 acres in the rolling hills of Northeastern Missouri.
One of the world's foremost experiments in real-world ecological living, Dancing Rabbit’s 70+ residents have reduced their ecological impact by over 90% in areas such as transportation, energy and water use. Creative, cooperative economic models and an entrepreneurial base support the economic sustainability of the village. Education and research are integral to Dancing Rabbit’s goals. It actively shares its ideas and discoveries through visitor programs, publications and other media and has a mission of outreach and education. More info is available at

About The Milkweed Mercantile 
The Milkweed Mercantile is quite possibly the only strawbale solar and wind powered B&B in the United States. In addition to the four B&B rooms, the Mercantile features an organic cafe, a store, and a seminar program. Since opening its doors in 2010, the Mercantile has hosted hundreds of guests, many of whom say that a visit with us has changed their lives. While this all sounds very serious, we also have a lot of fun!

The mission of the Mercantile is to provide meaningful work and the demonstration of a life that is sustainable in all ways.

Our goals are to:
  • Create right livelihood for ourselves and income opportunities for others at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
  • Provide a comfortable place for visitors and potential new members to stay
  • Demonstrate the viability and aesthetic beauty of natural and alternative building
  • Share what we’ve learned about real solutions for a sustainable life
  • Develop and articulate a business model that prioritizes planet and people over profit, and learn the value of ‘enough.’
  • Educate and train the next generation

Photo credit: Angela Neese

 About Alline and Kurt, Owners of the Milkweed Mercantile 
Alline Anderson and Kurt Kessner met in 1993 on a Sierra Club backpacking trip, and were married in 1997. They moved from Berkeley to Missouri in 1999 and became members of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. In 2007 they began construction of the strawbale, solar and wind-powered Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn. The Mercantile was designed to serve as a bridge between Dancing Rabbit and the wider community, and to assist in Dancing Rabbit’s outreach and education efforts. In that same year Alline was awarded an Eileen Fisher Business Grant for Woman Entrepreneurs.

A team in all aspects of their lives, Alline and Kurt collaborated on the design and building of their strawbale home and the Mercantile. They continue to work together and dream up new ways to support the growth of Dancing Rabbit while enjoying life in the growing, thriving village. Kurt enjoys building, bartending and hanging out with friends; Alline is passionate about books, quilting, baking and dogs. And while they both love to travel, what they delight in most is welcoming guests to the Milkweed Mercantile.

The Wallace Stegner room
 Your accommodations at the Milkweed Mercantile
  • Artists stay in the Wallace Stegner Room.  The room is downstairs with easy access to a (shared) shower and toilet. It has a separate entrance onto the screened-porch and is furnished with a queen bed, desk, lamps, and small closet. Linens (bedding and towels) are included. Accommodations are provided only within the dates of the awarded residency.
  • The room is for one person only.
  • Visiting artists eat in the Milkweed Mercantile cafĂ© with the Milkweed Mercantile food cooperative and occasionally with Mercantile guests. Food is as local and organic as possible. We happily accommodate vegans, vegetarians and/or omnivores. We are also able to handle some food allergies – please inquire if you have what could be perceived as an unusual request.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • The downstairs of the Mercantile is fully accessible; there is a ramp, an accessible shower and toilet. However, Dancing Rabbit is still in its pioneering stages; the roads are gravel. Additionally the many pathways are muddy when wet, and are rutted and uneven.


Please submit all components electronically. Do not send paper copies of anything.

Please submit to with ARTIST IN RESIDENCE in the subject line. Not using this subject may result in your application being deleted as spam.

Entries are accepted for the 2014 Program until midnight on March 31, 2014. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Notifications will be made to finalists by April 15, 2014.

Applicant Checklist
1.  APPLICATION  Email Alline at to request an application.
2. APPLICATION FEE A non-refundable application fee of $35 is required before your application will be considered. Payment may be made via PayPal to

Please include detailed information on your previous experience with the media you wish to use at Dancing Rabbit. Include information on time spent in the Midwest, if any. Keep formatting simple. Email your resume/cv to: with ARTIST IN RESIDENCE in the subject line.

  • Upload 10 images of your work created in the last two years.
  • Plus a corresponding image list to explain work samples,
  • Plus image details for each image file (title of work, date executed, media and dimensions).
  • Add any brief narrative necessary to inform the jury about each individual work.

Email your work samples to: with ARTIST IN RESIDENCE  in the subject line. Be sure to include your name!

NOTE: Artists must submit application materials and art samples exactly as indicated. Insufficient, or excess materials (i.e.: please submit 10, and only 10), are causes for application rejection, as is an artist's proposed use of a work already in progress as a residency project.

  • Pay the $35.00 (US Dollars) application fee via PayPal to
  • Please insert “ARTIST IN RESIDENCE in the Paypal subject line.
  • No applications will be processed until the application fee has been received.

Entries are accepted for the 2014 Program with through midnight, March 31, 2014.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Those chosen to be a Milkweed Mercantile Artist in Residence will be notified by April 15, 2014.

Photos of life at the Milkweed Mercantile.

NOTE: In order to reach new audiences, the Artist in Residence Program is intended for artists who have not yet spent a significant amount of time at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Former Work Exchangers, Interns, Residents and Members are not eligible.