Abandoned prairie schools as art center

A lot of shorter entries the past few weeks. I go in cycles like this, if you haven’t noticed, between longer more ponderous posts and shorter newsy items.

My wife is all excited this week about a spinning (as in yarn-making) retreat in tiny Harveyville, Kansas, about 45 minutes southeast of Topeka. The host of this retreat is something called The Harveyville Project, which appears to be a two-person operation that includes four buildings: Harveyville Rural High School (1939), Harveyville Grade School (1954), Rural Dist. 5 Eskridge High School (1920), and Eskridge Grade School (1921). From the Project’s website:

    Our overriding purpose is to provide an inspiring, energizing environment to foster creative output. Initially, we’ll focus on residents and small workshops and community projects.

    Our residence programs range from two weeks to six months and cover living/studio space, utilities, and dinner. Try a short recharge to get past a creative or procrastination bottleneck, or take several months to concentrate on a major project or thesis. By removing your accustomed distractions (shopping, traffic, social commitments, work routine), you can unclutter your mind and focus more directly on your craft. We invite artists, writers, musicians, and craftsmen, both student and professional.

Harveyville Project

Stellar idea, turning abandoned country schools (likely victims of consolidation) into a retreat for artists. It’s also another potential venue for the faith-based (Christian) art center I have in mind. I’m guessing there aren’t too many vacant school buildings on the prairie, but there are some, apparently.

Screenshot taken from The Harveyville Project’s website.

Previous entries talking about a faith-based art retreat:
Christian art center downtown?
Faith, art and barns
Art, faith, missions and a retreat


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

2 Responses to Abandoned prairie schools as art center

  1. Pingback: Community revival and the artist retreat « The Aesthetic Elevator

  2. Pingback: Community revival and the artist retreat « Scissortail Art Center

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