In partnership with our friends at KMH Interiors, McKenzie Design is excited to participate in Serenbe’s Artist In Residence (AIR) program by donating their time to design and install the interiors of the first two artist residence cottages. These cottages will serve as home base for two talented artists – one being designed with an eye toward painterly arts and the other with a focus on writing/composition.
Steve and Marie Nygren (founders of Serenbe) have believed from the beginning art was important to the kind of sustainable community they wanted to create. Recently, a large 40+ parcel of land was acquired adjacent to Serenbe to found the Serenbe Art Farm. The Art Farm and the AIR program, conceived 7 years ago to bring artists to work and share their process and vision and work with the Serenbe community, are non-profit organizations. It is their vision to have a place where artists can live/work and find affordable housing. They have raised money via the showhouse, private donations and the art auction Steve McKenzie participated in, in conjunction with ASID, to fund the building of the first two artists cottages, with a goal of building them on a budget of only $20,000!
The Nygrens have joined forces with the The Rural Studio of the University of Alabama to design the first two cottages. The Art Farm at Serenbe is the site for the first wave of 20K Houses built in collaboration with Auburn University’s award winning Rural Studio program, to be used as live-work artist cottages.
The relationship between The Art Farm at Serenbe and Auburn University’s Rural Studio is multifaceted. Serenbe’s institute for arts and culture, The Serenbe Institute, is limited in the number of artists it can bring and house each year and the collaboration with Rural Studio responds to this need. The Art Farm will be built out to house multiple artists and nurture the arts in the Atlanta region.
Rural Studio is very excited about this program because these cottages will be the first two structures they have had built commercially, and not from within the program. The two cottages will serve as a place where artists can come and stay during their time in the AIR program to live and work for a period of time.
KMH Interiors and McKenzie Design are currently working to procure donations from vendors for the furnishings, as they work up their plans for the cottage interiors.
Steve shares that he is “really passionate about this project because as an artist I know how important programs like this are to push your creativity and let you get away from the day to day and focus on your art. As a designer it is thrilling to create a space I know will be used by other artists.”
We’re excited for Steve, Kerry Howard, of KMH Interiors, The Rural Studio of the University of Alabama program, and the Serenbe/AIR teams, to see this wonderful project come to fruition!
Please keep an eye out for future posts, here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s, detailing how these projects are progressing and hopefully, by the end of the year, what the finished cottages look like.