SOUTH THOMASTON — Tucked way back on a tree-lined dirt road sits an artist retreat called 26 Split Rock Cove; likely a place you’ve never heard of, but it’s a haven for artists and writers both in Maine and from away.
Sandy Weisman bought three acres of this former sheep farm overlooking Thorndike Point from her friends (and now, neighbors) in 2010 and began transforming a series of unheated, unwired garages and a barn into three cozy studios and an adjoining apartment for artists and writers.
“When I moved up here from Boston and built my house, I wanted to meet other people who were like-minded and also create a business on my property to rent out to local people as well as to visiting artists,” she said.
A writer and bookmaking artist herself, Weisman repurposes the studios when empty to run workshops monthly on such topics as book-making, painting and poetry.
This past summer, Weisman had five visiting artists using the studios along with one writer, who just wanted to the quiet space of the apartment.
“The person I had in the writer’s apartment this past summer just wanted a place to rest and think,” she said.
The bucolic rolling hills of the property lends exactly that kind of meditative quality for writers who are easily distracted by a noisy, disruptive environment.
Each of the private studios has a folding door that can open to the other studios, or the space can be combined for a larger audience. The studio on the far end contains pottery equipment, including a kiln bought from the old Lincoln Street facilities before they closed.
The middle studio is a traditional art studio with long tables and easels and is rented year round by an encaustic painter.
The front studio is called The Teaching Studio, set up either for another artist, writers, or as a collaborative space.
“When this studio isn’t rented out to an individual, I use it to run small workshops,” said Weisman.
She is holding another sold-out book binding workshop in this space in October. For artists out of state, she rents a nearby house where multiple people can stay, then come to the studios during the day.
Weisman has no scheduled hours on the studios: once artists get the key; they can come and go as they please, even if they get inspired in the middle of the night.
“This has been set up as a year-round private place, so if people want to work all hours of the day or night, they are welcome to,” she said.
For more information visit: http://26splitrockcove.com/
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com