Pines of Arcadia: Local artist residency offers spacious, scenic studio

Pines of Arcadia is an artist residency set in the woods near a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

Pines of Arcadia is an artist residency set in the woods near a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

ARCADIA — Creativity comes from an artist’s heart, mind and soul. Inspiration is sparked from experience and/or one’s surroundings.

And when art, in any form, is ready to manifest from all these things, the environment in which it’s created is crucial too.

Judy Jashinsky — creator, painter and lifelong artist — built her dream studio last year, a 30-by-40-foot workspace/gallery with a 27-foot-high ceiling, set in the woods of Arcadia, a stone’s throw away from a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.

While it’s picturesque and perfect for her own creative process, Jashinsky wanted to share the space with fellow artists to generate other sparks of genius.

Out of this idea was born “Pines of Arcadia,” the name of Jashinsky’s studio and now a nonprofit artist residency.

“Solitude is a really great thing in terms of making art,” Jashinsky said, “and you can liberated by the size of the space you’re in. … It’s a mindset.”

Residencies at Pines of Arcadia will be invite-based, spread by word of mouth. Jashinsky — who also has a cabins on the property — hopes to house all types of artists, from painters to sculptures, writers to musicians.

Future shows and exhibitions are also part of the plan, following the Pines’ opening exhibition/reception that was held on Jan. 10 which featured musician Jake Allen as well as a selection of Jashinsky’s paintings.

In her mission statement, Jashinsky describes her inspiration for Pines of Arcadia.

“As a professional artist for many years I have learned that pivotal points came from artist residencies,” she said. “My first was a fellowship to Haystack Mountain School on an island called Deer Isle off the coast of Maine. This happened the summer after I received my MFA at Michigan State University.

“Some years later I won another residency fellowship to the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, a retreat in the Virginia countryside,” she added. “I completed work for my first exhibition in Washington DC. In 2004 I became the Artist in Residence at St. Peter’s in Chelsea in New York City.

“All of these residencies provided solitude in different environments, places where my normal routine was replaced with concentration on one thing, my art. These experiences gave me confidence and taught me how to create such circumstances when I returned to my studio.”

Jashinsky said her purpose in creating Pines of Arcadia is to offer similar experiences for other artists.

“Northwest Michigan is a special place,” she said. “My husband and I discovered the area while he was writing his dissertation and working for the Michigan Department of State.

Some years later we purchased 4 acres of land with deeded access to Lake Michigan.

“We had moved to Washington DC in 1979 where he worked for the Department of Interior and I taught at various area universities,” she explained. “We always took our summer vacation in Michigan, renting cabins near our land.

“We had a deck built so I could paint there. I also taught classes at Great Lakes Community College. We were so impressed by the interested and quality of the artistic events we attended, especially Interlochen Center for the Arts.”

Jashinsky said they had planned to build a cabin and spend their summers there when her retired. Sadly, he passed away, but Jashinsky carried out the plan.

“I moved back to the Midwest, built the cabin, and last year built my dream studio,” she said. “I decided to share the space and create that special space that I had experienced during my Artist Residencies.

“I want the Pines of Arcadia to be remembered by former fellows as a place where they were charged and changed by the experience.”

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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