Piney Woods Atlas: Volume III by Alicia Toldi and Carolina Porras

What fun to order a book, a physical book, that was then printed just for me and I had to wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive, I’m not used to that level of waiting or anticipation anymore. I discovered the Piney Woods Atlas, somehow, online, and even though I could tell which residencies they had profiled in the volume of the series that covers the midwest, I still ordered the book. And I’m glad I did.

The authors have a series of books where they take a road trip, visit a bunch of small, off beat residencies, and then interview the founders and report back to us. Though you can check out any of these residencies on their own websites, by reading about the artists/authors who visited in person, you get an outsider’s view of things and a deeper feel for the residency, and whether it’s a good fit for you.

Going on a residency as an artist – it needs to be a good fit and the range is massive. I was thinking today, that you can compare residencies to types of travel, it’s like staying at a hostel vs. at a hotel. At the hostel-style residencies, you’ll help cook dinner, and maybe even do repairs or data entry, while at the hotel-style ones, a chef cooks for you and your fellow residency mates. And both styles are awesome, you just need to know what you’re up for at this stage of your life and art career. The Piney Woods Atlas is a very helpful guide to understanding what the feeling of each residency is, what the expectations are, and if that’s the right fit for you right now.

The book itself has a color cover and the inside is all black and white, with sort of paperback book style paper. The whole experience was delightfully low-fi and retro. Though the authors could have made all of these blog posts, I really enjoyed sitting down with a physical book and immersing myself in the reading.

Where to find the books in the Piney Wood Atlas Series

Find all the books in the series here:

Though I ordered from Blub, looks like you can get a better price from Flower Press.