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Soaring Gardens Artists’ Retreat, Laceyville, PA


House Studio Studio

Unlike most residencies, Soaring Gardens does not ask for any fees, there is no peer pressure, no demands from the art world, no intrusion from the administration, only the quietude of the countryside, the space of the studios, the farmhouse or the church, the gardens, deer and other creatures and time. The number of residents at any time is small - usually only three or four at the House and two at the Church.

Residencies are available from mid-May to mid-September for visual artists, writers and musicians. A limited number of $500 grants are available. If a grant will significantly impact your ability to attend, please write a short statement of need (500 words or less) and upload it as the last item in the uploads section of the on line application. Grants will be awarded on the basis of need. Applying for a grant will not affect your eligibility for a residency.

Soaring Gardens Artists' Retreat consists of two separate properties:


On the twenty-three acre property are a spacious four-bedroom farmhouse and a studio building. The farmhouse was built in 1850 by Frank Gay who made his fortune in the California Gold Rush. The studio building with two 720-square-foot studios is adjacent. They are surrounded by extensive flower gardens, which inspired Ora Lerman to name her property “Soaring Gardens.” The central focus of the garden is a “grand allé” modeled after Monet’s garden in Giverny where Ora was a resident in 1989 — supported by a grant from The Readers Digest. Nearby is a decorative pond. From the house and studios you can see the northern end of the Appalachian mountains, one hour’s drive away.



A ten minute drive from the House is a small turn-of-the century church. It sits on a tiny plot of land surrounded by working farms. Some forty years ago it was converted into two studios and living quarters by the painters, Jules and Cornelis Kirschenbaum. Cornelis gifted it to The Ora Lerman Charitable Trust in the fall of 2000.
(There is more detailed information about both properties on the application page.)

Church House
House Studio Church Church Porch

Home    Ora's Works    Ora's Biography    "Inside the Ark" (tour)    Soaring Gardens    Application     Former Residents and Appreciations    Contact Us