Becoming part of Hambidge’s history

One of the coolest parts of being at The Hambidge Center is learning about its history. Mary Hambidge (fascinating character) moved to these 600 acres in 1934 with a vision: to establish a place where artists could reflect, create and return to a way of living that was sustainable, good for the land and for us.

I feel that vision whenever I walk through the woods here, and not just because I often come upon stone ruins, old spring houses and other remnants of past life. I can think so clearly when I walk these trails alone. That’s what Mary wanted.

Cutting board in Son's Studio

Cutting board in Son's Studio

But my five weeks here are almost over. So I’ve taken part in a Hambidge tradition, one that allows me to become part of The Center’s history. On the mantle in my studio are several cutting boards, each covered with the names of creative thinkers and artists who’ve spent time here. Each of Hambidge’s cottages has them. I’ve scoured the ones here in Son’s Studio, reading the names and the dates, which go back only as far as 1988.

One guy wrote “first novel” next to his entry. A sculptor noted, “I almost burned the place down.” But most residents just write what they are, what they worked on while they were here. Poet. Visual artist. Novelista. Photographer. Painter. Writer.

What I love about this place is you can be whoever you want to be, create whatever you want to create.

Under my name, I think I’ll write “journalist.” After five weeks here, my identity has blurred – got a little “artist” and “writer” in me now. But journalism is still at my core.

Wonder what I’ll call myself next time I come to Hambidge.

Mantle above the fireplace in Son's Studio at Hambidge

Mantle above the fireplace in Son's Studio at Hambidge

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2 Responses

  1. What a great way for each resident to become a part of the history of the center. I bet you can spend hours reading those cutting boards. It sounds as though your stay has been a wonderful experience for you.

  2. I love when people keep a “guest book” of sorts. My maternal grandparents have a cable where the walls are covered with their children, grandchildren and on and on with dates back to the 60’s. I loved signing my name next to my mother’s from when she was a girl 🙂

    Interesting that you still put down journalist when, certainly, you are more than just one label!

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