The Djerassi Artists Residency Colony

September 10, 2006

Alumni of the Stanford Master of Liberal Arts program arrange several outings a year, for anyone in the program, past or present. The Director's Tour of Djerassi is fabulous - a slow walk through oak meadows bleeding into redwood forests, installations blending with the landscapes.

The colony is on 580 acres of beautiful land up west of Skyline. Eight artists at a time (writers, composers, choreographers, film makers, photographers, painters, media artists) spend a month. They get 600 applications per year, for 60 appointments.

  1. Looking west, from inside the barn

  2. The barn houses studios as well as the large central space: composition room, dance room, painting studio. Also, a kitchen put to glorious use by the chef, who prepares dinners Monday-Friday for the artists.

  3. Agave in the late morning fog

  4. Artists' house shrouded

  5. Look under the green branch - see the fairy in the tree, under a flame

  6. A pole of redwood, charred, sits in a large "stump", bound at top with rope

  7. Like twin rooms that are both enclosed and completely open. You can walk and rest inside.

  8. Sun through the roof

  9. Sometime in my life I will learn how to photograph these hills that I love

  10. Arch concepts: The State Certified Fact No. 848 attests that a 216 pound 8 ounce gold nugget was found, then reburied, somewhere around here.

  11. The fog layer is either slow to burn off, or, it's moved in for the afternoon

  12. Door to the dark underground that leads you in blindness to light in this circle

  13. Underground slats

  14. Five doors (not yet weathered) stand in the distance

  15. The first and last door can be swung on their hinges

  16. Landscape on log

  17. Inside the old barn (the most iron-strong, secure, modern barn on the inside that you ever hope to see, covered with the old barn's wood on the exterior) is a shimmering plastic replica

  18. Looking towards the front entry of the barn

  19. Side view

  20. Front to back

  21. Nature's sculpture

  22. Large redwood stump upholstered in dark red vinyl with gold tacks

  23. Faerie in the woods

  24. Looking the wrong way through a transclucent photograph (encased in plastic) - my red Stanford sweatshirt is reflected near the top

  25. Looking at it straight on this time - but my reflection persists

  26. A pointed sculpture of madrone wood hangs in a redwood grove

  27. Sunken ship

  28. Head first into the ground - all we see is the torso, and two legs flailing in the air

  29. Old oak

  30. Fresh sausage deliery truck

  31. Sphere takes root

  32. Colony of sand castles hiding in the grove

  33. The old barn, about in the middle

  34. Stickmen playing music

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: September 10, 2006