About HDC

In the early 1970s, three aspiring artists, a writer, a painter and a musician, began discussing the possibility of creating a multi-disciplinary community for artists in their small town in upstate New York. Over the next 40 years they spoke to many creative people about this project and purchased property and buildings, several of which they restored and listed on The National Register of Historic Places. They also planted an apple orchard, managed a sheep farm, earned graduate degrees, taught in their respective fields, and created two highly acclaimed hostelries: The Horned Dorset Inn, in Leonardsville, NY, and The Horned Dorset Primavera Hotel, in Rincón, Puerto Rico. In 2011 they formed a private foundation to help facilitate their vision in its final form, The Horned Dorset Colony, where they now serve as directors.
Kingsley Wratten, Executive Director
Harold Davies, Development Director
Roberta Wratten, Program Director


Board of Trustees
Steve O’Neil, Chairman
Kingsley Wratten
Harold Davies
Christine Tisa
Aaron Wratten
Dr. Manuel Moran
Martha Morano
Dr. Dietrich Mack (Emeritus)


Our mission is to support and sustain a community of exceptionally talented artists from different disciplines who wish to exchange ideas in a working environment and contribute to the larger community through cultural engagement.


The 250 acre site in the rural hamlet of Leonardsville, N.Y., includes a working apple orchard, organic vegetable gardens, waterfall, and miles of walking trails through the hilly woodlands and pastures of a former Horned Dorset breed sheep farm.
A mix of accommodations and workspace is available in several restored houses (Victorian, Federal, Greek Revival, Arts & Crafts). All are within minutes walking distance of each other and the restaurant building which serves as dining room and houses an exhibition space.
An 8,000 volume library and internet access are available. Artists must provide all of their own materials and special equipment. Studios vary in size and are assigned according to residents’ needs.

A personal vehicle is recommended, although weekly transportation is available for shopping, area museums, and nearby artists’ residency programs.


All residents have their own private room, all with private bath. All houses have comfortable common rooms. 


Breakfast and lunch are the responsibility of the residents. Dinners are included and may be served in the houses or in the restaurant. 

Although limited at this time, the Horned Dorset Colony is committed to compliance and accommodation in all new construction and renovation. Email for specific details.

2024 Program Information

Eligibilty is presently limited to artists, over the age of 21, who have demonstrated exceptional talent in the fields of ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN, CREATIVE WRITING, CREATIVE WRITING TRANSLATION, MUSICAL COMPOSITION, or VISUAL ARTS. There are no application fees, but a “Place- Holder Fee” of $500 will be required of each accepted candidate and will be due in advance of their residency. HDC does not provide stipends for resident’s travel or artist’s materials.

There will be two 4-week sessions in 2024:

I. May 30 – June 26

II. September 5 – October 2

Five to eight artists will be chosen for each session.  The estimated cost of a four-week residency is $5000, funded primarily from our own scholarship fund. A “placeholder fee” of $500 is required from each artist upon acceptance.  The fee includes: private room with private bath, in-house kitchen and laundry facilities, private studio/work space, dinner, transportation to nearby shopping and cultural events.

Visitors, pets and “weekends away” are discouraged. The emphasis here is to get work accomplished and share or collaborate with other artists.

Inquiries may be directed to Kingsley Wratten, director, via email at : hdcolony@gmail.com.

Applications can be submitted at any time during the year. The director will then advise you how to proceed by return email. You MAY be asked to submit additional work samples, professional references, a curriculum vitae, or a more comprehensive description of the work you intend to accomplish. Final applications are reviewed by an outside panel of jurors and the director. Repeat residencies are permitted every three years.


Residents are expected to attend all dinners and participate in cultural engagements such as occasional open studios.  Some dinners are served in a semi-formal, public restaurant setting, so appropriate dress is expected. Volunteer assistance in maintaining the walking trails and organic vegetable gardens is always welcome.

The Residents of HDC

The founders, a painter, a writer and a musician, believe that interaction across traditional disciplines frees an artist from old biases, stimulates risk-taking, and encourages collaboration. The residents of HDC enjoy rich interactions that trigger their most creative inspirations.  Click below to find out about our past residents and their experience at the Horned Dorset Colony.

History of the Inn

The Horned Dorset Inn and Restaurant buildings were listed as “The Wheeler Block Complex” on the National Register of Historic Places in September, 1983. The restaurant, which has enjoyed a reputation for world-class cuisine for more than 40 years, is open to the public and sometimes serves as a dining room for HDC. “ . . . At the Horned Dorset Colony, dinners are an important catalyst for dialogue and for exploring collaborative possibilities. Invigorated by delicious food, served in memorable surroundings, artists have a unique opportunity to explore the common components of their various creative biases.”

Kingsley Wratten, executive director, HDC

The following is an excerpt from the original National Register nomination:

Support HDC

The Horned Dorset Colony is a not-for-profit corporation and is exempt under 501(c3).  Gifts and donations are fully deductible for income and estate purposes.  All contributions will be directed entirely to support the residency program and will be acknowledged by a letter from the director for tax purposes.  Contributions of all sizes are welcome.

PARTICIPATE IN THE HDC OPEN STUDIOS.  Free and open to the public, these events are held at the end of each residency.  Meet the artists.  Buy some of their work.  Enjoy some refreshments.  Add your email to our mailing list to receive ongoing details.

ATTEND HDC’S MONTHLY DINNER/CONCERT SERIES.  World-class performances (from jazz to classical) are paired with fine cuisine on eight memorable Sundays throughout the year.  PROCEEDS FROM THESE EVENTS BENEFIT THE HDC SCHOLARSHIP FUND.  Add your email to our mailing list to receive ongoing details.  For reservations, call the Horned Dorset Inn at 315-855-7898 or go to The Horned Dorset Inn’s Website.

STAY IN THE HDC ACCOMMODATIONS.  When residency rooms are not occupied by artists, they are made available to the public.  Rates vary depending on the accommodation, from queen rooms to king suites.  All rooms are well-appointed and have private bath.  Group and corporate inquiries are welcomed.  ALL PROCEEDS FROM ROOM RENTALS GO DIRECTLY TO THE COLONY.  For more information and reservations, call the Horned Dorset Inn at 315-855-7898 or click the button below.

Contact & Directions




The Horned Dorset Colony
Box 182
Leonardsville, NY, 13364


The Horned Dorset Colony
1995 Route 8
Leonardsville, NY, 13364


Take Amtrack to Utica, NY station and an HDC representative will meet you.


Syracuse (Hancock) airport is about 1 1/4 hours drive; Albany airport is about 1 1/2 hours. An HDC representative can arrange to meet you for a modest fee.

Click on the map below to be directed to Google Maps of the Leonardsville area.

Upper Unadilla Valley Association

Madison County Tourism

Fenimore Art Museum

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

Arkell Museum

Hyde Hall Historic Site

Colgate University

Hamilton College

Utica College

Pratt Institute at MWPAI

Glimmerglass Festival

Cooperstown Chamber Music

Aunt Karen’s Farm (artist residency)


Golden Artist Colors (factory store & artist residency)

Sculpture Space (artist residency)

The Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

The Horned Dorset Inn

The Horned Dorset Inn Facebook

Photography by Wendy Barrett

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