Application Deadline: March 2, 2018
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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.

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.

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.

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

Patrick Shields
Dr. Dietrich Mack
Dr. Manuel Moran
Martha Morano
Steve O’Neil


The 250 acre site in the rural hamlet of Leonardsville, N.Y., includes a working apple orchard, hopyard, 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.

There are two music rooms with grand pianos, an 8,000 volume library and internet access. Artists must provide all of their own materials and special equipment.

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

Housing & Services
All residents have their own private room, some with private bath. All houses have comfortable common rooms. A few rooms are of adequate size to comfortably accommodate a spouse, partner, or associate who contributes an essential collaborative component to the artist’s work while in residence; there will be a surcharge for their housing and meals. Laundry facilities and housekeeping service are included in the fee.
All meals are included. Informal breakfast and lunch are in residential houses. Dinners are served in a private dining room of The Horned Dorset Inn. Vegetarian choices are available for all meals.
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.
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. The total cost for a four-week residency is $4,000. Artists who are able to cover their own costs increase HDC’s ability to assist those who cannot, but acceptance to HDC is based upon quality of work and professional references, not the ability to contribute financially. HDC will make every effort to help invited artists who are in need of financial support.


ANYONE CONSIDERING AN APPLICATION TO HDC should begin by sending a brief “Letter of Introduction” by email to: hdcolony@gmail.com. The subject of this email should be “Letter of Introduction” and the email should include:

1. Your full name and current address.
2. The session and year you wish to be in residence.
3. A brief description of the work you would like to accomplish while in residence.
4. Links to your website, recent reviews of your work, URLs such as Vimeo, YouTube, or SoundCloud which contain examples of your work.



These deadlines apply to all applications. Upon acceptance, a non-refundable $500 deposit will be required of all residents, regardless of financial support.

SESSION I: May 31 – June 26

SESSION II: July 5 – July 31

SESSION III: September 5 – October 2

Application Deadline:  MARCH 2

Notification of Acceptance: MARCH 12 – 16

Your Confirmation of Acceptance and $500 Deposit:  MARCH 19 – 23

The “Letter of Introduction” 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. You MAY be asked to submit a Financial Support Application. 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. Residents are asked to keep some form of journal from which they can draw to make an informal presentation during the last week of their residency. Most 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.

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 30 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:


HDC is a non-profit corporation and is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)3. Gifts are fully deductible for income and estate purposes. All gifts 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, necessary and truly appreciated.


HDC welcomes inquiries about gifts of equipment, furnishings or other useful items. HDC must approve gifts of tangible property prior to acceptance. Donors must provide a written valuation for in-kind gifts valued at $250 or more.


When the residential accommodations are not occupied by artists, they are made available to the public. Daily rates vary depending on the accommodation, from Queen rooms to King suites. All rooms are well-appointed and have private bath. ALL PROCEEDS FROM THESE RENTALS GO TO BENEFIT THE HORNED DORSET COLONY. For reservations, call: 315-855-7898.




The Horned Dorset Colony
Box 182
Leonardsville, NY, 13364


The Horned Dorset Colony
2000 Route 8
Leonardsville, NY, 13364


From New York City (Manhattan): Take George Washington Bridge, to Palisades north, to NYS Thruway, to Route 17 W (86) at Harriman. Follow 17 (86) to Route 8 north to Leonardsville. (about 4 hours)

From Utica: Take Route 8 south to Leonardsville.

From Albany: Take the Thruway (90) to Utica and Route 8 south to Leonardsville, or (more scenic), the Thruway to I 88 south, and then Route 20 west to Bridgewater, and Route 8 south to Leonardsville.


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

Chamber Music Society of Utica


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

Website design by DZingCreative