The Last Resort Artist Retreat
The Last Resort Artist Retreat (T.L.R.A.R.) residency subscribes to the concept of leisure as therapy for the Black creative and is committed to offering the space and curated-experience conducive to their rejuvenation. Set in a park-like private residence, the property is nestled in the heart of Waverly, a historic Baltimore neighborhood. Each residency cycle, we will welcome guests by invitation-only to a four-week stay of self-reflection and fellowship with like-minded individuals in search of a nurturing respite. Along with housing, meals and private workspaces, we will offer therapeutic services, led by trained practitioners in a variety of related forms aimed at both physical and mental well-being for guests.
Our bed and breakfast style décor and overall layout offers participants the comfort of being secure in a gated property, while having convenient, midtown access. We also provide plenty of room for outdoor lounging and communing with nature. Private onsite work spaces are available to participants who wish to use them but there’s no requirement to produce anything during your time with us.
We also welcome the opportunity to collaborate with passionate and sympathetic professionals dedicated to improving the lives of others. Our primary focus is to create space for Black creatives to understand and foster the lasting benefits of withdrawing from distracting elements and maximizing possibilities introduced by new perspectives. As part of that focus, we will curate weekends to include intimate dinners and one-on-one meetings with select guests who have cultivated successful careers in common fields of interest with our attendees.
During residency off-time, T.L.R.A.R. will accept proposals for use of our facilities by small-staffed groups and grassroots organizations who work with Black communities worldwide for retreats, workshops, and presentations or simply recharging.
Beyond our residency program, we believe T.L.R.A.R. is also a state of mind, not limited to our physical residency/retreat space. Until we open to the first group of participants, we will be working diligently to establish strong relationships with local, national and international partners who believe in our mission. We will utilize satellite spaces throughout the city and the DMV area to build programming that will benefit the individuals we plan to serve. We believe Black people deserve the opportunity to thrive through wellness activities. As such, we strive to make holistic experiences like yoga, meditation sessions and life coaching workshops more available by financially supporting free access. We are committed to improving the lives of individuals in the Black community who are in need of these holistic experiences. In addition, we will support local chefs, writing workshops, gallery exhibitions and other event space activities by hosting community-building engagements for large and small groups. We are dedicated to facilitating these collaborations. Once our residency/retreat has officially opened, we will continue to support satellite projects alongside our in-house programming.
Our founder, Derrick Adams, is a Baltimore-native and multidisciplinary artist devoted to promoting the merits of unrestricted access to leisure and emotional wellness for the benefit of Black creatives in need. The idea to nurture a space where they can innovate, create, and expand upon the Black experience is a vital part of our mission and to affirm artistic freedom and openness, while in an urban environment. This commitment comes with the understanding of the history and acknowledgement of Black perseverance. As the Last Resort Artist Retreat works toward uplifting the community, they in turn, will benefit the world at large.
The Last Resort Artist Retreat brings Black artists to a community where minds can thrive and find reprieve from the daily to expand creative freedom by putting leisure first. By emphasizing complementary therapies, we create space for Black creatives to foster the lasting benefits of withdrawing and seizing possibilities endowed by new perspectives.
We envision a world where the Black collective is empowered to exercise unrestricted access to leisure and mental health services that stimulate rejuvenation. We facilitate freedom, encouraging an ability to exist in the cessation of external obligations, by nurturing a space where the arts community can innovate, create, and expand upon the Black experience.
Derrick Adams, Founder
Derrick Adams is a Baltimore-born, Brooklyn, New York-based artist whose critically admired work spans painting, collage, sculpture, performance, video, and sound installations. His multidisciplinary practice engages the ways in which individuals’ ideals, aspirations, and personae become attached to specific objects, colors, textures, symbols, and ideologies. His work probes the influence of popular culture on the formation of self-image, and the relationship between man and monument as they coexist and embody one another. Adams is also deeply immersed in questions of how African American experiences intersect with art history, American iconography, and consumerism. Most notably in his Floater series, he portrays Black Americans at leisure, positing that respite itself is a political act when embraced by black communities. The radicality of this position has materialized in Adams’ work across his Deconstruction Worker, Figure in the Urban Landscape, and Beauty World series.
Thomas James, Executive Director
Thomas F. James is a Washington, DC born, Prince George’s County, MD raised curator and arts facilitator based in Baltimore, MD. The focal aspect of his work is building community through the creation of incubatory spaces, exhibitions, and educational programs focusing on storytelling. He finds storytelling imperative to communicating grander concepts that create approachable, intellectual conversations.
Before joining The Last Resort Artist Retreat, Thomas was the Director of the Visual Arts Department at Creative Alliance. He has also worked with numerous organizations in and around Baltimore including B&O Railroad Museum, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, and The Phillips Collection.
The Last Resort Artist Retreat is part of the Charm City Cultural Cultivation (CharmCCC) initiative a non-profit foundation whose primary function is to build opportunities for cultural growth in Baltimore’s inner city by introducing and supporting initiatives for public programs in the arts, social engagements, leisurely activities and educational advancement through informal gatherings. We are dedicated to empowering the lives of underrepresented Black creatives, by investing in community collaboration while fostering creativity and preserving the history and legacy carved out by previous generations as well as forging the future. It all begins with an idea. Maybe you want to launch a business. Maybe you want to turn a hobby into something more. Or maybe you have a creative project to share with the world. Whatever it is, the way you tell your story online can make all the difference.