The first week of September I took two groups to Star Island, on the Isles of Shoals, for a Creative and Professional Practice Retreat. They spent 3 days fully immersed in examining their studio practice, artistic aspirations and learning the ins and outs of being a professional artist while being surrounded by the raw beauty of the island. Each left with an 'Action Plan' on how to navigate their way through the art maze and reach their individual goals. Here's what they had to say about their experience...
The Star Island Retreat was just what I needed and the timing was perfect. We covered so much and I am now completely prepared to take the next steps in my professional career as an artist. I now have the tools, knowledge, and confidence to tackle goals for the next few years and beyond. I feel that all those little nagging doubts and negative self talk that was holding me back are gone. When I left there I felt so centered and knew precisely what I was going to do when I left. It was a unique and invaluable experience. It was truly life changing. We had a terrific group of artists and the location can't be beat. Star Island and the retreat was certainly magical. -Patricia Dusman
The island is beautiful, the ocean magical. The hotel was a time-traveling experience, its weathered wood sang with history. We had an intensive and productive time with Kim honing our professional skills. Her expertise is unexcelled, since she's "been there and done that"! I highly recommend a retreat with Kim Bernard. We will come back! -Debra Claffey
Just want to say it was a great experience. I took copious notes and when I got home and read them I was amazed at the amount of information we covered. My husband enjoyed the time on the island as well! -Susan Rock
I thoroughly enjoyed the Creative and Professional Practices retreat on Star Island on many levels. The setting on an island, so far away from other distractions, was in fact perfect for concentration and relaxation. The sense of community and trust our group formed during this time was mind-blowing and in turn extremely productive on an individual (and group) level. The approach that Kim had to the course was also carefully orchestrated, giving students room to discover individual goals and needs, while working constructively topics that are key in the art field. Thank you Kim, and thanks to all of the wonderful artists that made this experience whole! -Kathi Smith
With typical New England weather- sun, fog, and rain- this artist retreat on Star Island offered a safe and nurturing setting. I sailed away with inspiration and motivation to face the intimidating parts of my artistic journey. -Kimberly Curry
Parker House, our classroom. Photo Courtesy of Leslie Ford
Kim's Professional and Creative Practice Retreat was wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone interested in gaining insight into their art making practice and goals for their art. Kim makes a safe place for people to address their situational obstacles and personal demons.
The only reservation I had - coming up from Washington DC - was not being able to visualize it - the car, the boat, the hotel accommodations, how it was going to all work together. Now that I have done it, I would encourage anyone to make the trip.
Thanks, Kim, for sharing your advice, experiences and expertise. - Katie Dell Kaufman
Photo courtesy of Tom Manzione
Kim's Professional Development class on Star Island was perfect in every way. Not only were we in an amazing place with magical views, the class was comprehensive and a must for anyone trying to navigate the waters of Creative Professional Development. As artists, some of us have little knowledge of how to get one's art out and marketed. Kim's class coherently and compassionately gives many avenues and a map to success. She is a brilliant and experienced artist who has learned what to do and what not to do. She shares this knowledge with us freely. Don't miss the opportunity to be a part of Kim's class. -Roberta Stanhope
Spending time on Star Island is time well spent for Kim Bernard’s Creative and Professional Practice Workshop/Retreat. I learned much about how to sustain my creative life and develop a supportive circle of artistic community. Sessions on studio practice, where to exhibit, time management and critique of work while also enjoying the rustic beauty of the Isles of Shoals was a truly wonderful experience. -Leslie Ford
Photo courtesy of Tom Manzione
The Star Island Professional Development retreat was a powerful experience. Working with artist friends old and new, we spent three intensive days focused on our professional art goals and how to realize them. Kim's professional approach, deep experience and generous nature made the experience fulfilling and highly productive. I'm excited to return next year to revisit and build on this year's plan! -Catherine Weber
Arrived on Star in a torrential downpour ~ duffle contents wet ~ worth it? You bet!
Words alone can't adequately express everything I attained from this workshop... in my case, it was a cathartic experience. I'm currently working on an action plan, to make myself accountable for the things I need to tackle in the next few months in order to continue with the goal of pursing my life as a professional working artist. I now know the direction I need to take, and the tools and resources that will help me to get there.
From the moment I met a smiling-faced Kim Bernard at the Isle of Shoals Ferry Company, I knew this was going to be a special endeavor, life changing if you will. We were a diverse group of women artists from all walks of life, one recently graduated from college to those ready to tackle the prospect of entering metropolitan gallery markets, to someone like myself, re-entering the art world after having given my family top priority for many years. There was a wealth of experience within us, and each of us had much to offer to each other. Kim's strength as a workshop leader is evident as she effectively guided us through the activities, keeping us focused ~ keeping it real. She is a creative and organized instructor who shared a lot of her own insights and experience with us. I also felt as though I had eleven mentors as we shared each of our artist's statements in giving feedback and an opportunity to respond, this activity in itself was worth coming to the workshop! The sharing continued ~ at the family-style dinners to porch get-togethers in the evenings, either to bask in the glow of a Star Island sunset (not to be missed), to sitting around late at night in a circle of rocking chairs getting to know each other better. This experience was invaluable on so many levels... and I haven't even mentioned the quintessential beauty of Star Island! I can't wait to return next year to take it to the next level! -Annie Lemieux
If you're interested in dates and details for Star Island 2014 click here.