Resident Testimonials

“PLAYA saved me. I’ll be forever grateful . . . The long stretches of unstructured time were a great gift. This is precisely the kind of residency a novelist needs.”

Jennifer Haigh


“I got more painting done in four weeks here than I could have in four months at home . . . I truly rediscovered painting as the solace of my soul. Thank you so much for this life-altering opportunity. My first residency – hopefully not my last.”

Sarah Sedwick

Painter, 2017

“My time at Playa ranks as one of the most productive and artistically rewarding periods of my life. Whatever happened to me on my walks, in my conversations with staff and fellow cohorts, in my daily exposure to the natural world and its elements – it has led to a complete and utter rediscovery of how I write, why I write, and helped me tap back into a creative force as a playwright that I haven’t felt in 10 years.”

Kevin Doyle


“What occurred at Playa exceeded my highest expectations in every regard: landscape, community, creative work, and, without lapsing to hyperbole, sense of myself in the world.”

Deb Casey


“The Playa itself is a constant and powerful presence. We worked on the playa long hours everyday and watched the shifting dance of light and dark, mirage and reality, earth and sky. It was good for us to have such a focused two weeks to work on our art but we will come away with so much more. It is wonderful and enriching to be with other artists and our time together reinforced the importance of what we do but it was especially enriching to have scientists here as well.”

Rebecca Davis


PLAYA nurtures creatives by holding a space for new insights and cross-pollination to take hold. PLAYA is an open, clear, and free space. 

James Reed

Social Sculptor + Visual Arts, 2019

Thank you for the gift of time to go out on a limb and take some risks I would not have taken otherwise. My artwork thrives here and I’m immeasurably grateful. I’m leaving with a whole new body of 25 paintings, completely new, and three larger pieces off to a strong start thanks to nine wonderful walks to the Punchbowl and this quiet studio in a setting that expands the soul.

Emily Silver

Watercolorist, 2017

“My usual impulse is to reveal and do. Instead, I imagined and paused. The view and the muskrats never got old.”

Julia Tranchina

Writer, 2017

“Each day I felt so lucky to be here and to have such pure time for art . . . to feel so supported and honored for my art, to be in such rich, focused company has meant so much and re-taught me to focus in the studio.”

Carol Newborg

Sculptor/Installation Artist, 2017

“While at Playa, I was reminded metaphorically that one must not forget to BREATHE. What I mean is nature gave us perfect balance in breath–in and out in an easy natural flow, a rhythm of give and take, internal/external, sensation and reverie. The world engages us in active doing, doing, doing when nature asks us to value doing nothing – just being.”

David Memmott


“I had a wonderfully inspiring time at PLAYA, the experience far surpassed my expectations. The accommodations were wonderful. I enjoyed waking up and seeing the wildlife in and around the pond . . .”

“The studios are large and well-lit with lots of wall space. I appreciated the high tables (as a tall person) and the magnet strips on the walls are perfect for hanging and viewing the work.”

Shelley Jordan

Painter, 2017

“This place is about a certain form of loneliness that I value and see as essential to my ongoing work as an artist.”

Margot Voorhies Thompson

Painter/printmaker, 2017

“The setting is incredibly beautiful beyond description. I can’t believe how productive I was while working here. The place has definitely affected my writing in ways that have yet to be seen.”

Matt Runkle

Writer, 2017

“Artists need expansive thoughts. Playa’s landscapes, spirit and mission stretched me in unparalleled ways–beyond other wonderful fellowships. I am a poet who delved into neuroscience during my too-short Playa stay.”

Catharine Woodard

Writer, 2016

“At the end of a span of extraordinary days, breathing in the Great Basin, writing, exploring – Abert Lake, Winter Ridge, Sycan River, Paisley Caves, and always PLAYA, PLAYA, PLAYA. For this gift, I am forever grateful.”

Pepper Trail