Past Session

Tales of the Unexpected | Chris Rose

From Donald Duck to Proust, 'American Graffiti' to 'Solaris', and from the logic of I-Ching (a taxonomy of experience) to the phenomena of human vision in light; the session will explore the role of the unexpected in our lives, creating the energy for movement and transformation in our works.

Tales of the Unexpected expands upon the 2017 session ‘Deciding to See’ , where we explored the perceptual phenomena that finds within ourselves something with which to balance or counterweight that which we think arrives into us as a perception from 'out there'. This mirroring analogy is what appears to enable us to experience the ‘persistence of the present moment’. ‘Seeing’ is a doing word, a verb, and like any verb can be augmented, differentiated and evolved. We push at the world and the world pushes back at us, in whatever direction we direct our attention.

Tales of the Unexpected, November 9th - November 12th, explores these principles in multiple topics including geology, balance, the biosphere, evolution, proportion, imagination, the sense of both the enduring and the ephemeral, and survival of life within a ring of fire and the community of ideas.

Resonances between Medieval visions and contemporary phenomena in sciences of the living world are explored and connected with the senses, ‘common sense’, and experience. Different ways of knowing are available to us; We see this in language, film, design, the arts and simply in ‘being’. In this way, experiencing the ‘opacity of the known’ together with the dissolving of boundaries and the durability of ideas across timescales, new insights can move us over former boundary conditions in ourselves. Our ability to inhabit new ideas is extended; we are more than we think we are. 

Now if all this sounds a bit obscure, that’s because describing it is harder than doing it; It is actually fun, exciting, illuminating, stress reducing and otherwise creatively spacious.  Come and join us at Arts Letters and Numbers for Tales of the Unexpected; a workshop, seminar, space for practice, food, sleep and hopefully, revelation.

Duration of Session

The Session will take place between November 9th - 12th, 2018


Application Deadline

Currently open for applications until be announced


Participant Fee and Accommodation

Participation Fee (incl shared accommodation) is $200 for the full Session.

Participation Fee (incl private accommodation) is $300 for the full Session.

Commuter (no accommodation included) is $125 for the full Session.

You will be hosted in one of our bedrooms in the House on the Hill or the Twin House. The shared bedrooms sleeps 2 to 4 people. We will do our best and try to give everyone the privacy they need.

In addition to accommodation the session fee also covers: pick-up and drop off at Albany, NY and Albany/Rensselaer, NY stations, as well as local transportation for group excursions. Material, tools, and equipment connected to the group works for the session are covered.

Costs to be covered by the participants are personal materials used in their creative work and food for the duration of their stay.


Studio / Workspace

Because each artist's studio needs and space differs, we work with each artist to find the best possible working situation for them. Our spaces are flexible and you are invited to create your own. Currently, the Mill is under construction and is unfortunately not available at this time. Instead we are offering studio space in “the New Space” - a mill building across the street from the house, which offers a big shared open studio space. In addition to the New Space, we also have our Barn, located next to the house, which offers a flexible indoor/outdoor space. 


Structure and Expectations Towards the Artist

Artists are expected to pursue their individual creative endeavor within the framework of the Session. During the Session our Events and Artist in Residence Program will run in parallel and interweave with the program.



Arts Letters & Numbers is constructed by us: not just those who are directly involved in its day to day operation, but by everyone who sets foot in this remarkable place, from the fellows and participants, to visiting artists, local community members, and all who come through our doors. It is being constructed by and between us. This aspect of Arts Letters & Numbers is foundational. We are situated within an enthusiastic and supportive community that is highly active in the programming of Arts Letters & Numbers, and who also welcomes everyone to their weekly gatherings.  

One of our traditions has been the sharing of ideas over communal meals, and this has become a vital part of Arts Letters & Numbers. In sharing the kitchen, although everyone are individually responsible for their food, we all come together and share the dinners together. 


Disciplines Support and Technical Information

The basis for Arts Letters and Numbers Residency Program is to encourage cross-disciplinary linkages. Work samples are required for evaluating applications. The application form asks for a website (preferred), however, you may also send samples, writing or images, directly to


Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed shortly after the deadline. If you have any questions regarding your application do not hesitate to ask at