VCCA’s (Virginia Center for Creative Arts) Moulin à Nef is the flagship of VCCA Abroad’s International Residency Program. From mid-April to mid-December each year we welcome several university groups, a fabulous Contemporary Music Festival, an inspired professional poetry workshop, and more than 30 individual artists for residences of 10 days to six weeks. Painters, writers, photographers, poets, playwrights, sculptors, composers and ceramacists have all enjoyed productive and inspiring residencies here.

The buildings of Moulin à Nef are in the Port quartier of Auvillar, on the left bank of the Garonne River, on the pilgrimage route of Saint Jacques de Compostelle. Artists are housed in the charming Maison Vieilhescaze and work in la Cebo, the adjacent studio building. Behind the residence, a verdant landscape stretches up the hill to a protective border of oak and chestnut trees, all within the property of VCCA. Pilgrims walk past the front doors as they wind their way up to Auvillar. Roosters crow and the neighbors chat or play pétanque in the gravel lot across the street.

While uninterrupted and focused studio time for Fellows is given priority, so is exchange with the community. Fellows are asked to consider some sort of interactive activity while in residence. While formal events such as open studios, demonstrations, readings and music presentations are held one to two times per month, many other types of interaction take place. The exchanges are as varied and unique as the Fellows who come to le Moulin à Nef. Examples have been community art projects at an institution in a neighboring village, yoga classes, cooking demos by Fellows or for Fellows by villagers, projects in the local primary school, home concerts, small group discussions, group poetry translations, gardening with a neighbor. All lead to memorable experiences for the artists as well as the villagers, and many friendships develop.

Under the direction of Cheryl Fortier, now a permanent resident of Auvillar, we look forward to a wonderful 14th season in 2018.

Click for the 2017 Program of major events and artists.