How Elsewhere Inspired the Piney Wood Atlas

Alicia Toldi (Oakland, CA) and Carolina Porras (Gainesville, FL) met as residents at Elsewhere Studios in 2013. Alicia applied while living in Brooklyn after three of her friends had recommended the space, one of them calling it “paradise”. Carolina found the residency through a database and was accepted with a scholarship. Due to a last-minute cancellation and a scheduling mishap, the two artists spent the summer together, and felt a mutual growing regard for residency programs, artist communities, and road travel. Elsewhere gave them something of the utmost importance to artists: space and time to focus on creating and challenging their artistic practice. This time of personal focus and exploration facilitated necessary changes, shifts, and next steps in their lives.

After living together in the Sunset district of San Francisco for two years (Alicia moved back to California after the residency), Alicia and Carolina talked about visiting more residencies as a kind of research tour. They soon formed Piney Wood Atlas, a project that visits and catalogues small artist residencies in the hopes of broadening the creative community and showing that the residency and the journey there can be a fun, productive, and attainable adventure. Carolina’s move to Florida has helped broaden their scope and made the project a countrywide endeavor. Their first trip in July 2016 covered fourteen residencies in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. More regional trips are in the works, as well as guide book/publications for each region and an interactive website.


Instagram: @pineywoodatlas (or