A Wooded Ridgetop

One especially cherished feature of Loghaven is the forest that graces the property. The list of species that live here includes beech, loblollies, hickory, apple, sassafras, mulberry, hemlock, maple, and multiple varieties of oak. 

When the Aslan Foundation purchased the property in 2008, invasive species like kudzu, English ivy, and honeysuckle were widespread, actively squeezing out the native flora that had once flourished here. The preservation of forested land is embedded in the missions of both the Foundation and Loghaven, so one of our first priorities was the removal of these harmful plants.   

As part of caring for the property, we partnered with a local arborist Travis Davis of Evergreen Timber Works. When we asked Davis about his work at Loghaven, he said that the property is unique in the transformation that has occurred here over the last ten years. Davis describes a thicket of invasive plants, so dense that it was difficult to enter the nearby cove or walk into the glen at the termination of Loghaven Drive. Only because of the enormous efforts of the Loghaven property team, led by Randall Coffey, has the original forest has been uncovered, allowing the mature trees underneath to access sunlight.

Randall Coffey and Travis Davis at Loghaven.

Randall Coffey and Travis Davis at Loghaven.

One of these rescued trees is a beloved magnolia that sits in the cove. Towering easily ninety feet in the air, Davis estimates that the tree is between 125 and 150 years old. It carries the distinct dark, lacquered leaves of the species and blooms with fragrant white flowers each spring. Because the cove magnolia is uniquely large for its species, it requires extra care. Coffey and his team installed a heavy copper wire to run from a grounding rod at the base of the tree, up the trunk and throughout its branches. Cables like this one are commonly installed to help protect trees from lightening, directing any strikes away from the branches and trunk.

In addition to caring for the existing trees, we have been actively planting additional saplings. The cluster of apple trees near the 905 cabin is an example of these restoration efforts. In addition to the nearby mulberries and blueberries, these apple trees will eventually provide future residents with a delicious snack right outside their front door. With expert care and management, we know the trees at Loghaven will continue to thrive, providing shade, joy, and a bite to eat for many years to come.

A Wooded Ridgetop

The Loghaven Series at Big Ears

In March, Loghaven celebrated the 2019 Big Ears Festival with two exclusive events for visiting artists and festival attendees that included intimate cabin concerts and a sneak preview of our grounds.

On Saturday, guests were treated to a performance by MacArthur-winning composer, Rhiannon Giddens, Francesco Turrisi, and Rowan Corbett. Our 910 cabin was the perfect location for the performance, which mined the history of the banjo and the tambourine to explore the cultural and historical roots of Southern music. The following day, avant-garde composer Harold Budd and his band, including Terrence Budd, Tim Story, and Trenton Takaki, joined us for a mesmerizing performance that left the cabins and audience humming with his meditative chords.

Both performances were followed by lunch by Chef Jesse Newmister, whose Kaizen and Tako Taco restaurants have quickly established his creative voice in Knoxville’s food scene. Chef Newmister took on the Southern tradition of “meat and three,” reimagining a piece of culinary heritage for a modern era, highlighting local and regional ingredients.

 

We had a great time sharing Loghaven and two fantastic performances with our special guests and are already looking forward to Big Ears 2020 when Loghaven will be hosting its first artists in residence!

The Loghaven Series at Big Ears

New Construction Announcement

Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.

    —Julia Morgan

The Loghaven Artist Residency has been a passion project in every aspect of its creation, from land conservation and historic preservation to the design and construction of new buildings. The Residency has partnered with the award-winning Sanders Pace Architecture for the rehabilitation of the historic Loghaven cabins and three new buildings coming soon to the site.

The Loghaven gateway building is currently under construction and will act as a central gathering place for resident artists. This 3,700 square foot structure shares a similar visual language with the surrounding cabins, while elevating traditional building materials to create a beautifully restrained and contemporary addition to the campus. The gateway building will host nightly meals in a dining area featuring a large fireplace and soaring ceilings. The building will also house the director’s office, a small gallery space, and a multidisciplinary studio designed to accommodate a variety of artistic disciplines.

 

 

Construction on the two freestanding studio spaces will begin in February 2019. The studios will be cantilevered over the site and will incorporate eight-foot tall windows looking out on the forested hillside below. One studio, designed for performing arts, will include an 860-square-foot sprung floor, a sound system, and an abundance of natural light. The visual arts studio is of a similar size and has both natural and directional light, a separate wet area with oversized sink and exhaust, and an enlarged loading door.

Together, Loghaven Artist Residency and Sanders Pace Architecture have designed new structures around artists’ needs while taking into consideration land conservation, preservation of the historic site, and an appreciation for architecture as a visual art form. We look forward to welcoming artists into these new spaces at the end of 2019.

For more information about Loghaven studio spaces and equipment, please see the Facilities page of Loghaven.org.

 

New Construction Announcement