The Grünewald Guild is an arts education nonprofit retreat center nestled on 14 acres of Cascadian woodland, bordered by the Wenatchee River in the Plain Valley of Washington. Snowcapped peaks, rushing waters and sweet smelling ponderosa pine welcome, inspire, and create an environment in which people come to learn, to grow, and to explore the relationships between art, faith and community.
In order to facilitate and serve as a resource for this exploration, throughout the year the Guild offers art classes and workshops in our studios and contemplative spaces. When there is no scheduled programming, our facilities are available to be booked by groups or individuals for retreats, personal study, workshops, reunions, etc.
Core staff members both live and work at the Guild. This meaningful and ongoing community supports the sacred space for creativity. While rooted in an ecumenical Christian faith, the Guild embraces people of all journeys and traditions, recognizing the rich fullness that comes with hospitality that practices mutual respect, ensures safety and develops trust.
What we increasingly hear from people who come to know life at the Guild is that a place like the Guild is important and greatly needed, especially today. People need times of rest, respite and reflection. They need spaces in which to experience contemplation, creativity and community. From this nurturing environment emerge new ways of living, being and moving throughout this world.
Where does the name Grünewald come from?
The Guild’s namesake is Matthias Grünewald, a German painter who challenged the classicism and idealism of the Renaissance. Grünewald painted expressively and had a more intense style than his contemporaries. His most famous piece, the Isenheim Altarpiece, was created for the hospital chapel of St. Anthony’s Monastery. The work portrays a crucified Christ whose skin is covered with lesions and lacerations. Although it was a hideous portrayal in that time, it was powerful for the patients at the monastery, many of whom suffered from leprosy and other skin maladies. The work of Grünewald served as a medium of connection and transformation in both personal healing and the reconciliation of social schisms, and became a catalyst for positive change. In addition, the word grünewald in German means “green woods,” which appropriately describes the Guild’s setting in the evergreen forests of the Cascade Mountains.
and the term, “Guild?”
- “Guild” hearkens back to the concept of medieval artist guilds, communities in which artisans both created and lived. The Grünewald Guild was founded upon the idea of artists living together and creating art within the context of relationships. People of all journeys and traditions are invited to come and participate in this creative community.
I don’t consider myself a Christian – what can I expect?
- The Summer Program consists of week long art classes, each day having a similar rhythm. The morning begins with matins, a time to gather in community and be inspired for the day’s creative work. The evening closes with vespers, a time of reflection and gratitude. While all who are present are invited to participate in these gatherings, they are by no means mandatory. Whatever your background and beliefs may be, you can expect to be welcomed into community with open arms and respected as a sacred individual.
I don’t consider myself an artist – what can I expect?
- The Guild is a non-judgmental, open and safe place to truly be yourself, to express your faith, to explore your creativity and make your art in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. At the Guild we have a mug station that holds the creations of master potters at the height of their craft alongside the very first efforts made in a beginning pottery class. We love and use all of the mugs. That is Guild culture.