creative retreats that invite your spirit to roam

Frequently Asked Questions

What has changed for Art Wanders during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We are hoping and praying that you and your loved ones are and stay safe. This unexpected wallop, this great sadness, this unbelievable switcheroo has rattled all our lives and livelihoods. At Art Wanders we paused, we cancelled retreats, we waited, we wondered. And mostly we thought of YOU and how we could still provide to those in need of a creative outlet.

Art Wanders has pivoted with these times, turned things upside down and is now delighted to offer Solo Wanderings. These creative retreats allow your spirit to roam safely without gathering as a group, without needing to Zoom, learn new technology or sit in front of a computer. A way to get out of your house, breathe some fresh air and experience your own unique, personal retreat – all set up for you and ready to go! Mostly self-guided but with written instructions and an initial face-masked, welcome and overview from Claudia. Check out the Upcoming Retreats page for all the scoop.

Solo Wanderings will continue indefinitely and when it’s safe to gather, small, group retreats will return to The Stable! Art goes on!

Art Wanders Retreats Sound Great! Tell Me More…

Why would I want to go on an Art Wanders retreat?

To give yourself the gift of time and space to nurture and nourish your creative spirit. To meet new people and try something new. To dare to be vulnerable, bold or spontaneous. To enjoy a bit of quality “me time” outside of your usual routine, home, or work life. Art Amazes!

What am I getting myself into?

You are going on a retreat! Away from “it all” and toward a warm, welcoming place - a friendly gathering of like-minded souls who are all wondering the same thing, “what am I getting myself into?” Whether coming by yourself, with a friend or with a family member, you will step into an environment that helps you feel right-at-home while experiencing a day (or days) of self-reflection, lots of art-making, new friendships, a few surprises and quite possibly some tears and laughter. Art Welcomes!

What do we do?

A variety of things! It depends on the theme of the retreat. We might paint, write or color. We could cut, glue or collage. We might build, draw, sketch or doodle. We definitely ponder and wonder. At times there is silence and at other times, lively conversation. We are thoughtful, playful, serious, spontaneous and intentional with our creations. We handle our art spirits and those of the other participants with care. We don't judge or criticize ourselves and we leave with amazing personal creations, insights, and new-found friends. Art Explores!

Who leads these retreats?

Claudia Fulshaw gently leads you on these inspiring, creative journeys. She is a life-long artist, entrepreneur and retreat leader with over 20 years of experience connecting individuals with their art spirits, through a variety of creative prompts and hands-on activities and projects. Claudia knows that a good retreat should have an equally good assistant. Quite simply, Laura Conte is better than good. She is the fun and trustworthy assistant of Art Wanders, helping with the logistics, meals and hospitality aspects of your retreat experience. Laura has become known as a highlight of an Art Wanders retreat. Claudia also collaborates and co-facilitates with other professionals in a variety of subject matters when an art element adds to or enhances the retreat’s theme. Art Shares!

Who attends these retreats?

Women! Is it any wonder? These retreats have always been open to men and women but in the last 20+ years, only about 5 men have ventured into these retreats. With this in mind and with the utmost respect for our brothers, most retreats are now offered specifically for women. On occasion, and when noted in the retreat description, retreats for men and women, as well as couples, are offered. A diverse group in regard to age, race, education, lifestyle, gender and sexual orientation, religion and artistic ability tend to gather, harmoniously. Art Gathers!

When are these retreats?

Art Wanders retreats take place year round. Most are either a full day or weekend long, while others are a few hours or a half day. Art Takes Time!

Do you offer seasonal retreats?

Yes! These are our most popular retreats! The “Mix” series of seasonal retreats takes place 4 times a year, with a different theme threading throughout a given year: Wintry Mix (January, full weekend), Spring Mix (April, full day), Mid-Summer Mix (July, full day) and Autumn Mix (September, full weekend). These retreats are held at either The Stable or other retreat venues and blend elements of Art, Spirit, Nature & Rest into your experience. Art Changes!

Are these retreats religious?

No. Please bring your own Goddess, God, Spirit, frame of mind, heart, spirit, totem or good luck charm, as you’d like. We stay on a secular path, allowing for everyone’s uniquenesses and beliefs. Unless of course, the retreat is being held specifically for a church or other religious group. These retreats have been called inspired, operating on a higher vibe, hopeful, joy-filled, peace-filled, spiritual and amazing. Your art spirit is bound to recognize its home. Art Honors!

OK But, Here are My Fears…

I can't even draw a straight line. (This isn't really a question but more of an exasperation that Claudia gets “asked” all the time).

Have you ever realized that there are no straight lines in nature? Think about it. Realize that your true nature has no straight lines either and you’ll be just fine. Wherever you are on your creative journey you are welcome here! Art Zigs and Zags!

I don't call myself an artist, can I come?

Oh please do!! You are integral to Art Wanders retreats! Artists, non-artists, friends, moms, sisters, clergy, teachers, partners, spouses, life-long learners, business professionals, therapists, counselors, retreat leaders, seekers, wanderers, the curious, and just your everyday, 13+ kinda gal or guy - all have come to settle into the creative atmosphere of an Art Wanders retreat. Art Equalizes!

I'm pretty shy around people, is this for me?

Claudia had this going on too. For years she created in a vacuum, working alone for days without human contact. And actually liked it. For a while. She finally realized she was missing out on the richness of connecting with others, watching how they create or interpret projects and “do art.” She gathered ideas and inspiration, and learned by watching how to use different tools and materials. A lot of past participants also identified as "shy" and found themselves surprised by how comfortable they ended up feeling at an Art Wanders retreat. There is no “right way” and no one will make you do anything you aren't comfortable with. Consider this... a retreat is a chance to step outside your comfort zone and try something a little challenging in a safe and nurturing environment. Claudia’s mom used to say, “Inch by inch everything’s a cinch.” Art Stretches!

I'm kinda Type A, now what?

Bring it! Your tendency towards perfectionism or doing it the “right way” will be kindly thwarted and surely dissolved. Freezing up or not daring to be vulnerable will be checked at the door. Half of the participants at any given retreat are usually Type A and the other half Type B, whatever that is. Suffice it to say, you too can connect with your art spirit and have a rewarding experience. They key is to let yourself relax into it, don't compare yourself with others and let the laughter flow. Art Unfurls!

What is The Stable?

Where are these retreats?

Most Art Wanders retreats take place at The Stable - a very cool, barn-like structure tucked away between Durham and Hillsborough, NC - just a stone’s throw (well maybe catapult toss) from the Eno River. Downtown Hillsborough is a 10 min. drive, downtown Durham, 15 min. and Chapel Hill and RDU airport a mere 25 min. jaunt. Some Art Wanders retreats take place off-site at other retreat centers, camps, art councils or schools, churches, places of business or personal residences. Art Roams!

Is The Stable really a stable?

Nope. It just sort of looks like one. We like to say it’s “All Yays and No Neighs” “Stall Out” or even better, “Stall Y’all!” Art Laughs.

Where should I park?

The driveway at The Stable holds ten cars, double parked and packed like sardines. All kidding aside, there is ample room. There is also parking along the gravel road in front of the building. If your retreat is held at another venue, either the website with the facility information or written parking information will be provided. Art Fits!

How many people will be there?

Retreats held at The Stable can accommodate up to 12 people. Retreats in other locations are subject to the size of the space and amenities available. A typical retreat gathers 8-12 people. Art Assembles!

Can I schedule my own retreat or experience at The Stable?

Yes you can! And you are encouraged to do so. Speak to Claudia about what you would like to experience in either a guided or private retreat - solo or with another person or group of people (up to 12 for the day, or 6 overnight). We can work out the dates, details and how we can best help create a memorable experience for you or your group. Art Shares!

What are your Basic Policies?

What if I need to cancel, leave the retreat or forget to show up?

We will be sad, but we will understand. Life happens. Art Wanders has a kind cancellation policy and therefore must stand by it. If you need to cancel please do so asap, as others may be on a waiting list, hoping to attend. If you do cancel, a refund for the entire amount you paid (minus a 3.75% transaction fee, if you paid by a credit card) will be reimbursed to you up until the registration deadline date. Sometimes this is a week before the retreat, sometimes longer. Please check your retreat’s deadline and be aware of this date.

After the Registration Deadline: If your retreat IS being held at The Stable AND led by Claudia and you need to cancel after the registration deadline, your fee is 100% non-refundable but can be used toward another retreat led by Claudia within one year of the date of the retreat you needed to cancel. You may also gift or transfer your registration to another person within the same timeframe.

After the Registration Deadline: If your retreat is NOT being held at The Stable but at another retreat venue and you need to cancel, if there is a portion of your registration that is for room/board/facility, that portion is non-refundable. (I am committed to paying this to the center by the registration deadline). However, 50% of the portion of your fee that is for the retreat program itself is refundable up until one week before the start of the retreat. Starting 7 days before the retreat, all fees are non-refundable.

If needing to cancel a retreat led by a retreat leader other than Claudia, that leader’s cancellation policy will supercede Art Wander’s policy. Please check with them on their policy before registering!

A Great Option: If you need to cancel, consider donating your registration fee to the Art Wanders Scholarship Fund to be used by someone who needs a little extra help to attend.

If you need to leave a retreat early or just don’t show up, no part of your registration will be refunded. Sorry. Art Grieves!

What if an Art Wanders retreat gets cancelled?

You will be notified asap. A retreat may be cancelled if fewer than 3 people have registered by the registration deadline, severe weather is predicted or is happening, other unforeseen circumstances, or an illness or emergency takes out the retreat leader(s). All efforts will be made to reschedule the retreat and accommodate everyone’s schedule. If you cannot make the new date, 100% of your registration fee will be refunded. Art Can be Unpredictable!

(In the unlikely event of a cancelled retreat, Art Wanders does not reimburse for any air fare or travel costs incurred. Please check with us prior to booking any hotel, flight, train travel or the like, to ensure that we have met the minimum number of registrations to hold the retreat. If flying or traveling a large distance, it is suggested that you purchase travel insurance in order to cover the above-mentioned risks.)

What if I hurt myself or get sick at a retreat?

Art Wanders carries general building and liability insurance and a first aid kit. Your own medical insurance ID card should be on hand as well as well as any necessary medications you need. Should you get ill or injure yourself, Duke University Hospital or Urgent Care are within 15-20 minutes from The Stable. Art Heals!

Can I smoke/vape, do drugs, bring my pets, kids and sprinkle glitter?

Nope. The Stable is absolutely smoke, vape, drug, pet and glitter free, inside and out. During retreats, it is also a baby- and kid-free place. Remember, you are giving yourself a break! Art Frees!

What is your anti-discrimination policy?

Because of the nature of these creative retreats, all that is asked is that you be awake, show good graces, stay open-minded and are comfortable being part of a group. Art Wanders does not discriminate. Your age, race, sexual orientation, religion, politics and lifestyle only add to the group retreat dynamics. Live and let live. Art Embraces!

What is the Art Wanders Scholarship Fund?

This fund was (brilliantly) started by the first woman who needed to cancel after her retreat’s registration deadline. She said, “why don’t you use my registration fee to start a scholarship fund for folks who genuinely need a little extra help to attend a retreat. Yes! And so the AWSF began. The pool stays relatively low because so few folks need to cancel. However, please do ask if you’d like to attend and need a bit of financial assistance. We’ll help if possible! Contact Claudia / Art Wanders if you would like to make a donation to the AWSF. Art Reaches!

Other Things I’m Wondering About…

What about food or beverages?

If your retreat includes a meal(s) this will be indicated in the retreat description. Healthy, balanced and yummy meals are served. You will have the opportunity to discuss your food lifestyle and/or allergies/sensitivities when you register. Please do so! We are happy to accommodate your needs. Beverages and light snacks will also be available throughout the retreat. A refrigerator is available if you need to bring any special food items. You will not leave hungry! Art Satiates!

What should I wear?

Wear what is comfortable to you and something you wouldn't mind getting a little paint or glue on if you tend to get a bit messy (like Claudia).There will also be smocks available. Depending on the retreat theme, venue, and time of year, we could be or you could choose to be outside some. Mostly though, we will be inside the main art room which will be appropriately heated or cooled. If you tend to get chilly, bring a light jacket or sweater - layers! Please do not wear heavy perfumes or scents to your retreat in order to be respectful of all scentsitivities. Art Comforts!

What should I bring?

A week before your retreat you will receive an email welcoming you to your retreat, providing contact info and directions. Most important to bring along is an open heart, open mind and open hands. All art and writing materials are provided. On occasion, a retreat may have a few suggested supplies or item(s) to bring along or a worksheet to fill out prior to the retreat. If your retreat is at The Stable, each person will have their own hook and cubbie for the day to hang their bag or jacket and to store their projects or other small items. Feel free to bring your own water bottle, to-go mug or journal as well. Art Supplies!

Do you have scholarships or a sliding scale?

Art Wanders hopes as many people who want to experience these retreats can. Solo Wandering Retreats offer a sliding scale. Additionally, the Art Wanders Scholarship Fund has been able to provide a day long retreat experience to several participants thus far. The amount of money in this fund fluctuates based on donations and cancellations. If you truly have a need for scholarship, please inquire directly to Claudia to check if there are any funds available for a full or partial scholarship. Art Responds! 

What is your creative mentorship program, Art Returns?

This is an art day camp that is under development for adults 18+ and for girls, aged 6-12 and 13-17. The idea is that a young girl invites an adult who she feels desperately needs an art camp or who they feel could benefit from a day of making art. There will be 6 pairs of “campers” who spend the day at no cost - making art, learning to use art tools and materials, sharing a yummy lunch and fellowship. The girls become the leaders and are taught skills on how to lead an art project for a group. Each girl will design a project and present it to the adults. Both members of the pair will be asked to submit an application for consideration into the Art Returns program. This program will take place once a year. Donations for this program are welcomed. Please email Claudia if you are interested. Art Gives Back!

Can I purchase a Gift Certificate?

Yes! What a thoughtful gesture. Gift certificates are available in any amount. Please contact Claudia / Art Wanders to order. A one-of-a-kind,  handmade gift certificate will be mailed to you or directly to your recipient.


If you have questions or concerns about any of these FAQs please do not hesitate to contact Claudia / Art Wanders.