Facilities are simple but comfortable. Residents and other visitors may stay in a private room in either the Firefly Lodge or the Yellow House, in a semi private loft in the Lodge, or at a camping site. Community members often provide overflow housing when the Lodge and Yellow House are full.
The Yellow House room has a private bath; the Lodge rooms and loft have a shared bath. In both facilities, you will share a living room, dining area, and fully equipped kitchen. The Lodge has a dishwasher; the Yellow House does not. Community members come and go at the Lodge between 10am-4pm, and there are occasionally community events there in the evening. For an additional fee, you can rent the entire Lodge and have exclusive use.
Both the Firefly Lodge and Yellow House have good internet connection. Cell service is somewhat reliable but may be slightly better at the Lodge — Verizon seems to work best. AS IF visitors at both spaces will have access to a washer and dryer at the Yellow House, at no charge.
Linens are provided. Well-behaved pets are generally welcome (Lodge only), with advance arrangement and a pet deposit of $50 ($40 refundable if there’s no damage.) Family members and significant others are welcome too (Lodge only). Please let us know on your application if you intend to bring family or pets so we can ensure we have accommodations.
Please note: The Firefly Lodge is a community gathering place, and High Cove community residents may use it between 10 am and 4pm. The caretaker may be on site during the day, including using kitchen and bath, and is usually available for questions. Community events such as potluck, happy hour, or cinema night are occasionally held in the evenings. These are open to Lodge guests and offer an opportunity to participate in the community.
For larger groups, or when the Lodge and Yellow House are full, there are several rooms available for rent through community members who support AS IF Center programs. These facilities are walking distance from the Lodge, available at comparable rates, and are booked and paid through the community members themselves – we will put you in touch with hosts. Some of these neighboring households have friendly cats, so please let us know if you have allergies to pet dander. When staying at overflow housing, you will have access to kitchen and living space in either the Lodge or the Yellow House.
The following work spaces are available to AS IF Center residents and visitors at no charge, subject to availability.
The Yellow House studio is an L-shaped room that is 16 x 9.5 feet in the main area and 11.5 x 7 feet in the side area. This is a comfortable, conditioned space with north light and a 5 foot long work table. Some shelf space will be available for your projects.
The Yellow House garage is a large wood building with about 1,000 square feet of work space, concrete floor, and high ceiling. The garage has no heat or insulation. In summer it works best to open both large barn doors to allow ventilation; in spring and fall the temperatures are reasonable. The garage is appropriate for messy work, and with advance notice can also accommodate exhibits, installations, or events of 40-50 people.
When you schedule a residency or other event, please specify if you need to use one of these work spaces.
For events such as symposia, workshops, meetings, film screenings, literature readings, concerts, and powerpoint presentations, the Lodge and its porch can be rented out for a small fee. Through a partnership with Toe River Arts, we may also be able to arrange for artists to use the Arts Resource Center, a larger event space in Spruce Pine. Please allow several months advance notice to book events for ten or more. Contact us for more information about scheduling events.
Art-science residents will have access to a 96x dissecting microscope, herbarium presses, 10x loupes, insect sorting sieves, collecting vials, Ziploc and WhirlPak bags, forceps, ethanol, tubes, vials, petri dishes, and other glassware and plastic ware, Nitrile gloves, a Malaise trap, insect nets and other insect collecting supplies, a wide collection of field guides, and miscellaneous items. You will also have access to a large 82″ easel, a small French easel for plein air, various paints and papers, brushes, pens and ink, graphite and colored pencils, an assortment of beads, wire, an assortment of yarns and threads, beeswax, biological materials such as bone, feathers, snakeskin, insects, seeds and other plant parts, materials for collage/ assemblage, and other sundries. If you have specific needs, we encourage you to bring what you will need or inquire ahead.
Locally available art:
Penland School art supply store is a gorgeous 15 minute drive (go, even if you don’t need to). Just down the road from AS IF you can find glassmaking supplies at Spruce Pine Batch. There are also options nearby for sharing resources (and even studio space) with artists who work in glass, ceramics, metal, wood, textiles, printmaking, photography, and other media – with 400 artists in our area, including a clay studio right next door, just ask ahead of time and we’ll hook you up.
An hour away, Asheville offers great selection and reasonable prices at Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, natural dyes, woodworking supplies, and all kinds of neat stuff at Earth Guild, beads and supplies at Chevron Trading Company, textile supplies at House of Fabrics, book art supplies at Asheville Book Works, clay supplies at Highwater Clays, and lots of other treasures.
Locally available science:
Tal Galton at Snakeroot Ecotours is a knowledgeable guide who can teach you about the area’s rich natural history. If you arrange in advance and schedule for just the right week, he may even be able to give you a tour of rare orchids or take you to see Blue Ghost fireflies. Dark skies in our area provide good conditions for stargazing, including at the nearby Bare Dark-Sky Observatory. The Compleat Naturalist is in Asheville has a pretty good variety of tools for entomology, botany, geology, and general study of natural history. If you need a fume hood, autoclave, freezer space, incubator, or other science lab facilities, let us know and we can help you make arrangements with a nearby lab. Carolina Biological Supply is just three hours away. If you need to order something for your work and you think it might be something we’d be interested in at AS IF Center, let us know – we might order it to add to our supply list.
The headquarters for the nation’s climate data are in Asheville at the NCEI. The Asheville Collider helps connect NOAA/NCEI climate scientists with nonprofits, business, and the general public, and hosts interesting science talks. The NC Arboretum and Asheville Botanical Garden teach about our remarkable Southern Appalachian flora. Scientists at the US Forest Service Southern Research Station work on entomology, fisheries, forestry, invasive species, effects of climate change, and other topics.
Spruce Pine and Burnsville are small to medium sized towns each with a large grocery store (Ingles), a few restaurants, taverns, coffee shops, galleries, hardware stores, banks, thrift and antique stores, several libraries, medical services including a small hospital, etc. and can provide most services. For more about amenities in the area see our Place page.
If you would like to collect specimens from our site, set up long-term ecological research, build an outdoor art installation, or otherwise leave permanent experiments in the landscape, please contact us two months ahead of your visit to apply ahead for an art or science permit. Tell us what YOU imagine, and we will work to make it happen.
Read on to learn more about our events and residencies. Hope you can join us.
Contact us to get information or to book lodging, apply for a residency, inquire about teaching workshops, or to schedule other activity.