Nimrod Hall is a magical place, but it's luxury is not found in the usual bland hotel way, but rather in serenity and character. We are unapologetically and seriously old fashioned. Nimrod is not fancy and veers toward the rustic but also focuses on comfort. The aged look of Nimrod is found even in pictures from 1906 but that stands to reasons since it was built in 1783! Nimrod Hall has not been overly restored as to not lose the original charm. Because of that, it is only able to function as a summer resort, shutting down for a long rest in the winter. The Vintage vibe is on purpose but be aware that if you are not the camping type you might not appreciate its shabby chic. That being said, don’t be scared of Nimrod. We have a huge return rate and everyone realizes quickly its unique beauty and charm and above all, its total uniqueness. Take the plunge!
How do you fill weeks?
First come basis. Register early. Previous year artists have a week window to register before new participants, so there is a chance a week can be full before it is offered to new participants. WE can almost always get you in, but some classes fill faster than others. The true joy is just being at Nimrod
How do I reserve a studio?
We have 9 studio’s on site. They are reserved with your initial application ( the best way to insure you get one) , or if there are studio's not rented when you arrive, you can also rent one at that point. Obviously with 24 people on site, not everyone will get a studio but not eveyone needs or wants one, so it usually works out. But, if you want one best do it when you register. Studio’s are provided with an easel, table, chair and fan. They do not have A/C, of course, but #6 is a full bathroom on studio row, so you can now drink all the water you want! They are $120 per week.
What To Bring and What's Provided
In the summertime, Nimrod weather is generally mild, but a portable fan for the warmer days is definitely something to bring although one is in every room and one is provided in every studio. All cottages are equipped with standard lamps, but if you work indoors, a clamp lamp or other portable lighting is helpful. Easels are not provided except in the studios ( if you are traveling by plane, email me. I am sure I can find you an easel). Very casual clothes are standard, with a bathing suit for trips to the river. Don't forget to throw in a sweater in case the evenings are cool. Other necessary articles are a flashlight, bug-spray and any toiletries. We have a small canteen with things if you forget them. Summertime staples such as sunscreen and hats are also good to have. All linens and towels for the cottages are provided, but a beach towel is a good idea for the river. An ice chest can be used to chill beverages in your cabin. An ice machine is available with plenty of ice. There is no need to bring tables or chairs to work on as there are plenty of both all around. There is one telephone in the main house off the dining hall. You are welcome to use the phone at any time.
Is the whole place Air Conditioned? Ummmm, no. Not a single room has A/C. I
know. It is hard to fathom in this day and age but it just works that way and quite frankly, it is one of the things that makes it so very authentic. We are in the mountains and although it is usually very mild, it can and does get hot as anywhere else. That is when the topic of conversation revolves around the weather and we feel very turn of the century as we sip our mint juleps on the porch.... We make do with lots of fans, light clothing and taking many dips in the river, or the pond which stays at a frigid temperature no matter what the month as it is spring fed! Plus Nimrod is so VINTAGE that the electric can't handle very many plug ins before we start blowing fuses! However, we are not cruel people and know that sometimes for health reasons you need an A/C for your room so we do have them for rent for the week for an extra fee. Just email me.
Does my cell service work?
Verizon cell works best at Nimrod but even that can be spotty. Almost no other cell service as of now, works very well.
Is there Wifi?
We do offer free wifi and most of the time it works great. BUT this is not a place to plan to lay on your bed and stream Breaking Bad without interruption. Being where we are in the mountains, we have passable wifi but it is not our top priority and should not be yours. Please understand that Nimrod is a place you are supposed to be going to get away from it all and overly worrying and stressing about wifi may mean it is not the place for you. It is remote and the wifi is not reliable. As of 2016 we now have broadband FIBER! We hope to have it working well by the season opening.
When do I pay?
You can register online with a credit card where it will only charge you your initial deposit with he remaining amount paid when you arrive at Nimrod for your workshop. Final payments should be cash or check when you arrive at Nimrod. You can also still register by mail where you send your deposit with your application form and that form is available to print on the registration page. Be aware that if a workshop fills online, it is full. If that happens you will hear from me to find another week. An email from me (bookeo.com to be specific) will be sent when you are officially registered. Once you arrive at Nimrod for your stay, we will collect checks for the remainder of your fees at dinner the first night or breakfast Monday morning. Any other extra’s like the gift shop and Art Box will also only take checks or cash.
We customarily give fifteen percent gratuity of your last payment to be split between all the people who work at Nimrod Hall. The gratuity will be collected Thursday Night after dinner. We have a lot of people whose job it is to make you comfortable and keep this totally old times place still in business! Most people do a separate check for gratuity as well.
Can I bring my beloved dog or cat?
Oh how joyous it would be to say yes to this question but the answer is sadly, no. We all have a beloved pet and since we are here to make art and are all sharing spaces, it is just too many animals. The reality is many people are allergic and many people simply don’t share your love of your (or any) dog. You will see a few dogs wandering around, who are grandfathered in, or my dog (who is obnoxious very often so trust me when I tell you that not having them is easier- he still reeks of skunk from being sprayed in JULY), but this week is all about you taking care of you.
Can I bring my child, husband or best friend? No on children. Nimrod is an adult only getaway and it is not geared toward kids during the workshops. We are 21 and older for all workshops. Some weekends are open for bringing your families, but not during workshops or retreats. As far as guests (namely husbands) staying in your room, our housing makes it difficult. It adds to the number of people sharing baths, etc. and it can also cut down on the bonding you do with your fellow artists. I don't say absolutely not, but it is usually more fun not to bring people along since you will meet lots of people there! Extra people in the rooms pay the same price, since most of our payment is to keep Nimrod standing and keeping people fed!. Email me if you are thinking of doing this since it is a case by case basis.
Can I request a specific cottage?
It just is not possible to guarantee specific rooms. That being said, I know many of you still ask, but be aware that we may not be able to accommodate but will certainly try. I always give it my best shot but also move people around so everyone gets to try different places through their years. There is no bad place to stay at Nimrod is the reality and it is hardly fair for the same people to get the same housing every summer.
Can I change the room that I am assigned when I get there?
If you and the person you are changing with are cool with that then it is fine with me but don’t change with someone who hasn’t arrived because I have a whole list of people and specific rooms they have requested (mostly for medical reasons) and it will gum up the works and mess me up. Give your assigned room a shot. I have stayed in almost every room in every cabin and every one of them has its charms.
Do I have a roommate?
No Way! Everyone has a private room with baths to be shared. All rooms are decorated with a modern vintage approach. But no one will be in the bed next to you who you do not know.
Is sharing a bath a nightmare?
Weirdly, not at all. When I first started to come to Nimrod that was my biggest worry of all, and I know people worry about it --but don't. Your concern over that will evaporate when you see how easily it is managed. People have been sharing baths forever until this generation. If we could pop a bath in every room at Nimrod it would be lovely but the turn of the century plumbing just won’t support it. It is a small price to pay to go back in time, but I get it is scary! But it tends to evaporate as an issue when you get here.
What if I forget my white oil paint?
That’s always a harrowing thing BUT we have a mobile art store provided by the ArtBox in Lynchburg/Charlottesville that is stocked like a regular high end art store. They stock it, pull it up behind the post office and when you open the door, lights and A/C pops on and you shop! They do checks only. They carry Gamblin OIls, have acrylic and watercolor paints, canvases, sketch books, cute cards and literally anything you could possibly want. Think about waiting to buy some things here to support them. We need them!
Am I the only one who won’t know everyone else?
No way. Out of 200 participants last year we had many first timers. With our new weekend workshops, more and more new fun people are in the house! We do have a great return rate but people toggle between weeks so everyone does not know each other. You’ll find that a day or two is all you need to know most everyone. Sitting all over at meals will help you meet new people quickly. It is part of the magic of Nimrod how easily one can adapt. Nimroders love to show new folks around. It is the antithesis of high school in that everyone WANTS to be nice to you and have you NOT feel excluded.
Can I receive/make calls?
You are welcome to make outgoing calls on the phone in the dining room. The number here is 540-862-0531. If your cell does not work I am happy to loan you mine for a call home. Verizon cell works fairly well but others really do not.
Can I smoke?
Yes, but not in the cottages or in public areas. Use common sense and everyone is happy. If you smoke, please let me know as it can determine your comfort lodging wise. Smoking on cottage porches or inside is prohibited by fire code.
Can you swim in the river?
The best swim you’ll ever have. Hop in a tube and hook your toe on the rope and ENJOY! We have tubing trips where we float down the Cowpasture River as well. Those are announced sporadically and everyone is invited. A normal swim time is before critique in the afternoons but you can swim anytime.
Can I swim in the pond?
Our spring fed pond was revamped in 2013 and is an amazing place to swim. It is 58 degrees winter or summer and spring fed. On a 95 degree day it is about the best jolt of pleasure to hop in there to cool off. Many artists paint in their suits and hop in periodically to cool off then back to work!
Can I explore the old camp cabins?
Nope. Some of the best artwork created here have been the cabins painted from a distance-keep it that way.
Can I explore and paint off the grounds?
Best to stay on our property but we have 100 acres, so you should be able to find something to paint. : )
Are towels and linens provided?
Yes! I take pride in the vintage soft linens that I ( for some reason) find to be an important part of NImrod and a lightweight down comforter is on most every bed. Towels are pridefully mismatched and we would love to have any of yours you feel are not quite ready to toss, but maybe need to be at an old summer resort....
How do I get fresh towels?
The helpers go around in the mornings and exchange towels. They take away dirty towels and will replace them with new. Make us aware if you are not getting enough towels, etc. as we have plenty!!
What is up with the gnats?
They are pests, that is what. Guess what though? If you stay under a porch they will sometimes stay away. Otherwise just coat yourself with bug spray and try to ignore them.
What time are meals?
8:30 AM, 1PM and 6:30-7 PM. Try to be there on time as we eat family style and it is respectful to your fellow participants our wonderful chef, Jim Stewart. One other note-if you like to visit at the table after meals then make sure and give all your dishes to the wait staff, so they can get their jobs done in a reasonable time.
Are cokes or soft drinks and fattening candy available?
We have a small snack bar/canteen with some drinks and candy/snacks for sale. Bring some small bills if you like to have midnight candy raids for the honor box! : )
Is there an ice machine I can use?
Inside the kitchen door there is a HUGE ice machine. Please help yourself (ice chests are fine) and be sure to put the scoop back on top.
What time is coffee on in the dining room?
We usually have it on by 7AM. If you notice a lot of people guzzling at that hour though please tell the staff so they can make more for us who sleep until the bell. We also have a small coffee make in every room! Bring your favorite coffee, pop your creamer in your ice chest and read in bed like a diva before even breakfast. Heaven. If you carry a mug to your room then make sure and bring it back at the next meal so we can get it washed.
Is there unlimited coffee service 24 hours a day?
For you caffeine junkies, small baby coffee makers are in every room. BYO gourmet coffee but little packets are provided.
How are meals announced?
Meals are announced by the ringing of a bell that is jangled up and down the yard. It means the plates of food are about to be put on the table and you have about 3 minutes before the rolls are gone. Just kidding.
Can I drink alcohol with my meals?
Only if you share... Sure! A glass of wine or cocktail is just fine to bring down to dinner. An ice-cold beer has always been a favorite at critiques as well. BYO Ice chest and we have ice to share! We are totally ok with alcohol but do not have a license to serve it ourselves but have wine glasses and all highball glasses and well- everything but the alcohol.
I am vegetarian, don't eat gluten, avoid red meat and other food questions....
No problem. We don’t make special meals but can usually find enough good leftovers to satisfy you. If you are Vegan or have other special diet needs though you better bring some vegan snacks as we are not set up for that. Vegan is truly the hardest thing for us to pull off, so run by the health food store and get some good bars and with that and the fruits and veggie's you will be fine! We have a fridge for the artists for special dressing and things like that. Gluten free can be done fairly easily here as Jim cooks from scratch BUT we ARE NOT certified gluten free. There is cross contamination everywhere so bring your own food if you have celiac. The way to handle coming to Nimrod when you are avoiding a certain food is to avoid it. It is just not possible to make a special meal for every person but everyone will help you make sure you don't starve. We tend to have people avoiding foods and having us run crazy the first day or so then be eating anything they want pretty soon, so live a little. It is not unhealthy food, and as I said, made from scratch. We are 20 minutes from a Kroger, so if you need to supplement you can.
Is there a seating chart in the dining room?
No you can sit wherever you want. It is a good time to meet people so table-hopping is a good idea. You do not have to sit with your artist in residence participants only and I encourage you not to. It is so high school to only sit with the same people every meal!
Can I have food in my cottage?
Can you say MOUSE? Because unless that food is in a Tupperware container you will be. Seriously, seal the containers and you will be fine. We make every effort to make sure there are no mice and mice love junk food like we all do! Many people bring snacks and just use a plastic bin with a top to store them.
What do I paint?
There is so much here that sometimes it seems like there is nothing. Check out the photo album of past years and look at some of the old participant works for inspiration! COME WITH NO EXPECTATION YOUR FIRST YEAR. It is an amazing place just to soak in and the paintings may happen at an even speedier rate when you get home.
How do I rent a studio?
We have 9 studios available for rent every session. They are $120. It is a small adorable cottage that has lights, a chair, an easel and a fan included. They are reserved on a first come basis. They are not for sleeping, just for working. It is perfect for the person who needs a lot of room to create or likes to have a little club house for themselves on their special week away from it all.
If I don’t rent a studio, where do I paint?
You can paint anywhere you like, using common sense. Some ideas:
Your Porch: The best lighting you’ll ever have.
Out in the Yard
On site/Plein Air (You can drive, just try to move your car as much out of the way of the road as possible-please be smart about this as we have had to disrupt many a morning pulling a well intentioned artist out of the ditch).
Your Room (without turpentine please! Turp is ok in the studio's or outside)
Old Post Office (Only in the front during printmaking and watercolor weeks)
Rec Hall and Rec Hall porches
Where is critique?
Your artist in residence will tell you for sure but usually it is held in front of the post office or on the porch at Second Sunset.
I am afraid of critique, can I skip it?
Who isn’t afraid of critique? It is scary to show your artwork to anyone at first but I think you’ll be completely amazed at the support and help that attending crits will give you. We are all here because we love to make art and critiques should be looked at as sharing your art with the whole group, not something to be feared. It is a valuable part of the experience here and once you attend you’ll never be afraid again.
Can I talk to the other artists when they are working?
Nope. Making art is a solo event and everyone is annoyed at the chatterbox who is having trouble getting to work, chatting while you are TRYING to. If an artist is working somewhere public then still assume they don’t want to be disturbed.
What is the deal with the artist in residence and the schedule?
The first night you are here we will have a little wine and cheese party on the lawn to meet each other and your artist in residence. It is a nice ice breaker and it is recommended you come. After dinner that night your artist in residence will collect his or her participants and give you an idea of what you will be doing during the week.
The artist in residence is an artist, just like you, and Nimrod gets their creative juices flowing as well. They will work in the mornings and reserve the afternoons for the participants. Please respect this. Some artists will choose to have sign up sheets for critiques and artists visits and will have them posted in the dining room. But this is your artist in residences choice and they will explain their approach on the first night.
Where do I clean my brushes? There is a brush cleaning station behind the grill in the yard. There is also a brush cleaning sink on studio row in #6.
What is Walk-Around?
We have a tradition here at Nimrod where on Thursday Night we put all of our work out on the porches of our houses and we all get to see what everyone has been up to all week long. We have a little vino or beer (BYOB) and just have fun, leisurely time. The photo albums will show you pictures made from previous years Walk-Arounds. This night will not be a critique but more of a viewing/love fest.
What about the art books? Am I allowed to take them to my cottage?
Every year I bring my art books for everyone to look at and there are many of them in the lower living room that is for lounging and reading. Other artists do as well. We encourage you to look at them and become inspired. Try not to forget and leave a book in your cottage all week. In fact, overnight is the best idea. We have a sign up sheet where you just jot down your name and what book you have.
Whew- that should be it! If you think of anything else let me know!