Hang a left when you reach Abiquiú and you'll eventually hit the tiny community of Coyote, New Mexico (population 128, as of the 2010 census). There, among the red rock canyons, meadows and a small river, you'll find Resolana Farms (resolanafarms.org), the property of Adelma Hnasko. Her roots go deep in the Abiquiú community—her folks, she says, were "hippie homesteaders who came to New Mexico in the 1970s in a VW bus." There, they'd live, work and create, and though the family detoured for a brief stint in Santa Fe in the '80s, Hnasko says her father never got over his love for the Abiquiú area. The family bought the 37-acre Resolana Farms in 1992.
By 2011, however, Hnasko's father passed away, leaving her the farm. By 2016, she connected with Amy Violette, a Nashville ex-pat, writer and film and television worker who graduated from the seminary at Baylor University's George W Truett Theological Seminary in Texas a few years prior. Violette, burnt out on Nashville life, came to Hnasko through a Craigslist housing ad, and the two became fast friends.
"I knew I wanted to be up here, and I rented [from Hnasko] sight unseen,"
Violette tells SFR. "When I met Adelma, I met a kindred spirit. It was like, 'Oh, there she is!'"
By 2018, they'd conceived of a residency and retreat program, aiming to provide opportunities for creatives deeply ensconced in their work but in need of a disconnect. Today, Resolana Farms has renovated an old adobe house on the property, put together a board of directors and operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; the first cohort of residents is scheduled to start five-day residencies this summer. The inaugural six were selected from dozens who applied to an open call in February. Hnasko and Violette selected them (including poet Tara Evonne Trudell, sculptor Will Clift, screenwriter Charlotte Casey and visual artist Yuki Murata) through a stringent process of artistic consumption and personal meetings. Many of the chosen also have a connection to New Mexico.
"My father loved to bring people up to Resolana and break bread and share the place," Hnasko, who also serves on the Santa Fe Arts Commission, says. "It's a beautiful extension of his love for the land and my love for him, to … help people have a creative pause."
Violette agrees it's personal, adding that the pair doesn't want anything in return; just the satisfaction that comes from fostering good art in its many forms. Resolana Farms is funded through donations, and the residents don't pay for access.
For nomadic filmmaker and upcoming resident Alexandria Bombach, a Santa Fe native and mainstay at the annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, a pause was just the thing.
"It's critical for filmmakers to have this kind of time and space to do their work," Bombach explains. "I've done other programs before, and they've been
essential for my process, but having a residency off-the-grid is pretty unique."
Resolana Farms is, for the most part, cut off from cell and internet service. Hnasko and Violette say that such things are of course available in case of emergency, but the idea is to give creatives a complete break from the hustle and bustle of their normal lives and jobs.
"I was definitely looking for something like this, and they really believe in the power of creating space for people and what it can do for the art, and [they trust] us to use the time wisely," Bombach adds. "Filmmaking is a really intense career, especially on the business side of things—it's constant calls and producing, and it can be difficult to carve out that time where you're able to think creatively."
Bombach, who is primarily known for documentaries such as 2018's On Her Shoulders, says she plans to use her time to delve deeper into narrative film. The script she's writing is well underway, she says, but her upcoming time at Resolana Farms ought to provide much-needed focus and clarity.
Santa Fe indie dance jam darling Alex Simon, aka Tone Ranger, shares the sentiment. The album on which he's currently working is inspired by the landscapes of the Four Corners; Resolana Farms is an ideal setting. He's been a part of similar residencies before, and says he's all for the five-day timespan.
"I just take that as a good thing," Simon says. "I have 10 performances between now and the residency—in California and some Burning Man stuff I'm doing—so there's a whole lot of opportunity to try out new material. And once I get to that place of quiet, I'll get to integrate all I've learned."
Ultimately, Simon's plan is loose: He says he'll fill his car with instruments, pack up his Zoom field recorder and simply see what comes of the time. Studios, he says, can exist anywhere, such as in an old Army tent in which he carved out space at the Standing Rock protests. Simon likens such creative processes to a snowball effect, adding that he sees "what works and what doesn't, then I hibernate, then bring it out again, only better.
As for Hnasko and Violette, they're excited to see how everything shakes out and to daydream about what might come from future residencies.
"Right now, more than ever," Hnasko says, "we need our artists."