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Share the Memories!
Artella's 2004 "Creative ManiFestival" Retreat!

November 2004
Wisdom House, Litchfield CT

Go to information about Artella's 2005 Retreat!

     Be Creative...

          Be Comforted...

               Be Communal...

Hear an audio recording "so much happiness", a poem written and read by Marney Makridakis, inspired by the CREATIVE MANIFESTIVAL Retreat held in Litchfield, Connecticut, in November, 2004.

Play it here:

Don't miss this year's Artella’s WildChild Wisdom Weekend, on October 6-9, 2005! Click here for details!

A communal mural created in Denise's "Flesh Reflecting the Soul" workshop

Wisdom House 2004...
We came: 20 strange women; young and old.
We played with each other, we sang to each other.
We cried for each other, past and present and absent.
We left; no longer strangers, yet even stranger;
Marney-magicked into Be-ing;
Other; in a Field of Others, and, amazingly,
That was a last, finally and forever and ever amen; OKAY.

Wisdom House II, 2005:
- Adela

Front row, from left: Jenny Ryan, Amy Rolnick, Linda Vining, Denise Mihalik, Suzanne Gwynne
Back row, from left: Adela Hubers, Donna Keenan, Melissa Chapin, Deb Silva, Marney Makridakis, Diane Armstrong, Jill Badonsky, Karen Jones, Karen Kuklinski, Glenda Miles, Marsha Jehn, Linda Lamore, Terry Jordan
Seated, on far right: Embrya DeShango
Missing from Photo: Karen Caterson

Front row, from left: Glenda Miles, Karen Kuklinski
Middle row: Terry Jordan, Diane Armstrong, Jill Badonsky
Back row: Deb Silva, Marney Makridakis

Terry Jordan - taking home "courage"!

Being at the Artella Retreat was the most inspiring retreat I have ever been to (and I have been to over 20 in the past 15 years). What made this retreat so special was the guest speakers were immersed in the retreat along with each participant. In the end we realized that we are each "guest speakers" and we are each participants in the creative journey. It was absolutely magical. The lessons I learned at the retreat have remained with me throughout the year and I can't wait until we do it again. -Terry Jordan

Jenny Ryan, Amy Rolnick, Linda Vining

Diane Armstrong and Jill Badonsky

Of all the retreats I've ever been to, the Artella retreat in 2004 was the best. The kindred spirit connections are life-lasting, the abundance that flowed from the workshops exceeded my expectations,the setting was magical and the laughter unleashed my forgotten joy. I have happy feet that won't be still because I get to go back in 2005 and Marney and SARK will be there!
- Jill Badonsky

Marney Makridakis and Denise Mihalik

Playing in the Art Studio Space

Marsha Jehn and Amy Rolnick

Glenda Miles, Denise Mihalik, Jil Badonsky, Melissa Chapin, Diane Armstrong

I eagerly arrived at Manifestival 2004 – a woman on the verge of a life transformation hungry for other lovers of life and artistic adventure. I had not met anyone in a physical sense but I somehow "knew" the other women well sensing we had all gathered for something soulfully spectacular and magical. It was such an enriching experience, a part of me never left Wisdom House – the rest of me left well nourished along with other kindred spirits and those relationships still continue to this day! All-night sparkly art parties in the tearoom, giggly story telling with other women, snowy walks on the labyrinth. I got to take home so many glittery goodies in my suitcase I hardly had room for my clothes! I will most definitely return to the Artella Manifestival II in 2005! ~Glenda Miles

Some of the blocks we created in our community sculpture project, which is now planned to travel around to communities in need. More info on this traveling sculpture to come!

Jenny Ryan and Embrya deShango: two writers-become-artists

Suzanne Gwynne in the Studio

Diane Armstrong and Karen Jones

Linda Lamore's notes about what we are all bringing home...

Marney Makridakis and Artella's Creative Projects Manager, Deb Silva, met in person for the first time at the retreat, even though they've been working together for over a year!

Denise Mihalik inspired us with her incredible art!

- If you plan on changing your life, then plan on attending Artella's Retreat. It is astounding, amazing, alive.... life changing! Who knew who knew a little art retreat could affect my entire universal plan!! Well, with Magic Marney doing the planning, it seems inevitable....
Just Do It! - Denise Mihalik

Jaime Adcock played a huge role in helping Marney coordinate the retreat, but was unable to attend. Here is Jaime (well her photo, at least), "sitting" in Amy Rolnick's lap!

A beautiful earth shrine from Melissa Chapin's "Earth Shrines" workshop.

Donna Keenan proudly displays her Earth Shrine.

Karen Kuklinski's beauty is reflected in her Earth Shrine!

Linda Lamore works on her Earth Shrine.

Melissa Chapin and her inspiring prints and jewelry!

Diane Armstrong, Karen Jones, and Marney Makridakis...instant sisters who had never met!

Embrya deShango, Word Goddess turned Artiste, in the course of a weekend!

When the abundance fills the air so you can breathe it in like the scent of lilacs-
when your skin dances as energy flows between and among a circle of women as power manifest-
when you find lost pieces of yourself in the eyes of someone you thought was a stranger two days ago-
when you enter a building as participants, and leave as sisters-
then you know you've been to an Artella retreat!
I recommend it as a don't-miss event for anyone looking to renew, rejoice and receive.
I'll be at Wisdom House for the second year!
Embrya deShango

Karen Caterson came home with a new dream -- to open a studio that uses art and writing to support the severely mentally ill.

Story Muse Terry Jordan and Song Muse Marsha Jehn.

Marsha Jehn led us in song and movement..."We are an old family, we are a new family, we are stronger than before..."

Suzanne Gwynne with some of her fabulous prizes in the Mega Raffle Event of the Century! We had over 45 items donated as raffle prizes, and each participant had 60 tickets to enter toward any prizes she wanted!

Melissa Chapin and Diane Armstrong in the beloved Art Room.

Linda Vining with a serendipitous find in the Wisdom House library.

Adela Hubers and Jill Badonsky feel the love!

Glenda Miles and Jenny Ryan, with one of Glenda's incredibly magical Wishing Wands!

This is another shot of some of the blocks we created over the weekend. We have named them Project B.L.O.C.K. (Building Love to Open Community Kindness) and plan for them to make their way around the country to inspire locations and groups of people who are hungry for a sense of art and play in their lives.