Artist-in-Residency Returns to Canterbury Shaker Village

Featuring more than two-dozen original Shaker buildings and nearly 700 acres of nature, Canterbury Shaker Village has always welcomed artists, a legacy renewed this summer and fall through Artist-in-Residency (AIR).

Developed in 2018, the program brings together contemporary artists to live at the Village while they produce works inspired by the landscape and Shaker culture. “The program reflects the spirit of the Shakers, who were known for their appreciation of art and their skilled craftsmanship,” said Executive Director Leslie Nolan. 

On July 7 through July 15, AIR will welcome visual artist Ellen Friedlander. A resident of Silver Lake, Los Angeles, Friedlander said she is entering her time at the Village with “a few alternative photographic processes in mind.” “Having never been to the Village, I have to go with a very open mind and allow myself to be instinctively drawn to the architecture and the light,” she said.

Citing an organic process, Friedlander said she knows, however, she wants to experiment with her pinhole lens and a new neutral density filter that will allow her to photograph with long exposure in bright sun. “In addition to photographing the Village itself, I plan to work on sequencing a book that I have been working on for about a year,” she added. 

Elaborating on her artistic process, Friedlander described it as one of simultaneous observation and reflection, while also integrated with elements of disruption. “Using a variety of in-camera and post processing techniques of layering, cutting and assemblage of new visual narratives, I reveal the unpredictable, idiosyncratic, inscrutable nature of the human condition,” she said.

Selected Works by Ellen Friedlander

According to Nolan, there may be no better place to explore, or reflect upon, the human condition than at the Village. “There is a sense of peace and tranquility here that is truly serene,” she said. “We can be inspired by the Shakers’ communal life and learn from it…We kindly welcome Ellen to the Village.” Acknowledging she is “intrigued” by Shaker history, Friedlander said she is especially enthused that she can return this fall, October 1 – 8. “I am excited to experience and capture the changing seasons,” she added. In addition to guided tours, Canterbury Shaker Village interprets Shaker life through exhibits, buildings, gardens, and programs. “Like any true village, there is so much to do and explore here at Canterbury Shaker Village,” said Nolan. “We hope Ellen’s time here will encourage people to come and explore the Village, too.”

About Canterbury Shaker Village

Featuring 694 acres of forests, fields, gardens, nature trails, and mill ponds under permanent conservation easement, the Village is designated as a National Historic Landmark with 25 restored original Shaker buildings and 4 reconstructed Shaker buildings. In addition to tours, exhibits, and programs, Canterbury Shaker Village provides wonderful, relaxing, and beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces for weddings

Canterbury Shaker Village is a member of the NH Heritage Museum Trail, which connects the public with culturally rich heritage institutions in New Hampshire. For more information about The Trail, visit