Thunderhead is located on 75 beautiful acres which are virtually surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of the stunning Lewis and Clark National Forest in the Little Belt Mountains in central Montana. Founded in 2007 by NYC based musician/artist Chris Komer, this budding oasis for musicians, dancers, painters, sculptures, actors, folk artists, performance artists, photographers, from the amateur to the pro, is quite literally a home away from home for those who are getting involved.
Members can come and go when they please for up to 6 weeks per year and focus intensely on their art or do the exact opposite and dive into the three R's: relaxation, rehabilitation, recreation. It is easy to join thru our Patreon Page starting at $5 per month! (See our Become a Member page) Primarily a summer operation (June-Sept.) Thunderhead will eventually be a year-round operation.
Half of the fun is the building. We are currently in the process of building each structure by hand using (as much as possible) the materials available on the 75 acres. Members can get as involved in this process as much as they want including helping to design and engineer different building projects.
The first artist studio/cabin was finished in the summer of 2011 using a little known building method called cordwood masonry (which is a beautiful, economical, and practical method with amazing insulation properties) it is packed with 142 recycled bottles (plugged into 142 mason jars) which allow the light to come through with brazen colors. It also has a living roof (sod) covered with local fauna and wildflowers.
Now we have built 7 more structures including 2 more artist studio/cabins, 3 cordwood masonry shower house stuctures (each with a fully pressurized hot shower, sink and composting toilet), a large partially enclosed log shelter space, and our first large scale hybrid (cordwood masonry and traditional log building) structure we are calling the Poets' Cafe. This is a central gathering place for eating, hanging out and informal concerts.
(To learn more about the art of cordwood masonry click here www.cordwoodmasonry.com )
Eventually the retreat facilities will include more artist/studio cabins, rehearsal/yoga/dance studios, spa facilities (although we already have a hot tub!) a large three-story round cordwood building with common areas and large communal kitchen, a large barn-like rehearsal performance space with a recording studio and a large amphitheater.
We will host workshops of all types and be able to sponsor a few residencies for select artists. We will also eventually host a very diverse lively summer arts festival which will include classical and jazz ensembles, dance troupes, flamenco, bluegrass, Irish folk music. It will also invite guest artist's of all types from around the world to come and participate.
Members and guests can explore our backyard anytime they wish which is the Lewis and Clark National Forest. It is packed with beautiful hiking trails and fishing streams. Click here to learn more