The Old School art residency provides time and space for research, experimentation and creation of artwork and ideas. Our residents are free to organize their own time and activity. They may choose to maintain their privacy or to engage with other residents and activities during their stay.

We will assist you with information, guidance and contacts with the local community. If you wish, we will organize a presentation of your work in an open studio or other event.  We will introduce you on our website and you will receive a certificate of participation at the end of your stay.


Both established and emerging artists are encouraged to apply. Any person over the age of 18 is eligible. Both new projects and projects that are in development but are not yet completed are eligible.


6 – 23 of September 2024



The Old School Residency, Gorna Lipnitsa, Bulgaria works in partnership with artists from around the world to strengthen the civil and artistic sector and its impact on institutions.

The Old School Residency develops the long-standing traditions of goodwill and friendship between Bulgaria and the artists of the world. The residency’s editions embody the generosity and strength of the Bulgarian people and the highest Bulgarian standards of strength, ancient history and pristine values.

We are looking for courageous artists with an innovative spirit who possess the vision and the capacity to bring about positive change. We support creative ideas and new solutions. We are not afraid to take risks that others would not, and to challenge established orders and stereotypes.

In an effort to stay true to our overall mission and strategies, we listen to local needs to ensure that the initiatives we support have a lasting impact on the local community and are embraced by them.

All are welcome regardless of geographical location and in particular those who need a breath of chaos to wake up. We will welcome you with open hearts, offer you new ideas, and change your reality. The rest you will do on your own.

*We use “Bulgaria” and “America” not just as designators for territory and people, but also as a metaphor for the POTENTIAL of Bulgaria’s typical wildness, unruliness and connection to nature, lack of traditional political and economic stability and the STAGNATION of the developed democracies and economies.

“In short all good things are wild and free”

Henry. D. Thoreau


Collaborators may be accepted for a residency; however, each person in the group /up to 6 artists/must submit an individual application accompanied by a joint proposal.


The artists will be accommodated in guesthouses in the village. Each artist will have his own room, a common space to hang out with the other artists, a shared bathroom and kitchen. The guest houses have their own separate yard which can also be used for work and leisure. Nearby the houses are located beautiful fields and walking trails, spaces to practice sports and suitable spots to observe the evening starry sky.

Each artist has a bicycle at their disposal as a mean to travel around the village.


The residency has bright and spacious studios for work located in the building of the former school in the village. We can provide you with the basic tools you need for your work: tripods, tables, chairs, brushes, paper, socialist teaching materials and tools used in school, woodworking tools and     metalworking tools. We have also a printer, scanner, PC and multimedia projector. There is running water in the building.

The school has an open space – a large courtyard with trees, gazebo and outdoor toilets.

You can work throughout the village, having in mind that people are friendly and willing to participate in your projects.


The residency does not provide food for the artists. You can cook for yourselves or eat at the center of the village. Products can be purchased from two shops in the village as well as from the nearest town, 10 km away from Gorna Lipnitsa.

The food in the village of Gorna Lipnitsa is not expensive, for around 6-8 euro you can provide yourself with a delicious and healthy menu. Various fruits and vegetables are grown in the village and the region. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, open markets for fruits and vegetables and other products are organized in the neighbouring cities. We offer an organized visit to help you buy the necessary products.

For the visiting artists we organize welcome and closing dinners. We also provide the artists with the opportunity to taste clean and healthy food originating from the village: fruits and vegetables from our garden, homemade jam, fresh eggs hatched by free-range chickens, dried herbs to make tea with, traditional Bulgarian alcoholic drinks as well as homemade honey.

Products can be purchased from two shops in the village as well as from the nearest town, 10 km away from Gorna Lipnitsa.


Gorna Lipnitsa is situated 250 km away from Sofia. Usually our artists arrive by train from the Central Railway Station in Sofia to the town of Pavlikeni. The trip takes about 3 and a half hours. Once you arrive in Pavlikeni, we will take you to Gorna Lipnitsa by car. The distance is 10 km. Before you arrive in Bulgaria, we will send you detailed information, maps and directions for travel/how to get from the airport to the Central Railway Station in Sofia, information about the city transport, what taxis to choose, train timetables, etc./ If you decide to stay in Sofia for a few days, we will recommend you accommodation, galleries, museums and restaurants to visit.

During your stay at the residency, we can provide you with a car and a driver to travel to the region for a minimum fee. In the village we still have exotic cars from our socialist past, so that we can organize a walk around the countryside.

During your stay at the residency you will have free bikes to ride around the village. Besides, if you wish, we organize free cycling routes in the vicinity of Gorna Lipnitsa – between 10 and 15 km.


The village of Gorna Lipnitsa is a picturesque one, situated in the plain, where the summer is hot, full with the odor of flowers and sweet fruits, while the winter turns it into a white fairytale. The image of the village determines its architecture, traditions and the lifestyle of the people from the plains, situated to the North of the Balkan Range. Gorna Lipnitsa can be found near the old Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo.

Legends say that the first Bulgarians inhabited these lands in the 15th century. The village had two neighbourhoods till the Liberation from Ottoman rule – a Bulgarian and a Turkish one and they both lived in peace and harmony. The lime forests, situated to the South of the village name it. Unfortunately, not much is left from those, but at least one lime tree spreads its scent in each of the yards, while some nice tea is made of its blossoms. These yards are big ones – nearly 0.2 hectares each and locals grow fruits and vegetables there. They offer tasty fruits and vegetables from the garden, evening gatherings on benches in the streets, a cart or bicycle walk… simple things in life that are turned into a major tourist attraction.


In Gorna Lipnitsa

At the beginning of your stay we will show you the most interesting buildings and places in the village: Community Center “Zora” and the museum collections in it, the Agricultural Museum, the Town Hall, the church, the chapel “St. John of Rila”, etc.

In the area  

Not far from the village there are many architectural and natural landmarks that you can visit: Ancient Ceramic Center – Pavlikeni, Ancient Roman town – Nicopolis ad Istrum, Hotnitsa Waterfall, Emenski Canyon, Devetashka Cave, etc.

One of the most popular tourist destinations, Veliko Tarnovo, is 35 km from the village. The town is the old capital of Bulgaria. You can visit the Samovodska Charshia – the old part of the town, which presents the typical Bulgarian architecture from the past, the medieval fortress Tsarevets, the Art Gallery.


During your stay at the residency you can join our sporting activities. We run, practice yoga and ride bikes. We will be happy to play sports together!

There is also a small stadium in the village that can be used for sports as well as for various artistic events.


Free access to the internet is always available at certain locations, including the accommodation place and the studios.


The weather in Gorna Lipnitsa in the spring and summer is warm and favourable for work, walks and other activities in the nature. Average temperatures are between 25-30 degrees.


The Old School residency is a drug-free and smoke-free environment. Designated smoking areas are provided.

The Organizeres

We are artists, lawyers, founders of The Old School residency, herbalists, runners, yoga addicts, but most of all idealists and seekers. We have been organizing various art events since 2010. You can read more about us and our ideas:

The creative, artistic rebellion will change the world!