For the past 20 years, Jeff and Robin Janson have often found themselves looking outside of their hometown of Appleton, WI, for inspiration. When The Refuge Foundation for the Arts established itself just up the river from their home, they were exhilarated by the space, spirit and mission behind this local venture.
Refuge founders, friends and Grammy-nominated musicians, Cory Chisel and Adriel Denae, are the heart and soul behind the non-profit organization that has made its home in a monastery built in 1935 by Capuchin-Franciscan monks.
The 33,000 square foot facility houses recording and art studios as well as artist residences amid ten acres of protected nature, gardens and orchards. Urban’s blend of mixed hardwoods can be found in the chapel and was chosen for its combination of texture, contrasting hues, and all around durability. The reclaimed floors are smooth enough for dancing feet, with a patina to absorb all kinds of creative music mayhem including Chisel’s new band, Traveller (pictured left-right: Geoffrey Muller, Robert Ellis, Michael “Tank” Lisenbe, Cory Chisel, and Jonny Fritz.)
The Foundation’s first resident was Jon Wheelock (aka J-Council), who arrived in October of 2015. During his one year residency, he went from writing his first song to completing his first full-length record and embarking a tour that included an appearance at the historic Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles for Petty Fest.
The Foundation partners with Jameson Music to support emerging artists as well as The Best Fest to support charity music events. Urban is proud to support The Refuge in its mission “to offer opportunity to creators in a supportive and collaborative environment.”
Special thanks to Ryan Romenesko, executive director of the Foundation, and his fiance, Amy Ryerson, who is captured in this beautiful video and imagery (credit: Justus Poehls) as well as for photography by Sam Farrell.
Visit The Refuge for more information or contact Urban Evolutions for more information on our reclaimed wood flooring.