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NEW ORLEANS (English Turn) – “As soon as we saw this land it was calling us,” says Lucianne.

Fast forward to today and the two live there, and welcome artists like Mary O’Brien and Daniel McCormick. They current visiting artists are from California, but they have come to A Studio In The Woods for inspiration.

“It’s not lost on us that we’re very close to the city. This is a very rarified environment, but rather than feeling disconnected it really makes our connection to the work we do much stronger,” explains O’Brien.

Through the years the Carmichael’s have preserved the Endangered Bottomland Hardwood Forest that surrounds them.  They live as efficiently as possible. Actually, when their home was built it was done mostly by hand.

“It was actually eight years of collecting these pieces of wood, and we could only work on weekends, but friends of ours would come and help us,” remembers Lucianne, “It’s a lot of work, but it’s really yours.”

“We’re both children of the depression so we didn’t throw anything away,” says Joe.

The Carmichaels bought the property in 1969 and they built their house a few years later. In 2004 they entered into a partnership with Tulane University donating everything to Tulane. In return the university maintains the property and will continue their mission for years to come.

As Tulane takes over the Carmichael’s will move to a new simpler home, also on the property, but without children it’s the only way Joe and Lucianne can make sure their wish is granted. One that includes keeping this land as is, and offering others a break from reality.

For more on A Studio In The Woods click here.