Welcome to Artists Symposium!

Our 2022 Symposium has concluded, and we are now planning for next year. Summer 2023 dates will be announced soon. Join our mailing list for updates, or email us with inquiries here.

Join a group of fellow artists to enjoy a few days of living centered around art, nature, relaxation, and creative camaraderie. Artists of all levels are gathering to paint en plein air, drawing inspiration from the land in Vermont’s remarkable Northeast Kingdom. Build your painting oevre in the immersive natural atmosphere of our daily painting sessions, supplement your practice with workshops, and get guidance in painting sessions with teaching artists, featuring James Keul. Stay at the beautifully-appointed Inn at Mountainview Farm, camp on the land for a more rustic experience, or participate as a commuting artist. Expert, intermediate and beginner landscape painters welcome!

Our 12-day Symposium can be taken as a whole, or in smaller segments, as you like 2023 dates TBA:

Symposium First Half (Sun-Fri)
Gap Weekend (Fri AM-Sun PM)
Symposium Second Half (Sun-Fri)

and we have workshops!

Workshops are given each Wednesday, and Sunday of Gap Weekend. They are included when you register for any of the Symposium options, or you can take the workshops on their own. We have lots of great options!

Our Lead Teaching Artist, James Keul is here to paint, to guide & inspire!

Whether you’re experienced or new to plein air painting, you can gain from this Symposium experience.

Experience all or part of this unique Symposium. Full Symposium: Sunday-Friday and the following Sunday-Friday in East Burke Vermont with an optional Gap Weekend supplement between Section One and Two: Friday- Sunday, enjoy a hiking and painting trip in the nearby White Mountains of New Hampshire. Workshops are included in all our symposium sessions, or can be taken independently. Commuter rates are available for those staying offsite!

Artists of all levels are welcome. Participate in a way that suits YOU…

One of our Symposium Residency artists, painter, and illustrator Almigdad Aldikhaiiry called our 2021 Symposium “A RESTORATION FOR MY SOUL”. He loves practicing watercolor en plein air, and unplugging from his busy life as an international artist!

Professional artists
Expand your repertoire, or log plenty of time painting en plein air. Develop a body of work among peers in an organic, relaxed setting.

THOSE new to landscape painting
Learn by doing in an immersive, supportive atmosphere, with guidance from our lead teaching artist.

Anyone SEEKING focused instruction, inspiration, and insight can find it in one of our workshops or artist demonstrations. Supplement your Symposium experience, or participate in the workshops independently.

Painters (AND THEIR NON-ARTIST COMPANIONS) who love outdoor recreation can make hiking & mountain biking a part of their daily experience, with our location at the hub of a thriving trail system, and excursion guides at the ready.

Artist working on a watercolor sketch on site during last year’s Symposium

The Setting: a plein air painter’s dream!

The Symposium takes centers around The Inn at Mountainview Farm– a rolling 440 acre historic estate in East Burke, Vermont, with daily painting sessions on site, or at curated locations in the area. Accommodations for those who’d like to stay on-site are comfortable and well-appointed- in the English Country style. Gorgeous Barns, an animal sanctuary, and trails all grace the property, and provide opportunities to play and explore. Biking and hiking excursions can be arranged, thanks to our sponsors at Noble Fox Adventures. The village of East Burke is just down the hill, for dining, world-class trail biking, swimming, and fun. Incredible painting locations nearby include Lake Willoughby, Burke Mountain, and vistas known only to locals, like your hosts! Other great nearby accommodations can be arranged, for those looking for more rustic or budget options. Participants may also join independent of accommodations if they will be staying elsewhere. See our interactive map that includes local recommended housing options, as well as a growing collection of spots of interest!



Come stay on the beautiful Inn at Mountainview Farm, a historic estate at the center of our artistic activity on Darling Hill in East Burke. Start with an evening gathering on Sunday, and depart Friday, OR join for the first or second week alone. Each day will involve outings on the estate or nearby, to paint en plein air, enjoy lunch on-site, and explore. After a period of open time, well-suited for a hike, a nap, a swim, or some more painting, gather for some tea and camaraderie, and potentially some art discussion. Dinner will be served at the Inn, or sought out in the village nearby.

Residential artists are welcome to use the Inn’s Threshing Barn as shared studio space during the retreat.

Wednesday workshop sessions are included in each week of Symposium. For those who sign up for the Full All-Inclusive Symposium with Housing, the weekend’s Gap Weekend painting sessions and workshop are also included.

In addition, Symposium guests (residential and By Day alike) can participate in an evening Open Studio night in the Threshing Barn at the Inn (open to Week One participants), and all are invited to contribute artworks to a special public Gallery Reception that opens on the second Thursday.

Those who register for either the Full or Half Symposium, and will be staying at the Inn (in either a solo or double room) are welcome to bring a non-painting guest to either share their room, or have a room of their own. There is a discount of 15% for non-artist companions that can be applied at checkout.


For local artists, or those with accommodations elsewhere: join the residential group to paint, critique, and socialize during the days, through the afternoon tea, and dinner. This will be similar to the residential symposium experience, except that artists will stay off-site, and make their own arrangements for travel to and from all symposium sessions. Enjoy a few days of relaxing, yet stimulating, art-centered life.

1 mid-week workshop session is included per week of SBD registration. For those who sign up for the Full Symposium, the weekend’s Gap Weekend painting sessions and workshop are also included.

In addition, Symposium guests (residential and By Day alike) can participate in an evening Open Studio night at the Inn (open to Week One participants), and all are invited to contribute artworks to a special public Gallery Reception that opens on the second Thursday. Location TBA.

Here is a link to an interactive map with several housing options convenient to our main location.


A hiking and painting trip in the mountains- three days/two nights Friday morning-Sunday evening, with a full-day workshop in Littleton New Hampshire on Sunday, and dinner on the riverfront. For more details, click here.


Learn plein air technique from our lead artist, James Keul, in any of our three public workshops, offered on both Wednesdays, and on Sunday of Gap Weekend.

A glimpse over James’ shoulder during a workshop demo in 2021

Susan Thanas, a retired choral direcor and world traveler from Massachusetts, had such a great time in 2021, she’s planning to return this summer for more. She found James’ workshops instructive and inspiring!

Tributary Co-Founders Laura Noble and James Keul are long-time friends, who spent formative years in Northeastern Vermont. Laura was born and raised there. They studied art together at Saint Johnsbury Academy, and later trained and worked at the Art Students League of New York. Laura lives in Chicago and teaches undergraduate drawing and illustration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She consults for Admissions at RISD, and also does creative coaching and portfolio development for the art school-bound. James was Assistant to the artist Frank Mason for many years, and is anaccomplished teaching artist living in Durham, NC.

Laura and James are excited to host you in a wonderful Symposium experience, in one of their favorite places on earth!