CAMPO is the Spanish word for countryside. In Uruguay, however, it means much more. It stands for the open range, space and freedom. It's an ocean of grass, inspiring a never-ending gallop, connection to the land. To the planet.

CAMPO is the perfect place to create.


CAMPO is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) built on an innovative model that weaves together a top-notch artist residency program, a collaborative food lab and a modern lodge:



To be a revolutionary cultural organization, a hub where
creatives feed their spirit and exchange ideas.


CAMPO is an artist colony providing residencies for committed visual, literary, musical, digital and culinary talents from around the globe in a unique rural setting in Uruguay.
CAMPO offers uninterrupted time and space for personal work and a soulful experience, and serves as an incubator for creative thought, cultural exchange and community engagement.


Nestled between South American giants Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay is a quirky little country whose personality is both progressive and traditional. It is culturally sophisticated and economically stable. It has more cows than people, more sheep than tourists and enough space to get lost easily.

CAMPO is located on 12 hectares (30 acres) on the banks of a river in Pueblo Garzon, an up-and-coming spot one hour from the glitzy resort town of Punta del Este and 30 minutes from the chic fishing village Jose Ignacio.

Until the 1950s, the town bustled around a wheat mill and had a railway running directly to Montevideo. Now it is a quiet pueblo of 200 residents, slowly growing with international denizens and fast becoming a hub of food, culture and wine. It is the home of celebrated chef Francis Mallmann’s restaurant and hotel, as well as Bodega Garzon, Alejandro Bulgheroni’s new state-of-the-art winery and olive oil plantation. And now, the home of CAMPO.
While we gather funds to construct the cabins and clubhouse of CAMPO, we’ve decided to use what we have in front of us – an amazing pueblo with abandoned buildings and empty spaces.

So, from December 15, 2017 to January 31, 2018, CAMPO AIR (artist-in-residency program) will debut! We’ll host pop-up residencies, offering a handful of artists and chefs, both local and international, an opportunity to focus on their work in donated spaces in Pueblo Garzon. For more information, write us at:

*Stay tuned for news about CAMPO salon dinners at Garzon’s corner café, which La Madriguera (the best coffehouse in Montevideo) will take over for the summer.
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Bodega Garzon
Hannah Sandling + Bruno Varela
La Madriguera Café
Nana Lavagna


As daylight hit the first day of 2016, I was drinking chai, intermittently peeking outside the kitchen window at the Uruguayan cows chomping on my grass. Cartoon-like clouds were smiling down on me, an American woman living on a ranch in Uruguay for the past seven years. In a few months, I would turn 50. I was living my dream.

My eyes scanned the beatific surroundings that inspired my photography, rejuvenated my writing and gave me permission to create and get to know myself. As I listened to the birds sing their summery reveille, I thought about Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann’s restaurant two blocks away and the nearby winery Bodega Garzon, which was listed in the New York Times’ top 50 places to go in 2016: Garzon, Uruguay, my hometown.

Things are happening around here, I thought, scanning my land on the edge of this quirky little village, a place that has been quietly bubbling with a sophisticated food and wine scene. And then, out of nowhere it hit me, served up like a New Year’s Resolution with a capital R: HELP PIONEER GARZON. BUILD AN ARTIST COMMUNITY. THE TIME IS NOW! And just like that, CAMPO was born.

I completed my first artist residency in Wyoming soon after that. On the first day, I stared at the blank walls of my studio paralyzed with fear and doubt. After I wondered, “What am I doing here?” I considered the gift I was about to receive – time and space to do nothing but create. I was so moved that I cried. My artistic self didn’t know anything about support; I came from a business-centric background where creative pursuits were really not an option. Support in the way of a focused residency, whose selection process was based on artistic excellence, was overwhelming and liberating. And so I worked like I’d never worked before, and by the last day of the final week, the walls of my studio were packed with images. A creative slice of me was unleashed.

I knew I had to build CAMPO and offer creative people an opportunity to be just that, creative. I pledged to create a nonprofit organization on 30 acres of my land to develop a place where art, writing and food ideas would flourish as well as inspire my community. I see CAMPO as a thriving must-go place for generations of creatives to come.

-- Heidi Lender, photographer, writer, creator

We’re starting from scratch. On this raw and inspiring corner of the Uruguayan countryside, we’ll construct cabins, artist studios, an exhibition space, a clubhouse, a food lab and organic gardens. We’ll purchase five old houses inside Pueblo Garzon and remodel them into additional studios.

BUT, we need your help!

CAMPO is an American nonprofit 501(c)(3) with a Uruguayan branch that will only exist with contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. Gifts of any size make a huge difference in our dream of fostering creativity.

For other giving opportunities, please contact

Thank you for your support!

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December 28 + 29, 2018
Artwork by Gonzalo Papantonakis
{opens december 15, 2018}