"An artist is a prisoner of themselves here," says Nilea Parvin.
This is quite a place to get immersed in creativity. In the shadow of the spectacular /*Villa Montalvo artists*/, writers and live in residences that have been designed by architects and artists to encourage originality.
"This is the living quarters. That is the studio," says Pinaree Sanpitak. "It's very private. I was able to get into the work right away."
Sanpitak is here from Thailand.
"I've been here five weeks and I've been able to finish this one," says Sanpitak.
Nilea is a teaching artist, working with high school students. All of her pieces are from /*recycled products*/. These are grocery bags that have been opened up.
"You can't get away from your work. It's with you 2/4 7 at Montalvo," says Nilea Parvin.
"We're now bringing in artists from around the world to engage the community through concerns of our times," says Ariane Bicho.
Perfect for Sunday's Open Studios when visitors and artists can interact.
"We're treated as if our work matters in the world. And that's what the artists needs to know," says Parvin.
And there is art on a plate. Jessie is their culinary fellow. /*Sustainable food*/ is her passion. One source is the garden here.
"I do want to continue to pay attention to the flavors and textures and sort of refine my palette. But really I want to lean to cook with various traditions," says Jessie Benthein.
Once a day she prepares a meal where everyone living here comes together. And when she leaves?
"I don't know whether I'm going to open a restaurant or what," says Benthein.
It is a fascinating concept in cultural exchange.
If you would like to visit the Open Studios, it's open to the public this Sunday from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga.
The next abc7 listens meeting will be at the town Council Chambers in San Anselmo.
ABC7 Listens Meeting: San Anselmo, Thursday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Click here for more details