As an Artist in Residence at Capitol Reef National Park, I organized a talk about the History of Artists and Art in our National Parks. When chosen as a residence, one of the “give backs” is to lead a hike, give a presentation, or any number of ways to contribute to the Park. I presented to a group of visitors some techniques for using their smart phone more successfully. And, I made a presentation at the Fruita Campground Amphitheater in Capitol Reef, and a public presentation at Mesa Verde National Park.
Artists have contributed to the formation of our parks from the early days of the Hayden Survey in 1871, all the way up till the present day, where the Artist in Residence programs thrive in our Parks. Thomas Moran, William Henry Jackson, Frederick Dellenbaugh, painted and photographed in the West, as did many others. Today, contemporary photographers and artists contribute to our understanding of our precious National Parks and create images that speak to the preservation and expansion of our Parks.
Click this link for a full copy of the presentation of Art in Our National Parks.
Contemporary Art in our National Parks
Visit any National Park Service site and you’re bound to see photographers, artists, film makers, musicians, sculptors, writers, inspired and working on-site. And many visitors use their smart phones for selfies, and bring home memories in our Parks, our Public Lands, and recreation areas.
Many of our Parks sponsor Plein Air Invitationals and host Artists in the Parks. Capitol Reef joined the list of about 50 National Parks that offer time and support for an Artist in Residence in 2017. I was honored to be chosen as their first AIR.
Links to contemporary art being created in our Parks
Long-time Alaskan Kim Heacox spent a part of 2012 as one of Denali’s three writers-in-residence, and donated this essay after his experience.
A 2010 residency at Devil’s Tower allowed Chavawn Kelley to experiment with photography, and later inspired her written works here
Here’s a link to my portfolio of Artist Residencies in our Parks.