How to Apply for Artist Residencies in our National Parks
Late January and early February were quite busy. I applied for eight Artist Residencies in our National Parks. Each application was challenging to write, demanding of my time and a huge commitment, requiring a thorough examination of my portfolio for the “right” kind of images to send. Most of the applications require a 1-2 page statement of intent, a small sampling of 4-8 images, letters of recommendations, and curriculum vitae. And all applications include a proposal for the project I plan to complete during the residency. Most residencies offer an opportunity to devote 2-4 weeks’ time in a cabin or other rustic accommodations. All offer a considerable chunk of time to make art. All require a public presentation each week of the residency, few offer a stipend, except for nominal travel, many require comfort in wild places.
The biggest challenge in the application process was to select a small sampling of images that speak to each park’s specific need. Some, like Crater Lake in Oregon, asked for projects that focused on Climate Change; many parks have a set of specific goals that the committee would like addressed in the application.
I chose to apply to the following parks as I would LOVE to spent time in each of them, increase both my time lapse and still image portfolios and since I love teaching, I submitted plans for “walks in the parks” to share with visitors my vision, techniques and suggestions for digital photography.
Part of the research involved googling each park and reviewing the artists chosen for previous residencies. It’s best to google the parks you’d like to visit.
North Cascades ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Glacier National Park ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Great Basin National Park ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Isle Royale National Park ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Acadia National Park ………Chosen for 2015, June
Crater Lake National Park ………Chosen for 2015, May
Petrified Forest ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Sleeping Bear Dunes ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Great Smoky Mountains ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Zion National Park ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015, Application pending 2016
Joshua Tree National Park ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Results, so far
As you can see, just like submitting art for exhibition, it helps to get thick skinned and to keep plugging away at the applications.
Crater Lake National Park, Chosen as one of the Artists in Residence, May 2015
Here’s a sampling of the images and video clips I made while in Residence.
Acadia National Park, Chose as one of the Artists in Residence, June 2015, wow, was that some cross-country travel. Oregon to Maine. Here’s the portfolio I posted of my time in Acadia. And some time lapse instruction on my blog.
I decided to research the Photographers and Artists who have been chosen in the past or are currently in our National Parks as Artists in Residence.
Rick Braveheart, Native American Fine Art Photographer (blog with link to his website too) Rick is currently At Zion National Park, writing a weekly blog about his residency.
Many of the artists, painters, who participate in Plein Air competitions in our National Parks also have experience as Artists’ in Residence.
Grand Canyon Celebration of Art
Grand Staircase, Escalante Canyons Arts Festival
Zion Plein Air Arts Invitational
Other Links for Arts in Our Parks, please let me know if you have a special event you like to attend or a Park you’ve applied to as Artist in Residence.