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Spend Time in Nature with the National Park Service Artist in Residence Program

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Chilkoot Trail

Summary: Artists have more opportunities than ever to take time away from the world to find inspiration from nature to create stunning pieces of art.

Imagine spending two to four weeks at a national park, enjoying the pristine beauty of the nature as your creative juices spill out on to whatever piece of artwork you are creating. With the National Park Service Artist in Residence program, selected artists can chose from over 50 locations in the United States to receive inspiration.

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The idea for the program started in the late 19th century when painters from the famed Hudson River School first captured the majestic views of the western parks. Now the ability to stay in a remote cabin in the Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, study the history of the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in Iowa, or enjoy a contemporary studio overlooking the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut is possible.

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Through the program, housing is generally provided and the residency will last from two to four weeks. Visual artists, musicians, writers, and other creative media artists are encouraged to apply and then present their work to the public.

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To apply, artists must visit the individual park’s website and apply directly to that park. An example of an specific park’s program is at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The artist hikes the entire Chilkoot Trail in two weeks when it usually only takes four to five days to hike, spending a night or so at each campsite. Generally three artists are selected, one from the United States, one from Canada, and one from the Yukon Territory or Alaska.


Spend Time in Nature with the National Park Service Artist in Residence Program by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin