by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office
The path to a successful art career can be a twisting one, but one commonly traveled route is the artist residency. There are hundreds of residencies out there, ranging from highly prestigious programs that are invitation-only — to more open, or even experimental, retreats.
|Big Badlands Overlook by Photographer Rikk Flohr, 2008 Artist in Residence|
Among these, who knew that the National Park Service has 42 existing artist-in-residence programs spread throughout the country, ranging from month-long live/work experiences at Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton, Connecticut to the former Japanese internment camps of Manzanar National Historic Site in Independence, California! The NPS has three models of A-I-R programs: "Volunteers-in-Parks" requires artists to volunteer by presenting a program or demonstration for the public; "Partnerships" require a non-for-profit and the park combine to provide the resources for the residency; and the "Paid Staff" option involves hiring artists as seasonal employees to create public works or programming.
One program, from Crater Lake National Park in Oregon cites:
The program provides an opportunity for two eligible artists to spend up to two weeks of the fall, and another two artists for up to two weeks in the winter, at Crater Lake National Park to pursue their particular art form while being surrounded by the awe-inspiring landscape of the park.