Sculptor H. Erin Aylor carves a totem for Catoctin Mountain Park.

NPS photo


The very first suggestion of a "nation's park" came from artist George Catlin in 1832. Artists have always played a vital role in preserving our nation's treasures. Catoctin Mountain Park, Cunningham Falls State Park and the Catoctin Forest Alliance, Inc. (CFA) support this tradition today through the Artist-In-Residence program.

Artists help our national parks with their root mission: conservation and enjoyment. Historic records and technical drawings may help preserve the nuts and bolts of a national park, while the hand of an artist will preserve the park's soul. The artist's work draws the public closer to the park's resources, so that they enjoy it on a deeper level and help to preserve it.

Mission Statement: The Catoctin Mountain Artist-In-Residence (AIR) program, under the auspices of the Catoctin Forest Alliance, Inc., offers visual, literary, and performing artists an opportunity to work in a natural and historic setting to advance art, nature, and history education and appreciation.

Artist-in-Residence Program flier


Carl Braun

Program Overview

The Artist-In-Residence will spend two weeks immersed in the natural and cultural resources of the Catoctin Mountains. During this residency, the artist will produce a novel work and share the artistic process with the public. There is no stipend.

The Catoctin Forest Alliance, Inc. conservation area (namely: Catoctin Mountain and areas within two miles of its base, from the Pennsylvania border to the edge of Frederick) boasts many compelling subjects. Here the artist may find many historic sites, farms, quaint villages, rivers and streams, waterfalls, lakes, and other scenic views. Beneath the attractive scenery lies a wealth of modern social subjects: development and conservation, wildlife restoration, suburban sprawl, poverty and affluence, disappearing traditions, ethnic diversity, and plenty more.



There are four residencies each year: two in May, one in August, and one in September.

Spring and Fall accommodations will be provided to the Artist-in-Residence and these may be off-site.


The artist's campsite in Cunningham Falls State Park.

NPS photo

The Summer residency is in Cunningham Falls State Park. The hardy artist occupies a campsite with electrical hookups suitable for tent or trailer (up to 26 feet).

For all residences, the artist needs to bring their own bedding, towels, food, cookware and any art supplies. For the summer residences, the artist will need to bring a tent or trailer. A park ranger will provide orientation to the area and discuss sharing the artistic process with the public.

Transportation expenses are not covered.

Artist-In-Residence Carl Braun

NPS photo

All we ask...

Public interaction

Artists are asked to engage in a public presentation piece during their residency. The form of this presentation can be selected by the artist and the park ranger at the beginning of the residency.


The Catoctin Forest Alliance, Inc. conducts well-publicized gala art exhibits of works by Catoctin Mountain Artists-in-Residence. The exhibits may also feature works by students and adults participating in the fine-arts education programs coordinated by the CFA.

Donation of a work

As a condition of the residency, the artist is asked to donate a work created on the mountain to the Catoctin Forest Alliance, Inc. (CFA) as a tax-deductible gift within a year of his or her residency. The CFA will retain the rights to the work for display and for promotion of conservation, history and the arts.



Amateur and professional artists of two- and three-dimensional arts, photographers, videographers, writers, and poets are encouraged to apply. In the future, we expect to open the program to musicians and other performing artists.

The Catoctin Forest Alliance, Inc. will accept applications no later than February 15.

The application requires:

  1. Your resume of no more than two pages.
  2. Four examples of your recent work:
    - Visual artists: four 35mm slides in standard mounts or four images on a CD or DVD. Label materials with your name, medium, image size, title, and indicate the top of the slide.
    - Writers: a brief (6-page maximum) manuscript excerpt, short story, essay, poem or other work.
  3. A completed application form. *Save the application form to your computer before inputting your information or your information will not be saved. Then, open the form, input your information, save and submit with your application package by mail or email.

PLEASE NOTE - No submissions sent to the park will be returned to the artist.

Please submit materials to:

e-mail us


Artist-In-Residence Program
Catoctin Mountain Park
6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788


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