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Grand Canyon's Artist-in-Residence Programs

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Watercolor by Gunnar Widforss

Desert View Watchtower

by Gunnar Widforss
Fred Harvey Co. postcard image
circa 1933

The parks have always welcomed artistic interpretations in support of land advocacy. Thomas Moran's evocative and astounding paintings directly influenced the establishment of our first National Park (Yellowstone, 1872). This tradition continues today with more than 40 Artist-in-Residence programs throughout the National Park Service system.

Emery Kolb at work

Emery Kolb at Work

Ellsworth Kolb photo
Grand Canyon National Park
circa 1915

With changing times come bold new visions of what art can contribute to our conversation about preservation, environmental issues, and park (and arts) advocacy.

Grand Canyon National Park's Artist-in-Residence Program seeks artists whose work is engaged in issues that are relevant to the Park Interpretative Themes, while also challenging the visitor to become an active participant in preservation and environmental and cultural advocacy.

We are pleased to host artists who communicate complex and contemporary issues through their chosen medium. Artists in all genres and in all disciplines, contemporary, traditional, or folk who have a genuine interest in contributing to our on-going national discussion on these issues will be of special interest to our program.

Thomas Moran sketching at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park with his daughters; Circa 1905

Thomas Moran and his Daughters
circa 1905

photographer unknown

Whether you are a traditionalist in the vein of Thomas Moran or a contemporary artist creating new paths towards understanding both environmental and cultural issues, you are welcome here.

The Artist-in-Residence Program offers professional artists the opportunity to spend three weeks on either the North or South Rim of Grand Canyon in housing provided by the National Park Service. The North Rim AiR program is seasonal, with six residencies during the spring, summer, and fall. The South Rim AiR program is year-round, providing twelve artist opportunities.

Grand Canyon Hues; wood engraving print by Siri  Beckman

Grand Canyon Hues

Hand-colored wood engraving print on paper
by Siri Beckman
South Rim AiR, October, 2010

Artist opportunities: Contemporary, folk and traditional forms, including but not limited to:

Visual arts: painters, sculptors, printmakers, new media artists, muralists, designers, ceramicists, artisans, multi-discipline artists, fiber artists, mixed media artists, jewelers

Media: photographers, film makers, videographers

Writers: fiction and non-nonfiction writers, poets, playwrights

Performing arts: composers, musicians, dancers, choreographers, performance artists, storytellers, dramatic artists

AiR artist proposals should be site-specific to Grand Canyon National Park, support the park's Interpretative Themes, and will focus on such issues as ecology, the environment, park advocacy, conservation and other themes relevant to the parks.

Arc; oil painting on canvas by Paul Murray


Oil on canvas
by Paul Murray
North Rim AiR September, 2010

This year we had over 450 applications for the north and south rim residencies. Due to the volume of applications, program administrators have decided to select artists for two seasons, in order to simplify our jury process and consolidate our projects. Artists have been selected for both the south & north rim programs through October, 2015.

The next round of applilcations will be accepted between February 1st & March 1st, 2015. Artists on our email list will receive a timely announcement that the application is open. If you would like to receive notices about the application and other program-related updates, announcements, opportunities and press releases, please request to be added to our email list HERE.


All artists who apply will be notified regardless of the outcome of their proposal. The south rim juries in early June, with artist notifications going out by the end of that month, and the north rim juries in July, with artist notification by the end of their season - late September.

Next season's deadline will be on or around March 1st, 2015.


A new website that warehouses links to all National Park Service Artist-in-Residence program information system-wide has been published!

You can find that HERE

There soon will be an online juried exhibit featuring art that has come out of NPS Artist-in-Residence programs. Check back here for a link to that exhibit, scheduled to be published in early 2014.

Thanks for your interest in Grand Canyon National Park's artist-in-residence program!

Dot 18, found object installation by Michael Yinger

Dot 18

Site-specific, found objects, temporary installations, this is one of 40 pieces inspired by Grand Canyon "You Are Here" dots on maps
by Michael Yinger
South Rim AiR, November 201

These artist opportunities are designed to both engage and inform the public audience (through outreach programming), and provide quality uninterrupted time for artists to pursue their own body of work.

The North Rim of Grand Canyon, much of it true wilderness, offers unparalleled inspiration and unspoiled solitude for artists. The artist resides in a small historic cabin on the rim for a three-week period in summer and early fall. The North Rim offers seasonal AiR opportunities for 4 - 6 artist or artist couples during the May - October season.

The South Rim of Grand Canyon is teeming with wildlife, park visitors and peerless vistas. The artist(s) reside in a large and sunny two-bedroom (with third bedroom possiblity) second-story apartment in the historic Verkamp's visitor Center, overlooking the Canyon. The south rim hosts a year-round program and can host up to 3 artists who wish to work as collaborative teams or share their residency experience.


Flutist and Poet Linda Chase performs on the rim

SR AiR Linda Chase - August 2012
photo credit: Autumn Chase-Dempsey

Artists are welcome to apply to both the north and south rim programs, and being selected to participate in one does not exclude you from being selected for the other during the same period of time. See our FAQ page for more detailed information.

Application fees this year will be $30/rim, and payments will be accepted ONLY through our electronic process.

In exchange for the adventure of living and working in a national park, the resident artist has the opportunity to create works that generate understanding and dialogue about the need to preserve this national treasure-one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Selection Process

Selection of artists is based on a scoring system that includes evaluating excellence of art work within genre, an artist statement about what this experience will do for personal development as an artist, and proposed public programming.

A jury panel of artistic genre specialists, art professionals and National Park specialists choose the artists and alternates.

Find more information here:

PLEASE NOTE: No honorarium is available at this time to off-set the expenses that the artists accrue while in residence. Currently both programs on both rims provide a furnished living space, focused studio time, and public outreach and presentation opportunities for selected artists.

Milky Way Over Shoshone; night sky photography by Stan Honda

Milky Way Over Shoshone

Night Sky Photography
by Stan Honda
South Rim AiR - October 2011


Both the South Rim and the North Rim programs accept applications electronically submitted between February 1 and March This could be subject to change, so please check back for exact dates, or request to be added to our email list, HERE, and you'll receive updated information in a timely way each season.

You are welcome to submit an application to both the North and South Rim programs or choose one program that is of special interest to you.

Applications will not be able to be submitted before or after the open application dates.


For more information concerning the programs on either rim, contact South Rim AiR coordinator René Westbrook or leave a messsage at 928-638-7324

Did You Know?


At the bottom, where Unkar Creek joins the Colorado River sits Unkar Delta where prehistoric Pueblo people occupied numerous sites here for about 350 years (A.D. 850 to A.D. 1200)